Monday, June 22, 2015
The Long Summer Sundress
We spend our summers at my parent's farm in Central PA. If you're not from there, you never will have heard of it, and if you've never heard of it you've got no business being there. In an attempt to keep my wild place wild, I'll be a bit ambiguous with the exact location. We stay in a perfect little cottage at the farm. Perfect because my parents are not the type to tinker with history. Also perfect because my husband worked very hard to shine up it's few assets, and to keep little creatures and the elements out. One of my favorite things about this place is its complete lack of amenities. With no distractions we can savor every second of our fleeting summer, giving my little family a taste of the long summers I remember from childhood. There is only enough cell service to refresh my Instagram feed once every 3 days, and never enough to take a cellphone call. We are too cheap to pay for a proper internet connection, and wouldn't because it would be in direct conflict with our number one summer objective: to give our children the natural resources to entertain themselves, and no choice but to use them.
All that to say, I don't sew much in the summer. I have a few projects up my sleeve to dole out over the summer months. It also explains the pastoral backdrop of this meticulously stripped barn door (not our barn). It is exactly the setting I envisioned for this Long Summer Sundress, adorned only with bare feet.
I made a printed version of this dress last year, then promptly cut the above version out. The days got away from me, and it never made its way to the top of my must-sew list before I had moved on to crisp fall layers. The first version was envisioned as a two-year dress, in the spirit of a frontier girl letting out the tucks in the hem of her dress as she grew. The adjustable straps, elastic back, and length allow this dress to grow with the child. L loves any dress that "drips the floor" and wants to wear it every chance she gets. Proper photos were in order before it met with a locally grown strawberry, and raw milk yogurt popsicle (cause that's how we roll in the country, also on trend) and was stained for good.
previously in a bold print for KCW last summer. And his dress perfectly coincides with KCW this summer! This dress is basically a series of rectangles gathered, and sewn, and layered into what reminds me of summer in the late 70's. Not that I remember the late 70's, but photo albums tell the story of me in tiered eyelet ruffles, with a daisy on there somewhere. The long ruffled skirt allows for a lot of layering and length variations. I'm not sure I'm finished sewing with this design, I'd love to make one where the lining peeps out, or the bottom ruffle is on the lining rather than the skirt.
FABRIC: Robert Kaufman Chambray Union Light 1.75 oz. (link to similar). It is featherweight and rather shear. I love the fabric's whispy nature, and tendency to retain its volume when gathered. Used in two layers it works just fine for garments. I used unbleached linen for the lining of the top tier of the dress. When you catch the ruffle in the right light the transparency adds some depth to the garment.
I've entered this dress in the Bernina Stitchin' Summer Contest on Kollabora. I would love it if you'd head on over to Kollabora and heart this project.