Papercut Sway Dress

Hi Everybody!! I finally managed to get some pictures of my Papercut Patterns Sway Dress. I realize that it is crazy sunny in these shots, and I might blind you with the sun reflecting off my white skin, but when the mood strikes and your photographer is willing, you gotta go for it. And really I think the sun is making my skin look really nice, who knew the sun could actually hide flaws?

I made this dress to wear to my youngest stepson's grad back in May and my original plan was to get some photos of it when we were out in Nova Scotia, but it ended up being way too cold. It was quite crazy actually. It was raining, and windy, and super humid so there was no way I was taking off my jacket. LOL. Anyway, not a big deal as the grad went exactly as planned and we were thrilled to watch young Jack walk across the stage. Anyway, back to the dress.

I really hummed and hawed over whether to make a new dress or just wear one of many already in my closet. But of course at the last minute I decided: new dress! Then naturally, I couldn't decide what pattern to make. I thought maybe a Flora, or a Belladone, but neither of those seemed right. Then I spotted the seemingly perfect dress on Instagram. I couldn't believe that it was a Papercut Sway dress, which really, was nowhere on my radar. Rachel (of Boo Dog & Me) posted two beautiful versions on Instagram and I loved them both instantly (the other one is here). Doesn't she look gorgeous?!? I loved that she chose to make a wider fabric belt to really cinch the dress in at the waist, which gives this dress a completely different look than the pattern images online (at least that's what I think anyway).

Talk about a quick and easy sew! I think the part that took me the longest was the hem. I am not a big fan of hemming circle skirts, mostly because I'm really no good at it. I can never get the hem to be flat - it's always ripply. First I tried just pressing up the seam allowance and then stitching, but that looked horrible. So I unpicked it and used hem tape hoping that would work much like a bias tape hem (which I've had lots of luck with on other garments), but hoping the hem tape would be less stiff to match this fabric. Alas it didn't turn out much better, but I wasn't going to unpick it a second time and honestly, I didn't have time to redo it. And really who's going to notice anyway? Next time I will just do a rolled hem with my serger I think.

I haven't made very many Papercut patterns (even though I have several in my stash - Bad Heather! Make up those stash patterns!), but with the couple I have made, I have found that they fit quite big. So even though, my measurements indicate that I should make Medium, I went with a small, and I think the fit is quite good.

I knew that this dress is basically a giant triangle with a belt, so I really wasn't too worried about fit, but because it's important to have the bust fit and not hike the entire front of the dress up, I decided to do a bit of a cheater FBA and I graded to a medium at the bust. I didn't want to do a regular FBA because one of the great things about this dress is that it's reversible! You can wear it with the vee in the front, or the back. I really like it both ways, but right now, I am prefering the vee in the front. I also figured, that it would be super easy to slim down, if that ended up making the bust area to big. 

I really wanted to make a super wide self-fabric belt, but unfortunately, I didn't have enough fabric. I was able to make the belt a little wider than drafted though. I cut two pieces at 3 inches wide and the full length of fabric. This makes for a really long belt, but I wanted to be able to wrap it around my waist twice (if I wanted too - a girl needs options right?). While it wasn't exactly what I envisioned, I'm really happy with how it turned out. You can wrap it once, tie it in a bow, and leave the tails a bit long, or wrap it twice with short tails, like I have it here.

I really love this dress, and I feel fantastic in it. It's really comfy, and I think I look really pulled together (read: grown up) in it, plus it's so fun to go to an event in a dress that you made yourself. The other bonus: after a big fancy dinner (like the one we had the night of the grad - hello lobster!) you can just loosen the belt a little and still be super comfortable. Score! Have I mentioned the fabric yet? Did you notice the giraffes? Very Anthropologie-esque right? Well, it's from...I know you'll be shocked...Blackbird Fabrics! I've had it in my stash for a while, but I thought it would be perfect for this dress, and I was right! It's actually a poly crepe, and before you turn your nose up at the polyester part, you should know that Caroline really only picks the best fabrics, so if she's carrying a polyester in her shop, you can trust that it's great. It's not plastic-y at all, and did not even pretend to melt under my super hot iron. If you want to hear more about it, check out this post on the Blackbird Blog.

Okay polyester PSA over. Wanna see this dress without the belt and me doing some awesome action poses? No, you don't? Well too bad, it's my blog and I'll dance if I want to. LOL

So there you have it, my Sway dress. I love it, and if you're wondering whether or not you can jump on the sway/trapeze dress bandwagon, I say: yes you can! You may need a belt, like I do, but it really doesn't make it any less comfortable. Okay maybe a tiny bit, but remember you can always loosen the belt if you need to (it's like undoing your top button, but far less people will notice). 

I hope the sun is shining where you are, and making your skin glow too!