Marimekko + Xerea + giveaway!!!

Hi, guys! Happy Monday! Hope your day is off to a good start! OK, I am sooooo excited to show you this dress, so I’m just gonna dive right in!

Pauline Alice Xerea Dress + Marimekko | Ginger Makes

Erica from AlwaysMod.com contacted me a while back to see if I was interested in choosing a Marimekko print for a project*. Um, yes, please! I’m a huge fan of Scandinavian design in general and Marimekko in particular… the prints are just so vibrant and unique! I agonized over the choice for ages, but in the end I went with this gorgeous print, “Siirtolapuutarha”. It’s the Finnish word for “allotment”, which is a nice aside– it was inspired by urban gardens! I like that. 🙂

As you can see, this is a really large-scale print! It’s probably intended to be used for things like curtains instead of clothing, hence the huge scale, but I’m not one to shy away from a big ol’ print! I almost chose something with a smaller scale, but I’m glad I didn’t- this one really makes a statement!

Pauline Alice Xerea Dress + Marimekko | Ginger Makes

For this ’60’s-esque print, a ’60’s-esque silhouette seemed like the right thing to do, so I decided to make another Pauline Alice Xerea dress. I’ve been wearing my first version so much that I was really eager to make another! I enjoy seeing the way that one pattern looks when it’s made up in different fabrics. Since this fabric is much heavier and crisper than the barkcloth I used before, it really holds the tent shape! I love it, actually, although I totally get that this look isn’t for everyone.

Pauline Alice Xerea Dress + Marimekko | Ginger Makes

I thought quite a bit about print placement for this dress. I didn’t want to break up the print too much, but I also wanted to feature all the different colors in the repeat. I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out, although, really, I think I would have been happy no matter how I used the print! It’s just so cheerful! I’m especially fond of the little eyeball-shaped bits by the pink flower… they’re so Muppet-y! Get this: Man Friend likes this dress! I know… it’s shocking! That’s a pretty big win, in my book!

Pauline Alice Xerea Dress + Marimekko | Ginger Makes

I *almost* managed to fit the entirety of this giant flower on the back… not quite! 🙂 Let’s see, the only change I made in sewing up the dress from my first version was to do a 1/4″ narrow shoulder adjustment. It’s much more comfortable to wear now, although I think I could’ve taken out a smidge more. The dress was MUCH simpler and quicker to sew this go-round since I didn’t have any cutting mishaps like I did the first time! 😀

Pauline Alice Xerea Dress + Marimekko | Ginger Makes

OK, now for the fun part! A giveaway! AlwaysMod is giving away two yards of the fabric of your choice, yay! Unlike most of the giveaways I do on the blog, they’re dealing with all the logistics, so you can head over here to enter for a chance to win! The only catch is that you need to sign up for their newsletter, but you can unsubscribe whenever you want to so you’re not locked into a marriage with them or anything like that. 🙂 They’ll pick a winner on or around August 25th. Good luck, everyone! In the meantime, here’s a YouTube video that I stumbled across that shows the printing process in the Marimekko factory in Helsinki- I found it totally fascinating! Anyone else have a sudden urge to do some screenprinting?!

*Fabric was given to me by AlwaysMod.com to review. I super love it. No affiliate links in the post.

Xerea!

Hi, guys! I’m writing to you on a super sticky Saturday in New York– it’s a scorcher out there! Luckily, the sure-fire way to beat the heat, besides eating popsicles for every meal, is a new summer dress!

Pauline Alice Xerea dress | Ginger Makes

This is the Xerea dress pattern by Pauline Alice, view B. I keep telling myself that I will never buy another pattern, never ever. But somehow, despite my best efforts to stop myself, this one landed in my cart! 8 euros and 21 pages for the PDF wasn’t too prohibitive, so here we are.  Plus, a swingy, 60’s-inspired mini dress? Be still, my beating heart!

The design lines are really fun- front and back yokes, a deep inverted pleat, and cool curved pockets. Of course, these details are totally obscured by the print, but trust me, they’re there. 🙂 And lucky for me, the crazy print also hides a terrible secret… I made a huge mistake when I was cutting this out! I was squeezing the dress out of 1.5 meters of narrow fabric, and for greater efficiency, I was cutting the pieces flat instead of on the fold. I trace one half of the pattern, flip it over, and line it up with notches on the fold line before tracing the other half. However, instead of lining up second half with the CF notch at the bottom, I accidentally lined it up to the pleat line notch, so my front piece was about 2″ too narrow and was tilted off grain. Noooooo! There wasn’t enough fabric to re-cut the piece, so I had to do a crazy patch job, basically filling in the gap with scraps of fabric. Not ideal, but the mistake isn’t noticeable unless you’re close up, and everything is back on grain and hanging correctly. I’m calling it a good save and not getting hung up on the mistake! YOLO, dudes!

That topstitched seam isn’t supposed to be there… ooooops!

The pattern is a very straightforward sew. There is a small error in the pattern that’s been addressed in a new version of the PDF, but basically, the pleat line isn’t marked in the correct place. I didn’t see Pauline’s post until I had already made the dress, and I assumed I had accidentally stretched out the yoke, so I just eased the seam to fit. Next time I make this, I think I’ll do a small narrow shoulder adjustment. I usually skip them, but I should get in the habit of doing them… they definitely improve the fit of my garments.

The wind wasn’t helping me in all the pics with the back view, so it doesn’t usually hang like this, but I wanted you to see the back neckline!

Let’s talk about the fabric! Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s a cotton barkcloth from Miss Matatabi. It’s got this great texture and weight, but it’s still really drapey… perfect for apparel! There’s a pink/yellow/brown colorway on sale- you should totally buy it all so I’m not tempted to! Good work, team! You bought it all! 🙂 The fabric was a gift from the lovely Gillian… I sent her some stretch denim and she surprised me with this beautiful print! Isn’t it perfectly my style? Orange, blue, and mint? I love it! Thanks, G! Also: why is it so hard to find nice denim in Canada? What gives, dudes? And, do Canadians use the term “Canadian tuxedo” for denim on denim, or is that just a rude Americanism?

Pauline Alice Xerea dress | Ginger Makes

I know this is a simple dress and it’s basically a muumuu, but I really, really like it. It turned out just how I’d hoped! Well, with a minor detour to fix my scissor mishap! 😮 Tell me– what’s your favorite sewing pattern this summer (or winter)? Any new favorites in your collection?

Pauline Alice Xerea dress | Ginger Makes