Axis Dress

Hi, hello! It’s been a while, things were looking very different around here last time I blogged about anything. In fact, it’s been nearly six months, the longest break I’ve had from blogging since I started six years ago. My hiatus started towards in December, when everything got busy for Christmas, and then continued as the beginning of my year was consumed by constant bouts of (all day) morning sickness, where I could barely be bothered to drag my sorry self off the couch, let alone into my sewing room. And then, just as I’m starting to feel like a human again, we’ve all been tipped into this bizarre, scary, unnatural new world of self-isolation and social distancing, which hasn’t helped with my motivation to sew at all! Even though I’m an essential worker, and would ordinarily be at work in the operating department with all of my colleagues, I’ve been told I can stay home for the 4 week long national lock-down period that New Zealand has been observing for most of April. There’s not a lot of information or evidence around Covid-19 and pregnancy yet, and I appreciate how lucky I am that I’ve been given the chance to stay safe at home. I’ve been working on a few new sewing projects, partly out of necessity- things are starting to get pretty snug over my 22 week bump, and partly just to do something that feels like a part of my old, normal life.

This dress is one which I made to wear to a wedding last November, which I had intended to re-photograph before posting, but I’ve missed my chance and it doesn’t go around me anymore! It’s a Papercut Patterns Axis dress, my favourite from their most recent Geo collection.

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The fabric is one of my favourite pieces I’ve ever bought, it’s a Japanese rayon crepe from The Fabric Store. Because I love it so much, and because I know that Papercut bodices aren’t usually a great fit for my body straight out of the packet, I took the time to do a muslin to check the fit of this pattern. And I’m really glad that I did! It took me three bodice muslins before I was happy with the fit. With the help of my friend Lauren, we draped two new darts, one at the bust and one at the armhole, and then rotated the armhole dart out. We also shortened the waist on the bodice, and lowered the neckline, and shifted the waist darts in  towards the centre front. I thankfully remembered to carry the length adjustments over to the beautiful wrap-around back!

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Look at that lovely back detail!

I sewed the version with the A-line skirt without the centre front split, as I thought this swishy rayon deserved a little bit of volume in the skirt. I had intended to shorten it a few inches, but when I tried it on I decided I really liked the midi length it was drafted at. I struggled to get the hem level, as there isn’t anything holding the back half of the skirt up except for the waistband it dips a bit, and looks longer even though it’s actually the same length. I couldn’t decide if I should trim it shorter so that it matched when I was wearing it, but I think it’s fine. I’d rather it was a bit longer than ended up a bit shorter, which was my worry!

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I’m really pleased with how the fit turned out, I felt really secure in the bodice even though I only knotted the ties together once. I think if I make it again I might decrease the width of the ties a bit and lengthen them, so that I have enough for a bow without it being too bulky, especially if I choose a linen or slightly crisper fabric than this fluid crepe. Because of the general wriggliness of rayon crepe, and it’s propensity to grow unexpectedly,  I decided to line my bodice in some lightweight rayon challis that I had in my stash. This meant that I had to cut a self fabric facing for the ties, so that you wouldn’t see my non-matching lining on their wrong sides, but that was simple enough to do.

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I finished the dress off with a “Hello, Gorgeous!” label from Kylie and the Machine, it’s so cute. It was a lovely dress to wear on a hot day for our friend’s wedding down in Blenheim, in what feels like much more frivolous times! I hope that you’re all coping okay with whatever your current situation is, and that you’re finding some escape in crafting (or being a crafting voyeur, as I have been!).

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(I was so excited to realise that I had these matching earrings!)

8 thoughts on “Axis Dress

  1. It was fun to help you out with this one – turns out I find it much easier to pin-fit someone else than myself!! Glad you found such a great pattern to use with the precious fabric 🙂

  2. Very nice dress and fabric print! A great find having the ear-rings to match! I will try draft a pattern like this one!!

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