Friday, 19 June 2020

Fibre Mood Mira Dress in Fabric Godmother Viscose Print

If asked if I usually start a project with the pattern or the fabric I'd say pattern 90% of the time. I don't often buy fabric without a specific garment in mind but this is one of those fabrics I just couldn't resist and ended up on a hunt for the perfect pattern to pair it with. Viscose is one of my absolute favourite fabrics to sew with and wear. It is comfortable, breathable, drapes beautifully and is not too fancy to wear day to day. Whenever I see it in a wearable print I love I snap it up. I had a little preview of the new additions to Fabric Godmother's range of reproduction vintage prints at a trade show earlier this year and fell head over heels in love with this one. My obsession must have been obvious as Josie offered to send me some to sew up when the new designs were released.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Mira Dress in Fabric Godmother Jackie Vintage Viscose Lawn

This is the Jackie print in pink on a viscose lawn base. There are a variety of bases in the range; all viscose but some weaves are heavier than others and therefore have a slightly different feel and body. The lawn is definitely on the lighter weight end of things and has the tight fine weave you would expect from a quality cotton lawn. This tight weave gives it the most exquisite smooth hand and slightly buttery finish that feels so luxurious and cool against the skin. It is so fine and delicate that it is slightly sheer and you do need to be careful of it stretching out of shape as you sew, particularly around the neckline which I added stay stitching to. To stop things shifting out of shape when cutting I used lots of fine entomology pins (mine are from Merchant & Mills) to keep the pattern pieces in place without ruining it with big holes. You could use a rotary cutter and weights to keep the fabric in place and flat to the table but I feel like I get more control and a more accurate cut when using pins and good shears.

For reference I pre-washed this fabric on a 30 degree delicate cycle in the machine, which is how I treat all viscose. Washing hasn't altered the hand or finish of the fabric at all and the colours are just as rich. I used a medium heat steamy iron which worked really well.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Mira Dress in Fabric Godmother Jackie Vintage Viscose Lawn

When the fabric arrived I had remembered the colours being slightly fresher and more vibrant than they are in reality. But I'm actually really glad they're not as in my opinion that makes this print so much more versatile. The more muted colours feel right for all seasons and definitely have a more vintage feel. What drew me to this print initially is that it clearly brings 1930s/40s tea dresses to mind yet has a really contemporary vibe to it as well because of the bold floral motif and use of black. Despite being pinkie doesn't feel girly or twee; just my kind of floral. After doing a bit of research into colour theory earlier this year I've discovered that warmer, autumnal hues suit me much better then fresh, cool pastels. At first I thought this meant pink was not a good choice for me but THIS muted dusky pink has a definite warmth to it which really works. Especially with that red dotted through.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Mira Dress in Fabric Godmother Jackie Vintage Viscose Lawn

I toyed with lots of pattern ideas for this fabric, I wanted something which would literally drape me in the fabric and billow around as I moved to show the fabric off at it's best. I considered a Wilder GownHannah Dress and Ravine Dress before remembering that the Mira Dress from Fibre Mood Magazine had been on my to-make list for a long time. It is a fairly simple style with a neat, sleeved, empire line bodice and voluminous gathered skirt. I think these fairly non fussy styles without too many finicky details are always a good choice when working with a bold print. The fabric is the star of the show.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Mira Dress in Fabric Godmother Jackie Vintage Viscose Lawn

This fabric was calling to me to be turned into something dramatic and while the flare of Mira has some element of romantic drama I decided to add to it by adding a third gathered tier to the skirt and make it midi length. Whilst this beautiful breezy style is perfect for the warmer months I can absolutely see me layering this up and wearing it with tights and ankle boots in the autumn/winter. The existing bottom tier of the skirt uses two panels of the full width of your fabric and whilst I could have made an even wider tier out of three panels I felt the two panel version was about as full as I wanted to go. So I my third tier is actually inserted between the existing two and the panels are halfway between the top and bottom tier sizes. I added the height of all the panels and bodice together and measured to see where this length would hit on me. I felt I could do with it being a little longer so added 2" to my new skirt tier.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Mira Dress in Fabric Godmother Jackie Vintage Viscose Lawn

