I loved my first version of Simplicity 2362 that I began plotting another one as I was making it. I found this great deep red rayon voile from Lincraft and an off white rayon voile for the lining and bought 3 metres of each. The first version was great but the weight of the fabric and the way I constructed it made it a little more bedsheet-ish than I had originally planned. So this time around I was determined to find the drape-iest fabric I could to do this pattern justice.
I completely ignored the construction notes inside the envelope because I wanted to line the whole thing. I also wanted to underline the bust pleats because this fabric is so airy. I started by basting the outer fabric and the underlining fabric for all the bust pieces and sewed them together as one fabric. Then I took each of the three skirt panels for the main fabric and sewed them together with french seams and did the same for the lining pieces. I hemmed the lining fabric at this point because I had planned for it only to drop as far as the ruffle. I basted these two fabrics together, marked out my pleats and treated them as one fabric from here on. So I guess the skirt part is kind of underlined as well?
Once that was all done I sewed the bust lining pieces to the dress turned it over, notched and topstitched it down. The photo below shows you the interior before I ironed the lining seam allowance and handstitched it down.
You can probably tell from the way I constructed it that this fabric was difficult to work with. It's so light and slides around all the time so it actually saved me a lot of time and heartache basting and taking everything slowly. I did notice in the making of this that the slower I took this the more relaxed I was. In fact I had to unpick things a couple of times and I was so zen I didn't get cranky or swear. Not even once.
I attached the ruffle with a french seam as well to keep it all enclosed and this was probably the hardest part of sewing this dress. Trying to keep all those ruffles going through the machine evenly even though it was trying to play slip and slide with me. Oh and it turns out my maths skills are a little sketchy. This ruffle was meant to be ankle length but fell just shy of it once I tried it on. Let's call that a design feature shall we?
All the work was worth it in the end for how this dress drapes though. It turned out exactly how it looked in my head. I may not get much wear out of it seeing as the days are getting cooler but I made it up now anyway because it will be perfect for lounging about in on my honeymoon.
What you can't see from these photos is that I made the straps cross over in the back. Here's a picture of the straps and all the pleats. It's such a pretty pattern. I'm pretty sure this isn't my last version.