Sunday, 12 February 2017

Megan Nielsen Cactus Karri dress

This was one of those projects that became an epic before it started and jumped the queue right away.  Because I bought 1. meter. of cactus fabric.  And 1. meter. of silk georgette stretch lining.  Whyyyy?

And why stretch lining, you ask?  Hehe that's because of my recycled black tshirt side panels, of course.
Maybe I should start from the beginning.

Pattern: Megan Nielsen Karri, size XS
Fabric: 1 meter of textured cactus "canvas" (it's not) from Miss Matabi, it's actually dressweight and has got the most amazing spongy texture.
Side panels: three large black tshirts donated by one of my nurses
Lining: 1 meter of Theory black silk stretch georgette from Mood.  I might need to buy more of this and put it on the exterior of a dress too.   This was supplemented by something very similar - a black stretch silk I was saving in my stash for something else.  Well, needs must.

I made an XS.  My waist is 27 ish, but with the stretch I was not worried.  Same about fit adjustments... I just decided all my jersey would save me the trouble.

First of all, don't plan to make it with just one meter of anything even if you are a size XS.  Second, for best pattern continuity, put the front pieces together and cut on the fold instead of cutting four little pieces. 

But after that it came together really well.  Because this was my dream dress, I spent a lot of time thinking about which seams needed to be finished, and where, and how, and wishing I just had a serger!  I didn't finish the seams of the bodice, but I french seamed the lining of the skirt and I bias bound all the skirt seams.  I was going to sew the waist to the lining but then I just decided not to.  I did hand sew the lining onto the sleeves, which was actually easy and left me with a real sense of satisfaction. I notice a theme lately in the projects that matter to me.  Maybe there's hope I won't be a fast-fashion-sewist forever?

So it took ages to make my blog post for this because I was determined to take pictures with some cacti.  (Naturally.)  But when I'm near cacti, which happens often enough in Arizona, I'm not generally wearing dresses, nor do I have photo opportunities.  So finally I gave up but I promise if I get near some cacti and take pictures I will update them!

Initially I freaked out because the black of the three tshirts is, of course, three different blacks.  But I got over it.

I love my cactus dress.  I'm going to make more.  (Karri dresses, not all with cacti).  This dress feels so luxurious because of the silk, and the stretch, and the jersey, and I think it's probably my favourite pattern of ALL TIME.  (finally!!)  I will lower the front neck next time, and I might make one without sleeves...I have ideas.  Just not so much time!

Here are some (ahem, phallic?) cacti pictures from the Cactus Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, where I sadly did not have my cactus dress along.

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