You may have noticed a theme to my fabric choices. I love prints. The more colourful and ridiculous the better! And this dress is no exception. It’s a Robert Kaufman print called Fabulous Foxes. The sailor foxes with their hats, neckerchiefs and sunglasses really are fabulous.
As part of my attempt this year to stop buying fabric, this is another stash busting project. I actually didn’t purchase anything at all for this as I already had everything I needed. That totally counts as it being free right?
I cut a size 42 at the bust and waist, tapering out to a 46 at the hips for a fuller skirt. As per usual, I had to make a full bust adjustment (FBA). In this case though, I only needed to make a small 1/2” increase, (1/4″ each side). I think it’s always worth the extra effort to make an FBA (or SBA, small bust adjustment) if you need one. If you’ve never tried an FBA, or SBA, on a princess seam, this is the method I used.
It fits pretty well overall but is a bit roomier around the waist than I would like and makes me look wider than I am. Serves me right for not making a full toile first! In my next version I’ll definitely take it in at the sides for a better fit. I will also lower the waist by around 1/2″ as the bodice is just a touch too short.
The back features a bow sewn into the seams. It adds an extra bit of detail without being over the top or too cutesy. I made both the bow and collar in a red cotton that matched the red on the foxes. I didn’t have enough of the foxes print, so had to find something that went well with it. And you can’t go wrong pairing red and blue.
The pattern comes with the option for to make cap sleeves or keep it sleeveless. I can’t say no to a good cap sleeve. These are super simple and the armholes are finished with bias binding for a lovely, clean finish inside. I only purchased the pattern recently, so I have the relaunched version. Looking at other reviews, there don’t seem to be many around with this updated cap sleeve. Personally I like these much more than the original puff sleeves the pattern came with.
The seams are all faux flat fell seams. That is, each seam is sewn as normal, pressed to one side and then topstitched. They’re a lot quicker to do than a traditional flat fell seam and look pretty much identical from the outside.
I didn’t bother with a button or buttonhole on the collar. I’ll never be wearing this done all the way up and buttonholes on all those collar layers are a pain. One minor gripe I do have though is the size of the button plackets. They’re very narrow and the buttons I used are only 10mm. I think it’s an easy enough fix but probably not worth bothering with.
I really enjoyed making this shirt dress. One of my favourite things to make are men’s shirts. Shirts may not always be the most exciting, but I love all the details and techniques involved. This dress is basically just a long version of a simple shirt and a very satisfying sew.
Pattern – Deer and Doe Bleuet dress
Main Fabric – Robert Kaufman ‘Fabulous Foxes’ quilting cotton
Contrast Fabric – Plain 100% cotton
Size Cut – 42 Bust & Waist, 46 Hips
Modifications – 1/2” FBA
Future Modifications – Lower waist by 1/2” and take in at sides