Florence Dress & Vineyards
SUMMER IN SWITZERLAND
The official first day of autumn has passed already. Although it’s still warm enough to live in t-shirts and dresses, foggy mornings and falling leaves indicate the cold season is just around the corner. Perfect time to share one of my favourite summer makes and vacation pictures. I’m feeling a little wistful summer is ending again…consoling myself with butternut squash and pumpkin soup really does help, though.
We spent part of the summer vacation at Lake Geneva, Switzerland. We took these pictures on one of several trips to the gorgeous vineyards near Grandvaux. Hot summer sun, breathtaking view and hazy mountain tops above the lake – a place of quite unbelievable beauty.
pattern: hacked Florence Dress (Sew Over It), size 10
fabric: 2+m of printed viscose (gifted)
cost: next to nothing: fabric was gifted, 70cm elastic (1.99€/m), matching thread from my stash, fabric covered buttons (handmade, base from stash)
duration: ~4 hours
This maxi dress I made especially for our vacation, as I wanted to take something lightweight and pretty that would get me through the very hot end-of-August days in Switzerland and France. It’s made from a very ligthweight, soft viscose with a cherry blossom and butterfly print. It was gifted to me by my mother-in-law, so I can’t tell you where it was bought and how much it cost, unfortunately. I love viscose for travelling as it does not take up much space and weighs next to nothing. The fabric wrinkles quite easily, but I usually spray it with a bit of water after taking it out of the suitcase and hand it up to dry on a hanger. It pretty much looks freshly ironed afterwards!
For the pattern I used the Sew Over It Florence Dress, one of my favourite patterns last year, and added a few minor changes to the pattern. For the most part, I sewed a UK size 10 straight from the envelope and ditched the sleeves. By the way, this really helped with the fit of the bodice. I did have some minor fit issues with the 3/4 sleeve version last time. Since they were a tad tight, the whole bodice sat a bit tight around the bust when I moved. Making it sleeveless solved the problem for now, I will probably have to return to that pattern and fit it properly at some point. I bias bound the edges of the armscye.
I had more than 3 metres of fabric to play around with, and with all the Myosotis Dresses around at that time I was inspired to add some ruffled tiers. ( I actually found a print copy of the Myosotis Dress pattern in a tiny sewing shop in France and treated myself to a copy!) Here’s the two versions I sketched out before cutting out:
I really dig the right version, but the hubby had a vote and set his mind on the left one. Which was probably the only reasonable choice anyways. I later thought the horizontal seams might not have complimented the soft drape of the viscose fabric. What do you think? Should I try the other one, too?
To make the left design, I shortened the skirt panels and cut out two rectangles twice the width of the skirt’s hem. I gathered the fabric with two rows of stitching and overlocked the raw edges after sewing the gathered tier to the skirt. The added panel was cut out generously so that I could shorten it to the perfect length after the dress was finished and waiting to be hemmed. It hits at just the right height, so that I can wear it with both flats and high heels.
I tried quite a few options for the buttons and couldn’t find any that matched the style of the dress or pattern of the fabric. It’s quite a busy print already. This seems to happen to me with all the button-down-front dresses I made over the last year. I always end up making matching fabric covered buttons instead, and it always turns out to look best this way.
This dress is so versatile! I pretty much lived in it throughout the vacation. It’s perfect for every occaison and I wore it at home, in the restaurant, for shopping trips etc. I have a navy blue cardigan that matched perfectly for the cooler days and evenings. It’s a lovely pattern and changing it up a little this time only makes me want to try more hacks in the future!
Aslan not only enjoyed the long vineyard walks but also the making of this dress. He has a bad habit of stepping on carefully placed fabric or even falling asleep on it while I’m in the middle of cutting out my patterns. He might have been a cat in a former life, I think.
I’m still dreaming about making all those summer dresses while the leaves start falling outside…Do you have any pattern suggestions for starting an autumn wardrobe to get me out of this wistful mood?
Stay in touch!