I’m ecstatic to share this beloved dress with you!
This fabric definitely came before anything else and is the star of the show. It’s a red Nanette Lepore embroidered cotton from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. I coveted this fabric for a couple of months, visiting it regularly at the store and lamenting the price tag. At $50/yd, it’s a bit more than I would pay for a cotton fabric, but as I thought about it for a while and couldn’t find anything similar online, I took the plunge and picked it up during one of Britex’s 20% off sales. Thankfully, it stuck around in the store waiting for me. 🙂 Kismet.
As I was attempting to conserve my cash, I purchased the bare minimum amount at 2.5 yards and picked up some high quality perfectly matching ivory linen from the remnant floor to go with my beloved fabric. My original intention was to make the By Hand London Kim dress with a solid bodice and print skirt. I muslinned the Kim first before I used my precious fabric and was not totally and completely in love with that pattern, so I went back to the drawing board. I looked through my patterns and couldn’t come up with the right pattern I was envisioning in my head that also would use the amount of fabric I had.In the end, I opted to go with my TNT pattern Butterick 5982, which would use all of my fabric. I was looking forward to this dress with a contrast bodice, but instead my result was one where my fabulous fabric is 100% on display. I’ve made this pattern five times already, so it’s a quick and easy make for me that fits me well and the best kind of pattern to use for a beloved fabric.
I lined the bodice with my original linen remnant, but left the skirt unlined. My embroidered fabric is medium weight and doesn’t need lining, but I prefer the bodice of this dress pattern to be lined. I have made this pattern with an unlined bodice, finishing the neckline and armscyes with bias tape.
This dress is graded up to about a size 26. This pattern has cup sizes, so it makes it easier to get a better fit. The only alteration to this dress in addition to lengthening the hem by about an inch, is a swayback adjustment.
I wore this dress while my husband and I were in Boston. We were exploring the North End and walking the Freedom Trail the day I wore this dress. This was my husbands’ first time to Boston and my second time walking the Freedom Trail. The last time I visited the North End was in the winter time, so walking it in the summer surrounded by crowds of tourists was a completely different experience.
My ancestors were Massachusetts Bay colonists, arriving in Boston in the early 1600’s. I found many on my family tree that lived in Boston and Charlestown (as well as surrounding areas), but couldn’t find anything online if their graves existed in Boston. Aside from tracing branches of my tree, I haven’t done much research on my individual family members, so I don’t know where exactly any of my ancestors actually lived. I do still feel rooted to the Boston area and imagine that I was walking the same streets that others in my family have walked before. It’s a amazing feeling and a sense of place, which is something that doesn’t exist where I live in California.
- Dress: Butterick 5982 in red embroidered Nanette Lepore cotton, made by me
- Shoes: Birkenstock Gizeh
- Purse: Dooney & Bourke
- Sunglasses: Tory Burch
- Earrings: Luxulite on etsy
- Bracelet: My Sun and Stars for You on etsy