Hello All! I’m Nicole and I blog over at Merritts Makes. Tammy and I have been talking about this tour for the last few months and it’s finally arrived. I selected 3 yards of this Tencel Twill in Henna with a few ideas in mind, but no solid plans. Fast forward to two weeks ago and I was still without a solid plan. This dreamy fabric deserved the perfect project and I still hadn’t felt that “aha!” moment. That is, until I saw a sneak peek of the new Breaking the Pattern book by Named Clothing. I was immediately drawn to the Kaste Butterfly Sleeve Dress and knew this tencel would soon meet its match.
Let’s chat about this fabric:
Perhaps it may be surprising to you, but I’m actually fairly new to working with Tencel. This dress is my first finished Tencel project and now I’m wondering why I waited ages to finally work with it. It has a soft hand that feels almost sueded and is possibly the most luxurious feeling fabric I’ve ever used. I was a bit nervous to use it on a project with such detailed seams, but sewing with it was simpler than expected. It was a bit slippery, but still easier to work with than some rayons that I’ve used. The color can be described somewhere between a salmon and a rust with a bit more of an earthy tone. Finally losing my Tencel virginity has opened my eyes to this gorgeous fabric and now I just want to use it for sewing all the things.
Time to talk pattern details:
The fitted nature and exaggerated butterfly sleeves initially drew me in to this design, but the elaborate seaming made me fall in love. The front and back of the dress include contour darts and center bodice and skirt pieces that are attached at an angle. These details combine to create both an ace fit and architectural details. I’ll be honest and say that it’s been years since I last sewed a contour dart, but these darts and seams were worth every bit of the effort. I mean, can you even handle the brilliance of this drafting and design?
The Kaste Dress has options for a V-neckline or a high rounded neck and sleeveless or butterfly sleeves. Naturally, I opted for the butterfly sleeves as they’re exaggerated size feels a bit like an elegant cape. Who doesn’t need a dress that can transition from evening wear to a saving the world so effortlessly? The sleeves are each a half-circle so they’ve got loads of volume and movement. I feel both feminine and fun while wearing them which is always a win in my book.
Sewing the dress:
Since I had to wait for the book to be released and delivered by Amazon, I was on a tight schedule to finish this dress. On Wednesday I used my Pattern-Ease to trace the pattern, sewed a muslin on Thursday, cut and sewed the entire dress on Friday (not recommended), and met up to take photos on Saturday morning. Sometimes books can be short on instructions, but I didn’t find that the case for this book. The instructions were clear and sewing went relatively well with only a few mistakes made due to rushing the process. I did take the time to correct my mistakes so that I’d have a garment of which I could be proud. At one point, I thought I should change the order of construction to insert the zipper earlier which turned out to not be the right choice. Follow the directions in the book and you’ll spend a little less quality time with your seam ripper.
My Feelings about this dress:
Obsession is the only way to describe my feelings here. It’s been years since I made a fitted woven dress and this one was the perfect way to reignite the love. The fabric and design combined to make a dress that feels comfortable and elegant all at once. My gut is telling me that this will be a wardrobe favorite for years to come. Sewing it was an absolute pleasure and reminded me that once in a while I should sew something a little less practical and a little more beautiful.
Thanks for reading! Joining this blog tour has been an absolute pleasure. If you’d like to see more of my handmade wardrobe, please visit my blog Merritts Makes. Be sure to check back here on the D & H Fabrics blog for more inspiration coming all week.