My nephew will have his first communion end of April and I decided that I need a new dress for the occasion. I made this decision already end of last year and originally planned to sew Vogue 1196. Somehow I procrastinated this project again and again and end of February I only had a muslin of the front (which showed me that the bust is way too big for me) and two possible fabrics to use. So when Kennis looked for testers for her new pattern, the Kalispell dress, I jumped on the opportunity. Testing means I will have a deadline and a new dress within two weeks.
The only fabric I had in my stash in sufficient amount was this lovely rose print. It is a sheer batiste, probably cotton, and I got it from Gertie (Gretchen Hirsch) when she sold some of her personal stash via Instagram some years ago. I always meant to make one of her patterns from this fabric, but I think the Kalispell dress is close enough. As the fabric is sheer I underlined it with a white cotton batitste. This emphasized the print and I love the result.
I tried to match the print as good as possible. I made sure that the print on the front skirt is kind of symmetrical and tried to match the bottom of the princess seams. For some seams this was successful, for others not. Oh well.
Based on the finished measurements and the fact that this dress is fitted in the bodice I cut a size 2 A cup. My muslin showed me that I needed the following changes:
- small bust alteration for the right front only
- lowering the front waist by 1 cm
- lowering the bust point by 2 cm
- taking off 1 cm at back waist (for a mini sway back alteration)
- spreading the sleeve hem by 1 cm
- tapering the skirt to a size 4 (this was probably not necessary but I love a roomy skirt)
Due to time constraints I pinned my underlining to the fabric and skipped basting these together before sewing. As both fabrics are very stable and did not shift this worked quite well. The dress is not lined but this time I did not make any fancy seam finishes on the inside. All seams are finished with my serger. Again, time constraints. On the other hand, for an easy cotton dress I think is OK.
Sewing of the dress is not complicated. First the bodice is constructed and then sewn to the skirt. the skirt has simple in-seam pockets (love that, I alwas need pockets!) Last the neckline/front binding and the sleeves are sewn on. I added a white piping to the binding as I find that this breaks up the not matching print between dress and binding. The instructions have you topstitch the binding which would have been too much together with the piping. Instead I sewed on the binding on the inside by hand.
The dress is closed with nine buttons. I wanted to make fabric covered buttons, but somehow I was not able to. I do not know why, because I never had problems with fabric covered buttons before but this time it just did not work out. So simple white plastic buttons instead.
I love how the dress turned out. It is fitted but still comfy to wear. I think this dress is appropriate for a first communion. What do you think?
I got the pattern for free in exchange for testing it. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.