Monday, June 6, 2016

Floral Linen Kitsune

Ready your sewing stations, here comes a great simple summer dress. It is the Kitsune (worn here with a Cali Faye Basics  tan line) from Charlotte Kan. The Kitsune (Japanese for fox) is a modified tube with an elastic top, and a tie waist. The simple shape makes it a very forgiving fit, and a quick sew. I made this dress from pdf assembly to finished blog photos in 3 hours. It's the quickest garment I've ever made. 

The speed can be attributed to the very clever construction, and complete lack of fussy details (I'm talking to you bias binding!). There are 3 simple pattern pieces, and the only legitimate seams are at the sides of the bodice, and the back waist. The skirt construction is true to the main design motif, the whole thing is held together by the tie in the front. 
I am a bit more curvaceous from hip to waist than what size charts would lead me to believe is typical.  I sewed a size 10 based on my hip measurement, wanting to make certain they were fully covered. Normally, I grade to a smaller size at the bust, but when I saw the simple shaping, and tiny difference between sizes, I decided to go with a straight 10. I added 1" to the skirt length. Otherwise, it is sewn as written.
The fabric is a linen floral from the Joann bargain bin. Not something I would have given a second look ('cause it's not blue) at full price, but at $3/yard I'm interested. The weight and drape are great for this design.

I made the dress you've seen so far for the pattern test, and was considering it a wearable muslin. It looks just fine, and did its duty as a pattern tester, but I didn't really love to wear it. The proportions were a bit weird on my pear shaped frame. Even my fashion oblivious husband said it needed a waist. I was feeling less like a fox, and more like an overweight corgi. Not a design flaw, just part of the process necessary to clothe a specific body rather than a general one. I could have stopped here, and forgotten the dress in the back of the closet, leaving me with a bit more experience, but nothing more to wear. That's not what I did. The Kitsune is made up of three simple shapes easily identified by the average preschooler (do they teach parallelograms in preschool?). Surely, I could figure out how to make those shapes do my bidding.
left: before alterations, right: after alterations
I started by cutting the bodice down to my true bust size. (For the record, Charlotte recommends choosing the bodice based on your chest size. As it turns out, I don't know better.) This shaved a good amount off of the volume of the top, but the skirt knot stayed in that same odd place around my lower abdomen. After a little experimentation, I determined that adding a triangle of fabric to the top edge of each tie (making them taller not longer) would compensate for my big ol' butt, and raise the knot a few inches toward my waist. This alteration makes the skirt a lot more comfortable for me to wear, and makes the proportions much more flattering on me. Problem solved!

I stuck with the original tester photos for the bulk of this post because I was having a far better hair day (am I the only one who sees it?!).
left: before alterations, right: after alterations
This is no longer the quickest garment I've ever made, but now I have a simple summer-tastic sundress destined for a boardwalk somewhere in South Jersey, rather than a dusty corner of the closet.

Check out Beth's maxi version. It's the perfect combination of length and stripes. I'm tempted to scarf up some of that delicious rayon, and make myself an identical version! If you want one too, don't delay. Today is the last day to get the pattern launch discount on the Kitsune pattern. Get 25% off with the discount code FOXY.

Pattern: Kitsune by Charlotte Kan
Fabric: Floral Linen (sold out online, check the bargain bin in store) from Joann Fabric

1 comment:

  1. Your alterations are excellent - I'd be the same and need a waistline too! Will be lovely for hot summer days. Hope you get a tropical holiday to wear!