aka the Floral Explosion Holiday Dress.
I don’t often toile my first-time pattern attempts. I tend to cross my fingers, send up a little prayer and hope for the best.
However when a first-time pattern calls for over 4 metres of fabric and the final fabric is absolutely scrumdiddlyumptious, I’m reluctant to risk destroying it in a risky game of sewing roulette.
So here we are in my toile of the Papercut Patterns Celestia Dress. 4m+ of some of the most extravagantly floral fabric I’ve worn! This fabric was an impulse purchase from the Spotlight bargain table for less than $4 a metre. I wasn’t quite sure why I bought it at the time, or why I thought 5m was a good idea and I’ve nearly destashed it several times… however here we are…
It a very straight forward sew. The bodice is very cropped and more of a ‘ledge’ for two tiers of fabric to cascade from. There are no bust darts or shaping.
I think the straps are too far set towards the sides. I’d bring them in approximately 10mm or slightly less next time. for some reason I thought I’d experiment with doubling the straps. While it’s got potential, the complex back tie arrangements needs more visual detail is not warranted.
The back ties…. I was drawn to this pattern because I loved the back view – however it’s my biggest gripe.
Fabric recommendations are mid-weight woven (cotton, rayon, linen and blends).
The straps definitely fell into a ‘call a friend’ category to adjust, pull in the back bodice to fit and tie the front straps evenly. I ended up fiddling and adjusting the straps myself before trying it on, multiple times. The back loops are one fabric strap, sewn into a casing at the top edge of the back bodice, with the ends pulled out at openings at either end of the casing to form loops. While I liked the overall effect, I found it very fiddly to put on to wear, and if I pre-organised the straps to fit, I found it tricky to get off over my shoulders. So much so, I popped the stitching holding the back strap loops in within the casing.
This could simply be an issue with my fabric having less ‘slip’ than other possible choices, the back loop didn’t want to easily pull through to gather up the back section between the loops and fit the bodice nicely to my upper bust.
To tackle this issue, I decided to secure the back loops at a set length and secured them with several machine stitches. I threaded a piece of elastic through the casing and pulled it up to my desired length to fit, and then secured the elastic ends within the casing with several rows of machine stitching.
I apologise for my lack of photos or illustrations to assist here – my phone app is not playing nice and allowing me to upload any more images. Next Celestia blog post, I’ll provide some more.
This adjustment has meant the design has lost its flexibility in determining fit for each wear, and potentially the ‘relaxed boho’ vibe of a looser back fit – however it pulls the bodice in firmly while still providing comfort. It’s also easier to put on by myself and easier to take off with requiring endless fiddling with the straps for every wear (tying a bow, while pulling up the back straps evenly with your arms twisted behind your back and between your shoulder blades is quite a challenge! I salute those who easily can!).
I think I’ll risk my scrumdiddlyumptious fabric… I love the volume in this dress – and how it’s hanging from a cropped, fitted bodice. It’s got a lovely airy, careless, artless vibe when you are wearing it.
Pattern: Papercut Patterns Celestia Dress – bust sizes 76cm – 154cm (30 inches – 60 inches)