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April 29, 2021
Summer is coming, and my baby bump is growing - I’ve been on the search for things that are lightweight, accommodate my growing bump, and are still somewhat flattering and within my normal style aesthetic. This has not been an easy combination of things to achieve! As I began looking through the current selection of Raspberry Creek Fabrics, this fun stripe caught my eye. The colors are beautiful, and rayon seemed like a perfect option for a hot baby bump summer. I requested enough of this fabric with a fun wrap skirt in mind, and was ready to get to work.
When it arrived though, another idea had entered my mind… While the wrap skirt was still a great idea, and something I knew I’d been able to wear through most of my last pregnancy, I’d recently worn my Fibre Mood Mindy Dress that I sewed last summer, and loved the way it hangs on my shape right now. So I did what all undecided sewists do when forced to make a decision… Took to Instagram and had someone else make the decision for me! I put up a little poll to show off my fabric, and let others vote between the Rosy Pena Marie Wrap Skirt and Fibre Mood Mindy Dress. Y’all picked the Mindy, and I’m thrilled - THANK YOU :)
Rayon is the perfect lightweight, flowy, breathable summer fabric. As soon as I got my hands on this I knew it was going to be a lovely summer garment! Sewing with rayon is always a little bit fiddly for me, but the end result is well worth the additional effort. I tried to be as careful as I could cutting out this shifty fabric, making sure my center folds were aligned well on a particular stripe and that my fabric didn’t go trailing off in a weird direction on one side or the other.
I didn’t take any extra special care to accommodate any stripe matching on this dress, partially because it isn’t often a high priority for me, and partially because I felt like there are enough colors in the stripes that it wouldn’t matter terribly whether they all matched up perfectly at the sleeve / neck band or not. My two neck bands came out featuring two different colored stripes on each side. I like both the color combinations, and I am almost glad they came out a little different!
The colors of the fabric are just as lovely in person as they are on the screen - sometimes I find that after I prewash a fabric, the color dulls a little bit from that original wow factor. Not this one - it is just as lovely as it arrived! My only fear when the vote came out in (heavy!) favor of the Mindy Dress was that between the big sleeves, loose fit of the skirt, and bold stripes, I might end up looking a bit like a circus tent! However, the stripes are not thick enough (or primary colored enough) for any circus tent concerns to be warranted! The fabric is slightly sheer, and if you look closely you can tell where it is interfaced and double layered at the front and back neckline facings, but it is not so sheer as to be indecent when wearing it! Just maybe don’t choose your a hot pink bra to wear underneath it, and you’ll be good to do.
The pattern of this dress was perfect for what I was hoping for with this make. The almost empire waist is high enough that I didn’t have to make any modification to make the seam sit nicely above my belly. I sewed a Size 36, the same size I sewed myself last summer, as I’ve been wearing my other version regularly lately and I know it fits well. The waist is gathered but loose enough that no changes needed to be made here! I made a couple of tiny tweaks to the pattern, based off a couple of things I’d noticed with my previous version. I am able to slip my Mindy Dress on over my head without needing to unzip the invisible side zipper on my previous version, so I chose to omit the zipper this time around. It works perfectly! Part of me wonders if I should have instead opted to add an EXTRA side zip, in an effort to make this potentially nursing friendly in the future, but baby isn’t due until the end of August and I won’t be wearing this dress much after the warm summer months, so I don’t think it will be much of an issue.
I also chose to finish the sleeve hems differently than the pattern recommends. This pattern includes the option to leave the sleeve hems loose or to elasticate them for a fun puffed sleeve. I love the big wide sleeves, so I chose not to add the elastic to my first version. However, following the instructions in the pattern left me with the serged edge visible from the inside of the big sleeves from time to time. This time around, instead of serging the edges and turning under once, I just did a standard twice turned under sleeve hem and I like the look much better.
The day we took these photos, it was warm and lovely but pretty windy in our neighborhood! About halfway through our walk, I was nervous I’d picked the wrong day to try to get photos of this skirt - and that everyone would be treated to the sight of my undies! Somehow, despite being lightweight and flowy, this dress never once flew up in the wind or led to an unexpected show. I was very pleasantly surprised! It also stood up to the test of running up and down the playground equipment in the breeze - and still no wardrobe malfunctions! If that isn’t a testament to this awesome fabric, I don’t know what is!
Dress: handmade by me
Pattern: Fibre Mood - Mindy Dress
Fabric: Raspberry Creek Fabrics - Off White Vertical Stripe Print Rayon Challis for CLUB Fabrics
Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine
Brother 1034D Overlocker
Schmetz Jersey Ballpoint Needles
Dahle 36x48 Self-healing Cutting Mat
Heat & Bond Soft Stretch (Lite)
Thanks for reading my thoughts on this make! The fabric used for this post was generously provided to me by the team at Raspberry Creek Fabrics in exchange for a blog post about my experience working with this fabric; the pattern used here was purchased by me. The words and opinions expressed throughout this post are my own, as always. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links - if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!
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