liesl’s almost dress

This is one of those projects where the fabric completely dictated the project.

Liesl's Almost Dress

I picked up this Kokka Brush Paint fabric at a show in London from one of my favorite fabric retailers, The Draper’s Daughter. (Sadly, it looks like they’re out of stock at the time I wrote this post. At Nunoya as well.) I had no idea what to make with this linen/cotton canvas, so I bought a couple of yards. It’s been sitting in my stash, waiting for inspiration. One day I was lying in bed looking at it (one of the only advantages of storing your fabric stash in your bedroom, let me tell you), and I suddenly knew what to do with it! A SoHo Skirt and matching Breezy Blouse!

Now usually I wouldn’t choose such a heavy fabric for the Breezy Blouse, but in this case I think the fabric is light enough that it works. The goal was to get a nearly-continuous wash of color that falls off at the hem of the skirt where the brushstrokes end in an uneven selvedge, so I rotated all the pieces and cut them with the weft instead of the warp. However, I didn’t have quite enough fabric! I had enough for the skirt, no problem, but the fabric wasn’t quite wide enough to fit the bodice.

So I pieced it. And I topstitched the seam to make it look intentional. Which it was, in the end. Right?

Liesl's Almost Dress

It looks like a yoke on this blouse. Of course I would have preferred not to add the seam, but I’ve decided it’s a design detail here. Which is sort of fitting, given the rustic, workwear nature of the fabric itself. It reminds me of denim, so the piecing and topstitching are appropriate.

Liesl's Almost Dress

I’ve already worn these two pieces several times. They make great separates as well as an “Almost Dress,” as I’m going to call it now. Definition of an Almost Dress: two items of clothing that can be worn together, giving the appearance of a dress.  Several of you have sewn Almost Dresses using a variety of our patterns. It’s a nice way to give extra versatility to your clothing, I think.


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  1. Barb

    Funny, I just did this too. I made an Everyday Skirt out of some lightweight denim/rayon. I had some left over, but not enough to make anything. I just got the breezy blouse pattern and realized, with a contrast side panel, I had enough of the denim to make a top. Genius! It used up two fabrics that were too small to use on their own.

  2. Erica

    The yoke definitely looks intentional! I admired that design choice before I read that you did it out of a lack of additional fabric. What a great looking outfit!

  3. Theresa in Tucson

    And here I had just set aside the Breezy Blouse in favor of the Cielo top from Closet Case Patterns to sew up an Alexander Henry print (with sewing machines and flowers) I just bought because of the recommended fabric weight. You’ve proved me wrong so the Breezy Blouse goes back on the front burner for another Alexander Henry print that is winging its way to me. I do like your “Almost Dress” and have a few of them in my closet.

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