Thursday, 13 March 2014

Jungle Fever….OR…Rumble in the Jungle

 Dear friends,
After the darkness comes the dawn, and after my floral failure I needed a pick me up.
Cue this simple and effective make that I already love.  This was so, so simple to make, out of only two pattern pieces.  I’ve made a sloper of sorts for a blouse pattern, which I used here to turn into a dress by extending the length.  It has no sleeves (obviously!) and the shoulder seams are just randomly gathered and sewn together to bring them in a little closer to be more flattering.  This also made the neckline a bit more of a slash than the jewel cut that it really is.  

So simple to do if you’d like one too my dears - just take a pattern for a blouse that fits you well and extend the pieces to the desired length.  Add in a little extra material if you need/desire it – I simply added an extra couple of centimeters at centre front (could also do centre back), and then put a pleat in the front down to waist level.  Pulled in at the waist, I like to think this is the epitome of simple, yet chic dressing.

This is also low on fabric requirements - just need to the length.  Be careful to remember that two pieces are needed.  So if you are using 115 cm wide fabric, think about whether you are wider than about 110 cm at your widest point (or 145 cm for 150 cm wide).  If so, just get double the length.  I got 2.2 m so that I could line my dress with the same fabric, and I'm 169 cm tall - for point of reference.  I just sewed up two versions then sewed them together around the neck and sleeve edges before sewing the side & back seams (if I remember correctly), et voila.

A keyhole opening at the neck (closed shut with a thread loop) provides enough ease to get it over my head and bust.

It’s a bit of a muu muu without the belt, but will NEVER be worn like this so it doesn’t matter.  Got to think about the finished, styled result.
Here is the pleat I described above - made by simply placing the pattern piece 2 cm in from the fold line instead of on it, thereby creating a bit of interest and width in the skirt area.  I sewed it down to waist point, after which the fabric runs free.

Zoomed out, without cropping, this is the location of my photoshoot (rather too grand a title for this I think!), which gives a little glimpse into the oasis that is my Mother’s garden.  (Please excuse my pondering face - my camera, tripod and remote are all new and I'm learning!)

Here’s the view from the same spot outside.  Nirvana.

Here is how I wore the dress on the 16 hour flight from NZ to Dubai.  After boarding in, I took off the belt and settled in as comfy as could be (in economy – one day I might “turn left”).

Happy sewing folks!


  1. Bravo! With the belt it looks fabulous --the fabric is really special too!

  2. Thank you Annie. You're right, the fabric *is* lovely - it's a fine cotton and is so soft to the touch. A souvenir from a holiday too so it's really special. Rachel ☺

  3. It looks so lovely and cool and I love that print, it's fabulous! Wearable souvenirs are the best sort, every time you wear it you think about your trip :)

    1. Thank you Carolyn. You are exactly right - wearable souvenirs are a lovely reminder of trips past. Happily, I have a couple of such reminders in my wardrobe! Rachel ☺

  4. Really like that fabric and the dress on you, but what really strikes me is how idyllic the garden looks, oh to have a garden like that, I'd live in it!

  5. Thanks Anita! The garden is ridiculously lovely - a real haven from reality. After my family, it is probably what I miss most about NZ! It has a Wendy house and a shed - shall we each take one over? ;-)
    The last photo is from a friend's garden in Auckland, which is 900 km north of Wellington. The climate is write different up there (warmer, less windy, humid) and the gardens are different as a result. Cool huh.


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