Deer & Doe Reglisse Dress (or, the Summer Seaside Dress)

Hi, everyone!  It’s finally summer here in NYC, so for my June Mood Sewing Network project, I wanted to make a dress fit for a vacation (even though I don’t have any trips planned, boo).  I feel like I’m ready to sail away on a yacht in this dress!  Well, maybe a dinghy… not sure if I’m quite posh enough for a yacht…

I used the Deer & Doe Reglisse dress pattern that I coveted the minute I saw.  It’s easy to put together, but I took my time with it since I’d never worked with fabric cut on the bias before.  I put out a call on Twitter for your favorite tips for sewing on the bias, and your advice was invaluable!  I used a longer stitch length (3mm) and placed strips of paper under the seams while I stitched.  The longer stitches keep your seams from popping when the bias flexes and relaxes, and the paper kept things from getting messy under the presser foot.  Then I let the dress hang on my dress form for 24 hours to let the bias sections of the skirt stretch out before trimming the hem even.

Please excuse my rumpled look– these photos were taken at the end of the day!

I picked out a lovely cotton voile from Mood Fabrics to keep the dress light and floaty on sticky days.  Originally, I wanted a lighter color, but when I laid eyes on this blue, I was hooked!  It has a lovely sheen, and I like the classic pairing of navy and cream.  I chose a shirting cotton for the contrasting collar and sleeves.  It’s a bit crisper and more opaque than the voile, which is just what I wanted.  I really loved working with voile– it’s easy to sew and press, and just feels so breathable and lovely.

The bodice is self-lined, and the skirt is lined with bemberg rayon.  I used a narrow rolled hem, which worked well, but man, does that take forever!  I felt like the hem was a mile long!  I’ve never worn or made a skirt this full before… well, not since elementary school, at least!  It’s really a change of pace for me, but I like it.  But girls– do you get used to feeling, um, insecure, on a breezy day?  It was just a little breezy when I wore this the first time, and I felt like I was seconds from a Marilyn moment the whole time!

Overall, I really like this dress, although it verges on the twee (if I haven’t crossed that line completely).  If I could change anything, though, it would be to find a way to make this without an elasticized waist.  The dress pulls over your head, so it’s really easy-wearing, but I hate how elastic waists look and feel so I’ll always wear this with a belt on top.  I definitely recommend the pattern!  If you’re thinking of making it, check out Ami’s cute version and tips for enclosing the seams (helpful if you don’t want to line it like I did).  Also, you should know that the dress is pretty short as-is.  I’m 5’6″, and the hem lands a few inches above my knee– doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but I know lots of you guys prefer things to hit at the knee.

Ahoy, mateys!

Alright, I’m off on my imaginary seaside vacation!  Just give me one quick minute to load up on Dramamine and we’ll heave anchor!