Saturday, June 7, 2014

Jaywalk dress......brrrrr!

Let me start by saying that this isn't exactly how I imagined wearing this dress when I started making it!

When I first got the fabric we were in the middle of a balmy, warm Autumn and so I had breezy summer dresses, cossies and thongs on my mind.
In the time it has taken me to sew it (and unpick it a few times but let's not dwell on that bit!), the weather has turned and there is a definite chill in the air, and lets just say that I am too soft to suffer (and freeze) for my art!
So here is my Jaywalk dress, worn over a spencer and a pair of velvet jeans. I did have a scarf as well but that just tipped the look over from "transeasonal" to just plain wrong!

And now for the nuts and bolts!

The pattern

Style 4152 dated 1984
I used this vintage pattern from the stash as a starting point, cutting the short sleeve, non cowl view off at just above the waistline. I then just made a big rectangle from the remaining fabric and gathered this on to the bodice.

What went wrong
Initially I cut both sections of the bodice in the Jaywalk fabric, but the skirt was too heavy and causing all sorts of horrible dragging at the side seam. I realised that I would need to use a woven for the side panels to hold up the weight of the skirt and fortunately I had some stripe cotton seersucker that was just the right weight and was an interesting print contrast to the larger Jaywalk stripe. So I unpicked the skirt and the side panels (I kept the panels intact so I may just use them to make a top later on down the track), replaced the side panels with the new fabric and sewed the skirt back on.

For the second go at the skirt, I used some Tessuti ribbon as a waist stay and this seemed to help stabilise the weight of the skirt.

Shameless attempt at getting extra points in the competition!

Other garment details

Dress inside back

A number of my RTW t shirts have a small mock facing on the back, and I thought it would be fun to add another print to the dress. This is simply a piece of spotty viscose jersey, cut, fused and overlocked and then stitched to the back.

I also used a coral pink jersey for the neck binding to add a pop of colour and break up the monochrome a bit.

And I used some large vintage rayon ric rac for the bodice seaming which also helps prevent those seams from stretching out.

I nearly gave up on this dress a couple of times during the make (and probably introduced the girls to a few words that they probably shouldn't be hearing just yet!), but I am glad that I persevered,.as I think it will be a great summer dress. I can imagine wearing it over some denim shorts or cutoffs in spring and then as a dress as it gets hotter.

Here is one last look.

And as Tigger would say TTFN, I am pooped and ready for a non sewing long weekend!


  1. I think this is a super fun and funky dress and looks perfect how you styled it. What a great save!

  2. I love the faux vest - and clever adaption with the woven sides and the waist stay - Best wishes with the comp!

  3. What great problem solving - adding the woven side panels. I had a little play with the Jaywalk fabric in my local store (but decided it wasn't for me) - I can imagine how the extra weight of the gathered fabric might make it a bit heavy. The contrast in fabric patterns and textures helps both pop and adds interest. Well done and good luck with the comp.

  4. Great dress and love the way you have used the woven fabric, find a long sleeve top in the colour of the neckband and you are set for winter.