Completed: The Picnic Dress

This dress post has been a long time coming, but I finally managed to go out and take some photos of the completed Picnic Dress this past weekend.

Yes… indeed it was a bit chilly outside but not terrible; it got up to 60 degrees today.

Before I delve in too far to the details, I have to share with you again the inspiration behind this creation:

Stephanie of Girl with the Star Spangled Heart blog made up this dress after seeing another 50’s design using this print on Bernie Dexter’s shop.  The Bernie Dexter dress is lovely.  Stephanie’s dress is even more so, since she created it.  I too fell in love with this fabric after seeing hers and scoured online for the Michael Miller BBQ print to create one for my very own.

I couldn’t find more of that bbq print on, but I did find this mod bbq grill one instead.

This summer especially, I’ve kept finding Stephanie creating dresses that I too had wanted to make but never got to.  I’m thinking mainly of her patio dress which I’ve been longing to make something similar in a cotton gauze since I got a pattern for in 2012.

I find it’s a fine line between recreating a look for your very own and hacking the design – and it all comes down to credit: Give credit where it’s due.

Creating (whether it be sewing or knitting or anything) is a personal and fun process.  I really think it’s great when a gal will write a comment to me that I’ve inspired her to go out and get the same pattern or the same fabric/yarn to make a garment for their very own too.  It’s truly one of the greatest compliments I can get as a seamstress and makes me tickled that you’d like it so much to make one for your very own.  :)

I’ve never felt like my dress was ‘stolen’ as long as it was made known – which is how I feel most of us bloggers & sharers of projects feel.  So Stephanie “Thank You” so much for inspiring me to make this cute 50’s picnic dress.  If you ever visit Chicago – we have to wear it together and be twinkies for the day.  :D

First of all, I would like it known that this is most likely the first time you’ve seem my shoulders!  heh  I’m sooo NOT fishing for comments but I really don’t like my chunky upper arms.  My shoulders are fine – but there’s a shall we say…. thickness to my arms.  Now I’ve been working out a ton and can do 30 lb. shoulder presses and even dead lift 115 lbs.  But my arms have remained “looking” the same no matter what.  So here they are…  I just have to get over it I guess and this is step one.

This angle is fine…

This angle is less than fine….

I went with a black detailing at the straps and piping at the under bust since it really breaks up the busy print so well.

When did I get so freckly??  huh  Okay… moving on.

I had a hard time getting the fit of the bodice just right.

I have such a petite upper bust that I was trying to add elastic to the top bust gathers and even that wasn’t working to prevent gaping.  I ended up removing a good 4-6 inches of width at the bust and doing less gathers there to try and help prevent gaping when I bent over.  It’s a tiny bit tight when I stand straight up but even so… when I bend over there’s still a slight gape.  Hopefully I can figure it out for next time – if there is a next time with this pattern.

I went and added in two side back panels of shirring onto the bodice of the dress using Gertie’s directions here.

I have to say, shirring this dress was the best decision I made; It’s fitted yet oh so comfortable to wear!

And this is how I can pull of wearing this dress to work:

This little cropped jacket does wonders for many of my dresses that aren’t necessarily work-appropriate.

My favorite part of this dress, besides the shirring & the print is the skirt.  It has these wonderful tucks on either side of the center front – it makes for a perfect fullness at the hem while remaining trim at the waist.

I followed the pattern instructions mainly & the only altering I did was to add that back shirring panel and reduce the bust gathers.  All in all, this was an easy summer dress to make.  And thanks again Stephanie for the inspiration to make this for my very own!

In: Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

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