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Staple Dress by April Rhodes

Staple Dress in Printed Rayon Challis

Staple Dress by April Rhodes

It’s that time of year again…the time when the air gets heavy with naturally occurring particulate matter smog, the temperatures frequently drop below freezing and this mama just wants to go into hibernation until spring. And with the smog comes my complete inability to take a good outdoor photograph. C’est la vie, they say.

On a brighter note, this Staple Dress (pattern by April Rhodes) is just delightful. It’s a bit impractical for me since I have a little dude attached to my boob like, 28 hours a day, but I’m sure I’ll get some date-night wear out of it until he graduates from high school and disengages himself.

Staple Dress by April Rhodes

I wanted instant gratification when I bought this pattern, and that’s what I (sort of) got. I first made a muslin (waist up) in a size small, but it was too big. I adjusted it to an extra-small and felt it was much more flattering. And when I saw this lovely rayon challis on sale at Tissu, I knew it was a match made in heaven. It was only about $8/yard regularly, so at 31% off (Halloween sale), it was less than $10 for the yard and a half I needed to sew this baby up. (You’ll need more fabric if you make your own bias facings, but I purchased some instead.)

Staple Dress by April Rhodes

I followed the pattern exactly as written, and the fit and length are perfect. The only problem I had was with the shirring. Now, I am not one of those people who fears shirring and swears my machine won’t do it. On the contrary, I quite like both the process and finish of shirring. But for some reason, it kept coming out too tight and snapping this time. I adjusted my machine a million times, and I tried my bobbin both tightly and loosely wound…but nothing helped. Finally, I left really long tails, used a long stitch length and tied the ends together on the underside of the fabric. This way, I could more easily control the amount of tension in the elastic thread. It’s still a bit of a tight fit when putting the dress on, but it will do.

Staple Dress by April Rhodes

I love the neckline and sleeve finish for this dress (and the French seams down the sides). I used purchased single-fold bias tape from Joann in black, and I sewed my loops together at a 45-degree angle (like quilt binding) to prevent a lot of bulk at the seams. Perfecto.

Staple Dress by April Rhodes

I’m sure I’ll be making more of these, and I might even try a tunic length with no waist shirring and a shirt-tail hem to wear with jeans. At just 1.5 yards a pop (or less for a top), why not?!

On a tangent…I miss my long hair! Why do I always cut it and regret it? You’d think I would learn my lesson…

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  • Lori

    Very pretty dress, the color looks wonderful on you.

    • Lauren Dahl

      Thank you so much, Lori!

  • Justine

    I like it! And your lip color is so pretty with it! Way to go with your persistence in making the shirring. Enjoy your date nights wearing this–you deserve it . . . It’s probably fun to put on an “impractical” from time to time.

    • Lauren Dahl

      Thanks, Justine!

  • Justine/sewcountrychick

    So pretty Lauren. I love your styling.

    • Lauren Dahl

      Thank you, Justine!

  • Trine

    Gorgeous, Lauren! You look beautiful!

    • lauren

      Thank you, Trine!

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