When I first finished this dress it was a rainy autumn day outside. I put it on and wasn’t immediately sold. I had found the final instructions for finishing off the ruffle and waist tie frustratingly lacking and so I wasn’t in the best mood. I told myself to wait a little bit for some sunshine and then try again because this fabric is a little bit special.
In 2013 Arthur Toye, an NZ fabric institution with stores all over the North Island (maybe the South too? I’m not sure) announced suddenly that they were closing down.
I was devastated. I’d been buying fabric at ATs for as long as I’d been sewing. They had an amazing selection of fabric at decent prices, all the major pattern brands and notions, and they were in the middle of the city. The staff always took the time to create interesting displays and the store was always tidy. Sometimes I’d just go there in my lunch break to be inspired, pet the fabric and then head back to work.
After the Wellington store closed I was heading through Palmerston North with my sister to visit our Dad and we saw that their store was still open. We popped in on our way back and both bought a length of this amazing heart printed Rayon.
My fashionable younger sister turned her piece into some fabulous Culottes:
Mine went into my stash for a bit more “maturing”. I still have a lot of AT fabric in my stash but one day, and I admit that day is a long way off, I’ll pull out the last piece of Arthur Toye fabric. That day will be a sad day.
The StyleArc Giselle dress pattern caught my eye after I saw a version on Instagram. I decided I needed a fluttery summer dress and the hearts rayon called out from the shelf. That’s how fabric maturation works, you just have to listen carefully 😉
This was my first StyleArc pattern and I’d already been pre-warned that the instructions were minimal. There was no cutting layout so I made that up on my own. I had my supervisor at the ready.
It was a tight squeeze but with a bit of piecing I managed to get everything out of my short piece.
Despite the short instructions there are some nice details in this pattern. Binding finishes all the raw edges off nicely. I recommend under-stitching before you topstitch this down.
The longest part of this make was finishing the edge of the ruffles. They are so long and it’s a little fiddly.
This was second only to gathering the skirt ruffle. It was an even looooonger pattern piece but with a little patience, I got there in the end. The nice thing about the ruffle is that after it’s sewn on there is no need to hem the skirt, suddenly the dress was finished!
So, after two weeks of waiting for some better weather, I’m glad to say I like my new dress more. It’s very summery and light and the ruffles are fun.
Winter is very much on its way now however so I think the Lonely Hearts Giselle will have to wait until Summer 2020 for it’s next outing.
I think we’ll go to the beach together!
I’ll leave you with a fun pic from a weekend sewing session. I’m teaching a few of the ladies from work how to sew. Sarah and Sovaia are both making the Papercut Pattern Ravine Dress. How gorgeous are the colours they chose? They’re both really close to finishing now.
Happy Sewing! 🙂