It’s been a while since I made a black dress. For a couple of years a long time ago it’s basically all I made or wore – formal, work-friendly, casual and beachy (true story) black dresses. I had a wardrobe full of black dress options to throw at any situation life could throw at me.
Of course like the rest of the world I’ve tried to move on and embrace colour and prints and neutrals and navy and charcoal etc etc – to the point where I often avoid the black section altogether when I fabric shop. But lately I’ve been missing my widow’s weeds – so I made this black Papercut Sigma dress. If you want to get all technical it’s not really black because the Anna Ka Bazaar viscose I used has a sweet smattering of cream flowers. The fabric is so gorgeous and delicate and soft, I’ve even seen it made up as a baby onesie!
The Sigma is another fun and relatively easy project from Papercut Patterns – this one came together with little drama (apart from the bit where I accidentally overlocked a piece of the dress to a seam and made a tiny hole in the sleeve – will I ever learn not to sew after wine). I made a few small changes to this version – I chose the short-sleeve option and lengthened it to elbow-length; and added a lining to the skirt because the fabric is quite flimsy. I also lengthened the skirt by a couple of inches (the pattern is SHORT!) and added some extra depth to the pockets.
For beginner sewists the biggest challenge is possibly the invisible zipper – I hand-stitched mine and it took a bit of messing around until I was happy with the alignment of the waist seam. I also really struggled with a self-inflicted hem disaster – I couldn’t decide how to hem the skirt and ended up just overlocking, folding up and hand-stitching, but it’s a bit of an uneven disaster, as evident in these pics! I’ve since gone back and added an inch-wide bias hem using the leftover viscose and it hangs better and looks so much less…ragged.
It’s been fun dabbling with black again, between this and my recent Tokyo Jacket I’m totally back in the zone. And speaking of Tokyo – Klarissa and I have just had a two-day extravaganza of fabric buying at Nippori Fabric Town, which we’ll be posting about in the coming weeks. Among all the Japanese prints and colours I managed to sneak in some blacks – old habits die hard!