I do not know where I saw the Blake dress from Mingo and Grace first, but this, this and this version really made me want to sew one. The Blake dress that is featured on the pattern's cover page is made with scuba/neoprene, which gives the dress a very pronounced shape. Scuba is a rather new fabric type, I tried to find a nice definition, but failed. It is a bit foamy and the origin is probably wetsuit (scuba diving) related. I had never sewed with scuba, so when Droomstoffen gave me the opportunity to do so, I jumped on it.
I have been (digitally) across two types of
scuba, a very thick foamy (usually uni colored) one and a bit thinner,
flexible one, which more often has a print. The fabric I got is from the
second category, I believe this one was a similar type. The fabric has a
nice stretch and I decided to omit the back zipper, it worked out
great. The dress officially did not come in the size for my eight year old (max size is 6), but fortunately she has a skinny chest (she even fitted in a size 5) and I winged the length.
The Blake dress talks about soft pleats. That was a
new one, I never heard of it, soft pleats are not sewed closed at the
top, but they are sewed slightly overlapping. Soft pleats give more
volume in the skirt than regular pleats. My daughter totally got the
princess vibe from this dress, in most of the pictures she is holding
the skirt like it is a huge ballroom dress. The smartly placed pockets were of course a hit. The width of the front and back skirt is different and the pockets are very well hidden because of it.
One of the biggest
advantages of scuba has to be the fact that it does not fray. Not even a
little bit. I pre-washed this piece to test it, and the sides are still
perfect. They are so perfect that I decided not to hem. I did not
finish the neckline, nor the arm holes and also the bottom still has its
raw edge. You can imagine what a satisfactory sew this dress was. In
case you get inspired, this fabric is currently on sale at Droomstoffen
for just 6.50 euro per meter. I asked for 90 centimetre and managed to also cut a matching hear band and a dress bodice for my youngest, so even if I would have bought the fabric, this would have been a crazy inexpensive dress.
Making pictures of this dress
was the hardest part of this project. I love the colors, and I thought
that the forest would be the ideal place to capture them. Looking at my
camera screen, I felt that the dress was behaving like a chameleon, so I tried a
greener background, that was fail. A grey industrial background also
did not give me what I wanted. Finally I tried a blue sky one, because I was
very inspired by her pics, none of them gave me the effect I hoped for. I am still learning a lot when it comes to
photography, so what do you think, which surrounding would have worked
best with this dress? It has been a while, but this dress got a twirl test, and it passed!
I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free
to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google
translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than
English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).