Have you ever had a fabric in your stash that you loved and desperately wanted to wear, but were scared to cut into? You watch it on the shelf, each time you enter your sewing space, but there are other projects on your mind. So it gets put on hold, for too long.
For me that was this custom printed rayon challis from The Styled Magnolia. I purchased this on their pick-a-print almost two years ago with the intention of making a blouse. I thought I needed 1 1/4 yards but could only order in full yards. Well, turns out that when you’re short and small 2 yards is enough for a dress, a Rhapsody Dress!
I used the Rhapsody Blouse pattern from Love Notions and the pattern for turning it into a dress. I had previously muslined this blouse, which I loved but can’t wear. (The fabric was low quality and got ruined after the 3rd trip through the dryer.) I decided to size up 1/2 a size and do a small bust adjustment to get the best fit. Fitting a dress with an elastic waistband is a bit tricky. I have to remove length in the torso and in the skirt, but not TOO much, not too little…just right. I think that part turned out pretty well and next time I might remove 1/2″ in the torso.
I decided to raised the neckline a bit and bring the sides in as well. In the fall and winter I like to be warm. I love making my own bias tape, especially in rayon challis because it pressed so well. I’m really proud of the v-point on the neckline, but I might be biased. Get it?! Ahh, I know I’m not a comedian…
I absolutely love these bishop sleeves! So comfortable!
And since this was my first time tgrying out the rayon challis base, I want you to know that it is DIVINE. I have sewn my share of rayon challis in the last 20 years and it is probably the highest quality I have come across. I shudder to think of the project I made at age 16, which quickly became pilly and lifeless.
Anyway, if you’re used to the ease of fitting knits and the speed of sewing them, it would be worth your while to sew a nice blouse. Or if you have some basic garment projects under your belt and you’re ready to gather sleeves and make a bias bound neckline, this project won’t disappoint!
And in case you thought it was all smooth sailing, I did have a bit of trouble attaching the sleeves and had to unpick some puckers, resew, and resew. Good thing we have seam rippers for mistakes!