Although we're squarely in autumn territory it's still pretty warm here on the peninsula, and I've been meaning to try out By Hand London's off-the-shoulder dress tutorial all summer. It seemed like a smart choice for pregnancy – nice and billowy, not too constrictive – and it looks like Bianca over at Fabricate Sewing had the same idea (incidentally, I also have a dreamy maternity kaftan in the queue).
Although I took a stab at drafting my own off-the-shoulder blouse this spring, the neckline ruffle and a-line shape of this dress were a tad more complicated. I used plain printer paper for the pattern (I really need to invest in some Swedish tracing paper), and it took me a couple of tries to get the arm holes just right. I also ended up cutting the dress a little too wide in an over-zealous attempt to accommodate my bump.
Overall it was still an easy make with just three pieces (I nixed the bottom ruffle), and I finished over the course of a couple evenings.
I bought a lightweight, textured chambray specifically for this project, and it was the perfect choice. I love the way it drapes, and it softened up even more after a pre-wash. After a few frustrating battles with knits recently, it felt soooooo good to sew on a simple woven cotton.
Like I said, I cut the dress too wide, but that was my bad (then again, I may very well grow into it over the next 11 weeks). And while I had planned to make a belt anyway, I soon realized it was wholly necessary – without it I looked like a giant friggin' liberty bell. So I whipped up a skinny, drawstring-style tie and finished the ends with some wooden beads. Instead of a bell, I now look like a giant present!
I've always loved the off-the-shoulder look. It's so summery and sultry without actually being that revealing. I'm glad it's on trend at the moment, but I'll be wearing this dress for many summers to come.