The dress is quite straightforward to construct; it is essentially a simple dart-less bodice which has a key hole opening at the centre back neckline, fastening with a hook and eye and a skirt formed of gathered rectangles. It would be quite a speedy project if it wasn't for all that endless gathering! I think gathering is my least favourite sewing technique. I think I'll probably revisit this pattern again as the simple construction leaves a lot of room to play around with different necklines, sleeves and even skirt styles.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Mira Dress in Fabric Godmother Jackie Vintage Viscose Lawn

Using a bias tape facing is fast becoming my favourite way to finish a neckline and I really liked how the instructions for this dress easily achieve a clean finish at the centre back opening. The technique also has you under-stitch the bias tape before you turn it to the wrong side which I always think produces the tidiest finish you can get. I was so pleased with how this turned out I decided to add one of my precious Kylie and the Machine labels!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Mira Dress in Fabric Godmother Jackie Vintage Viscose Lawn

The most annoying thing that happened while making this dress was that I realised half way through cutting that seam allowances aren't included. They need to be added to your pattern pieces and the seam allowances are slightly different widths in different places on the pattern so that takes a bit of time to figure out and do. I jumped straight in without checking the seam allowances as when I made the Fibre Mood Jasmin Trousers recently they were included (and marked) on the pattern pieces. Mira was in an issue of the magazine released a good while back and I was sent it ahead of release so perhaps Fibre Mood have changed how they do seam allowances since then. I decided that the lack of seam allowance didn't really matter with the skirt pieces as they would just be very fractionally less gathered up and luckily I had only cut the back of the bodice and had enough fabric left to re-cut it. It also gave me another whirl at pattern matching the centre back seam which still isn't quite perfect but I'm happy enough!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Mira Dress in Fabric Godmother Jackie Vintage Viscose Lawn

I wrote in my Jasmin Trousers post that it was quite tricky to differentiate between some of the markings for different sizes on the pattern pieces and have since been informed that if you use Adobe Acrobat Reader to print your PDF you can use the layers function to print only the size(s) you need. So much easier!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Mira Dress in Fabric Godmother Jackie Vintage Viscose Lawn

I had 3m of fabric which was plenty for this dress in the size 38. At 142cm wide it was JUST wide enough to fit the bottom tier skirt panels on. The size 38 is bang on my bust measurement. This particular pattern only includes bust and height measurement as really the only area that needs to fit well is the upper chest and shoulders. I'm quite pleased with the fit in this area but for some reason I expected it to fit a little neater under the arm the flare out. The cut of sleeve feels like it should fit into an armhole which sits closer to the body and I feel like I could have got away with using my pieces which didn't have seam allowance after all. I think it is just a new shape for me that will take a bit of getting used to! Overall I think Fibre Mood have got the oversized, bohemian feel of this just right. Being petite I find it easy to feel overwhelmed in these diaphanous styles with lots of fabric. I think keeping the sleeves reasonably slim and unfussy like these really helps to balance out the volume of the body.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Mira Dress in Fabric Godmother Jackie Vintage Viscose Lawn

Having no shape though the waist is a departure from my usual style and I considered adding ties at the empire waistline like I did with my Myosotis Dresses but now I've worn this about the house a little I'm really starting to enjoy the effortless, relaxed style of this design. I think a super lightweight diaphanous fabric like this is the perfect match for this pattern. I'm looking forward to the warmer temperatures next week so I can waft about in this and my handmade sandals!

There have been some other gorgeous makes popping up in the new Fabric Godmother prints - check out this gorgeous Wilder Gown from Ruby in the Luna Trees print!

6 comments:

  1. What a wonderful dress! Just have to comment because I buy old quilts to do things with, and I found this exact print in pink and black in its original tiny (granny) print in some of the pieces of one of my purchases. It works exceptionally well as they've enlarged it! And it looks like a very comfortable dress!

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    1. O wow! That's so amazing! What an unlikely coincidence
      It definitely works beautifully scaled up for clothing

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  2. This is amazing! I love the fabric and the design shows it off perfectly.

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  3. Love this pattern, and the fabric you have chosen is beautiful

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