Here is my most recent finished garment, a Vogue 8723 made with the Kulla design from Lotta Jansdotter's Glimma line.
There's quite a range of opinions on making garments with quilting cottons, and I'm somewhere in the middle. There's no doubt that quilting cottons are not designed with the demands of garment-making in mind, but I don't think that should completely rule out ever making a garment with quilting cottons. The great thing about sewing is you can make anything you want! Remember that Project Runway challenge from years back when the designers had to make dresses using only what they could buy at the Hershey's store in Times Square? I believe the important thing is just to know your material and how it will behave. Having said that, I think this dress is one instance where I miscalculated somewhat.
This fabric is fairly thick and doesn't drape, as one would expect from a quilting-weight cotton, so I wanted to make it into something casual and simple but fitted, to show off the adorable trees design but not look stiff or bulky. The pattern's baked in instructions say to gather the skirt, dirndl-style, but I briefly considered making pleats instead, as I was a bit worried about making the waist too bulky due to the thickness of the fabric. After pinning some pleats in, however, I thought they looked a little too studied, the way that it made the fabric fall in evenly-spaced folds, so I reverted to the gathers. What I hadn't considered at the time was that the extra bulk in the waistline would make my torso look a bit boxy, and the weight of the fabric would cause the skirt to fall a bit limply, instead of puffing out a bit for the cute hourglass effect in the pattern illustration. It also doesn't really help that the gathering quashed the print together below the waist, and the contrast between the spread-out trees and the quashed-together trees makes me look a bit top-heavy. Ah well, live and learn! I could unpick the skirt and try to make the pleats work but that would take *effort* and I've just got a bunch of new season Nani Iro that needs seeing-to!
As for the pattern itself, I'm quite happy with it. It's one of Vogue's "Custom Fit" patterns, which comes with different pattern pieces for cup sizes A through D. I cut a straight size 8 and used the A cup bodice front pattern piece and made no fitting alterations (my measurements are 31" high-bust, 32" full bust, 26" waist, and 34" hips). I think this might be the first time I've had a pattern fit me out of the envelope (though to be fair I haven't made up any of the Simplicity Amazing Fit patterns yet). The one structural alteration I did was to lower the neckline by 2". I'm fairly happy with the result, but I've also seen a lot of dresses made with the original neckline that look really cute, so I think I might try that at some point, with a fabric that has a more dramatic print to camouflage the fact that my torso is almost completely flat. Here's a link to the review I wrote at PatternReview.com.
I've worn this dress a couple times now and I'm mostly satisfied with how it has performed so far. The fabric is very soft and the pattern has a very good amount of ease built-in, so it's very comfortable to wear. I didn't line the dress so the gathers in the skirt sit directly against my skin, which can be a little scratchy but not that noticeable. I fused interfacing to the armscyes to prevent them from stretching out but didn't do the neckline, and I rather regret it, because the neckline has stretched a bit over the course of wearing and gapes a little now. This might be due to some properties of the fabric, but in the future I'm going to interface this neckline just to be safe.
Thanks for reading my inaugural blog post! I hope it was a worthwhile use of your time :) I'm planning out a shift dress in one of my new Nani Iro double-gauzes, and I hope to share it with you soon!