Right after I finished making my first woven California Dress (and before I even wrote about it), I added some peach skin to my Girl Charlee KnitFix order so I could sew another! These bicycles have been calling my name ever since I first spotted them, but I’d been resisting up to that point because I mostly sew with knits. Haha, leave it to my favorite dress pattern to bust that resistance!
The key to choosing a woven fabric for the California is to pick something drapey, not stiff. This peach skin is perfect. It’s lightweight and soft and drapey, but the dark color ensures that it’s not see-through (because that could be embarrassing, lol).
Like the last time I sewed the California from woven, I again made the neck and arm bindings from knit. The stretch of the knit bindings pulls the woven in closer to my body so the neckline and armscyes don’t gape and show off more than intended. 😉
The only issue I had this time around was my own dumb mistake. I was hurrying and grabbed the wrong size pattern and didn’t realize it until I went to try it on to mark where I wanted the waistband. I could get it on, but it was very tight! I have the California pattern printed and cut in both 1x and 2x sizes and using a woven fabric definitely requires using the bigger size (when using knit, I like to size down because I prefer the closer fit, but it simply doesn’t work without stretch fabric). I seam ripped and resewed the side seam with a minimal allowance from the armscye down past my natural waist and it’s still snug, but wearable.
I was glad I could save my lovely bicycle fabric. After this, I’ll be marking the sizes on my two patterns in big numbers using red pen so to avoid making that mistake again (especially since I cut two dresses this time … keep an eye on the blog next week for me to salvage that mistake).
I wasn’t sure if the bikes would be “too much” in maxi length, but figured I’d give it a shot and could chop it shorter if need be. I kinda love it long, though! I like how much lighter weight and billowy the California is when made from a lightweight woven rather than knit (note how the wind caught it when I was trying to get a pic of the back … I’m not quite that wide, haha). It’s incredibly comfortable!
The fun print and elastic waistband make it feel more casual to me than some of my other maxi dresses. It’ll be perfect for everyday wear this summer! Yay for being able to throw on one garment and look all “put-together” in the heat of summer!
Happy Sewing!! ~ Joelle
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HI! I saw your post through the Girl Charlee Fabric group and love this dress! You did a great job and I now have to go purchase the bike fabric (fingers crossed) 🙂 Thank you!
Thanks! Happy to have inspired you!