the anchors-away dress

This dress marks the end of an era. This number is my last fitted dress project probably for a year, to be generous. From here on out my sewing endeavors will be inherently and necessarily stretchy. So this dress holds a special place in my sewing heart. Not only do I really and truly love it, but it’s also one of the last things I’ll have to mark this time before I become a mother of two instead of one. (Unrelated, while all those little pink petals are certainly pretty and springy, we’re at the point where no matter my efforts at wiping off shoes and sweeping daily, my entry way is coated in smushed petals. I have a love-hate relationship with this tree just outside our front door.)

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My mom sent the CP Macaron pattern for my stocking at Christmas, and I was so excited to find fabric for a springy dress. At the time I didn’t know that I’d be pregnant during the springtime, so when we did find out about the babe, I wanted to get on this sewing pattern stat. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to treat the bodice and yoke: Should I color block? If so, what colors and patterns? So I decided to browse the Flickr page for this pattern to find inspiration. Lo and behold, I found a version that used all one fabric and then piping to highlight the design lines. I loved it.

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I made a muslin of the bodice so that I could address any bust-fitting issues early. As my last fitted dress of the year, I wanted it to be perfect. Magically the pattern needed no alterations, and I jumped straight in to sewing up this sewing baby.

I love the pockets inserted in the pleats. Those are probably one of my favorite features of this dress. (Though if I’m honest I love every feature, so saying that one is my favorite is basically meaningless.) I’d never sewn pockets this way, and while I initially cringed at cutting straight into the skirt piece, the pockets came together easily.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that making this dress did give me some grief. Though I usually feel comfortable with invisible zippers, I sometimes have a hard time wrapping my head around side invisible zippers, and I had piping to navigate on top of that. I removed a section of the actual cording from the bias tape around the side seam, but not enough to make it easy to line up the side seams correctly. And then when I did manage to line up the waistband properly, the piping made zipping up and down unwieldy. And then once I figured it all out, the zipper split neatly in two. And I threw out a handful of passionate hells and damns and walked away to find some chocolate.

Because of the zipper fiasco I didn’t get to wear my dress to church that next Sunday like I’d planned (and at this point, every week of being able to wear my normal fitted clothes is precious). But I did have enough insanity left to insert a new zipper about an hour before I needed to leave for the airport the day we flew to Denver.

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We can’t end this post talking about damn zippers, so piping. Okay fine, if I did have to pick a favorite element of this dress it’s the piping. I really, really love how it highlights the feminine design lines and breaks up the printed chambray. Inserting all the piping probably added only an extra half-hour of work. Worth it.

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Be assured that I will wear this dress until I can no longer physically put it on, because it’s really one of my favorite projects. Not all of my sewing endeavors end up exactly how I picture them in my head, but this one certainly did. I can’t think of a better little dress to send me off into the depths of stretchy maternity sewing. Anchors away, indeed!

***Specs: I used the Colette Patterns Macaron dress and didn’t need any alterations. The neck and bust are a size 4 and graded out to an 8 in the waist. I found the printed chambray at fabric.com and the piping at Joann’s. I think I’ll lengthen the dress by a couple of inches next time and may even add a navy band to the bottom of this one to add just a little extra length.

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6 Comments

  1. Posted April 18, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Wow- the piping is such a great idea- it’s gorgeous!

    • Charlotte
      Posted April 20, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Thanks! I think the piping is really what makes the dress!

    • Charlotte
      Posted April 20, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Thanks! I think the piping is really what makes the dress!

  2. Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I love this little number! The nautical chambray is fabulous! I have the macaron pattern, but have never gotten around to sewing it!! The piping looks fantastic.. 🙂

  3. Anisa Ali
    Posted August 3, 2016 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I love the nautical chambray! I’ve been thinking of making a dress like this, so glad to see another example of it. Nice job 🙂

  4. Posted July 23, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

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