When we first arrived in our summer home, of course I got my sewing machine set up right away. But, despite (or perhaps because) of the giant list of things I have to sew this summer, all I wanted to do was whip up something silly and easy. Certainly influenced by the very summery weather (that I’m not actually used to after 7 years of San Francisco summers), I wanted a sundress. And, despite the fact that I kept out many nice cottons that would have done very well, I got it in my head that I absolutely had to turn this ridiculous 1980’s baseball print that I had found at a thrift store forever ago into a dress.
Since I didn’t have much of this print, the dress was going to have to be something without a lot of volume. I ended up choosing the Staple Dress by April Rhodes. It’s not a pattern I would have bought myself as it’s very simple, but I got it as a part of the last Perfect Pattern Parcel and of course I’ve seen plenty of pretty versions floating around. And I actually wanted to use a very easy pattern instead of drafting my own because the whole point of this dress was easy!
I’m not super into the high-low thing (setting aside the fact that I adore my Hot American Summer Tee), but thought that this dress needed the scoop to give it a little bit of design interest. I also shortened the dress by several inches because that was all the fabric I had. The pattern suggested that the high-low hem be sewn from lighter fabrics, but this cotton was quite stiff, even after a couple washings. I think it works just fine, even if it does hold the shape out a bit instead of drape. I think pretty much what you see when you look at this dress is not the dress, but the fabric, and that’s fine by me!
This gigantic print in very limited yardage required a bit of fussing in pattern placement, but I was super excited to get the baseball player front and center on the bodice. Of course this leaves an X over my crotch and baseball players sliding across my butt, but some of the initial placements I toyed with were much worse, trust me! (And no, I had nowhere near enough fabric to attempt to pattern match along the sides).
I added several rows of smocking (done with elastic in the bobbin) to the waist because I look best when the waist is very defined. It’s still not a super-flattering dress (although it could be much, much worse), butI comfortable and it’s easy to wear and that’s a win.
The neck and sleeves I bound in some bias tape from my stash (which I think my grandmother made at some point) instead of making it out of the fashion fabric as instructed. Nobody tells me what to do! (Or I just didn’t have enough of the fabric). I’ve been wearing this dress pretty much every other day since I made it, so that alone should say that it’s a win!