When I got this floral from Girl Charlee’s April KnitFix, I knew it needed to be a California Dress. But it sat staring at me from my stash for several weeks because 2 yards is not quite enough for my typical maxi, and I wanted it for me rather than for one of my daughters. I finally decided it WAS going to be a California Dress … just not my usual floor-sweeping length!
I folded my fabric and quickly cut out two scoop neck bodices to below-knee length. As I pulled the cut scraps from around the edges, I realized I’d folded my knit with the stretch going the wrong direction … womp, womp, womp! Frustrated with myself for not double-checking, I threw the pieces across the room and went to bed.
This morning I woke up in a more optimistic mood and decided to stitch it together with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance rather than the included 3/8″ and see if it might fit, despite the lack of stretch. I figured that if it didn’t I could cut it down to one of my girls’ size, but was elated to find that it worked! It is a bit snugger than the pattern intended, but not terribly tight. Whew! I will definitely will be double-checking the stretch direction next time, though!
Crisis averted, I finished the neckline and armholes and decided that while I was sewing up a hem length that I hadn’t done before, I’d go ahead and add in the elastic waistline option, too. I moved the elastic line up to empire waist to accentuate closer to my natural waist and I like how it feels a bit more casual than adding a belt like I usually do. After putting in the waistline, I used my serger to roll-hem the bottom, taking off just a little of the length so that it hit at my knee rather than below.
It is so comfortable and cool! I see this sundress getting lots of everyday use this summer! I am so glad that I woke up in a better mood and gave it a try! I definitely learned my lesson to double-check the stretch before cutting, though. However, now, I’m toying with the idea of trying the California Dress in a lightweight, drapey woven … I’ll keep you posted if I do!
Happy Sewing!! ~ Joelle