I tend to try to buy completely natural fibres but I’ve been intrigued by TENCEL™ for a while so when Sew Me Sunshine allowed me to choose fabric, I thought why not give it a go? I chose this beautiful Black Sota Sheer meetMILK TENCEL™ and cotton mix fabric and thought I’d make something breezy for summer. I love that it’s sheer in parts and thought that would work well with a voluminous skirt/big pant situation.
I decided on an empire line dress as I’ve wanted a black maxi like this for a few years now and thought this weight of fabric would be perfect. I decided to try to make the pattern from what I already owned, so considered drafting it but that seemed like a bit too much work, so instead worked from a vintage pattern which already had an empire line bodice. It was about a size bigger than I needed so there was a lot of trial and error to get it to fit - I even toiled just in case (it was only a small bit of fabric to cut and rework so not too daunting!) I ended up doing an SBA and taking the side seams in by about 6cm overall and could have still taken it in a little… at least now I have the pattern pieces to work on for a future make!
I lined the bodice with some cotton and linen blend fabric from my stash and attached the lining to the waistline by stitching in the ditch to also help take a bit of the weight of the skirt. In hindsight I should have extended the straps at the back down to the waistline, as I ended up doing at the front, but hopefully they’ll be adequate to hold the dress up! I tried the bodice on a few times to get the strap placement just as I wanted it and I’m loving the spaghetti strap look!
I used an invisible zip bought ages ago in the charity shop so the paint on it is a little chipped but I figured the zip pull is so small compared to the dress it didn’t really matter. I’ve used a strip of interfacing on the seam where I attached the zip as I was worried it could just tear the fabric with use otherwise.
I cut the bodice and a small rectangle for bias for the rouleau straps from about 30cm of the length of fabric so divided what was left into three and joined them all together to make the big gathered skirt. As the fabric is partly sheer I bravely have gone for no pockets, so at some point will probably make a little drawstring bag to wear with it.
This was a very low waste make in the end and it was also great to be able to use other bits already in my stash. I can see myself wearing this a lot this summer!
*Rebecca was provided the fabric of her choice free of charge for her blog post & also provided with a £50 voucher *