I’ve been sewing quite a bit for myself lately. Nothing like having a baby to make you want new clothes! A month or so ago on Melly Sews I shared a dress I made using the same fabric from my Bright Stripes Tee:
I love dresses. Like, a lot. Especially in the summer, dresses are the easiest things to wear. One piece, feminine, cool and comfortable. Just add some fun accessories and you’re good to go. My problem is that I have this little nugget of love that needs pretty much full and immediate access to my chest a few times a day. Adorable, yes. But many of my dresses aren’t really practical for me to wear right now. So I set out to make a simple dress that I could still nurse while wearing (without pulling the whole thing up over my head. Raise your hand if you’ve had to do that little trick in a pinch before!). With a wide, draping neckline and made out of stretchy jersey knit, I can still very easily nurse in this dress. I just wear a tank top underneath, to allow for modesty when bending forward. The jersey also makes this super comfortable for long summer days. And with a funky belt, it dresses up perfectly for a fun date night with the husband (if we did that sort of thing. See above pictured baby). The sleeves are part of the body of the top, dolman-style. With no sleeves to set, the hardest part of making this dress was just getting the stripes to line up all fun and chevron-y.
First, I started with about three yards of striped jersey knit and cut it on the bias After lining up my stripes to form chevrons, I sewed right sides together and pressed the seams.
For the skirt, I cut straight down parallel to the seam, cutting off two of the corners. Those corners were then saved and added to the bottom angles of the dress panels before sewing the side seams. I didn’t worry about trying to match up stripes along the sides or at the lower added corner sections. I didn’t have enough fabric or, honestly, the motivation. I cut a strip for the waist band, following the parallel of the stripes this time. Folded it in half, right sides together, and sewed up the seam. Right sides together, I added the waistband to the skirt of the dress, matching back seams and gathering the skirt. For the top, I cut the angles off all sides, so that I had two squares of chevrons. I cut the front lower than the back because I wanted it to scoop so it would be easier to nurse in. Below you can see the difference between the top of the front (foreground) and of the back (under the front). When I sewed the shoulders for the top, I lined up the top edges, which created the drape in the front. I sewed up the side seams, leaving openings for dolman-style sleeves and then added the top to the skirt at the waistband. Then I sewed some knit elastic along a few of the stripes in the waistband to shirr the waist of the dress. And that was it. The neck is folded and top stitched, but all other hems, the sleeves and actual hemline, are just serged. Jersey doesn’t fray, so you could easily leave them raw if you didn’t have a serger.