It's curtain fabric. There's no getting around that.
Over 15 years ago, my mom and grandma got this fabric to make curtains for the kitchen. There was fabric left over from that project, which got shoved in the back of a closet.
This nearly forgotten curtain fabric was unearthed in the great "cleaning up and moving the sewing room" project a couple months ago. My mom looked at the fabric and declared she didn't need it anymore. Thus, it got added to my barrel of fabric rolls. (Fabric barrel idea was totally stolen from Sewstine, who shared a picture of her fabric roll barrel in her Instagram stories the week I was moving my sewing room.)
The curtain fabric was now staring at me, from amongst my rolls of silk, every time I walked into my sewing room. I needed to turn it into something, but what??
Inspiration struck when I was writing my blog post about the Wildwood Wrap Dress I made last year. As I was waxing lyrical about the amazing pockets this pattern features, I began to think of ways I could incorporate these pockets into a fuller skirt.
By the time I finished writing that blog post, I had a plan. I double checked to make sure my mom definitely didn't want the curtain fabric anymore, printed out the final version of the Wildwood wrap dress, and set to work.
I decided to cut the skirt as a pleated A-line rather than the cocoon shape of the original pattern. To get my desired silhouette, I followed the angle from waist to hip on the pattern pieces straight down to the hem, rather than letting it curve back in below the hip way the cocoon shape does. I did this to both the front and back skirt pattern pieces. On the back piece, I cut out the waist darts, then slashed up from the hem to the end of the darts and swung the paper to close the dart and open up extra fullness at the hem. Finally, when I cut out my skirt, I added several inches of fabric at the center back fold, to be pleated in a manor similar to 1890's skirts. I added a few extra inches to the front skirt pieces as well for some pleats there. I wanted as much fullness as possible in my skirt!
Once my skirt pattern alterations were done, I cut into that curtain fabric. It's a somewhat thick, loosely-ish woven, cotton. I had under 3 yards of it, so I had to be careful about my pattern layout and couldn't be bothered about things like stripe/plaid mating, or even making sure the print was all right side up.
I cut the view A bodice and skirt length, rather than the view B options I used the first time I used this pattern. The shorter sleeves and skirt decision was partially made because of my fabric shortage, and partially because I figured short sleeves were just a better option with this thick fabric than rolled up 3/4 length sleeves would be.
This fabric really, really, liked to fray, so the entire dress is constructed with French seams - other than the waist seam. With the pleated skirt, that waist seam was just too thick to be sewn as a French seam, so I bound it with seam tape instead.
I lined the pockets and faced the skirt with a yellow gingham from my stash. The skirt is supposed to have a self-facing, but I didn't have enough fabric for that, so a separate facing it was!
I really, really like how the original pattern's fantastically large pockets combined with my addition of pleats worked out!
The finishing touch on this dress is the Obi-inspired belt, which I made out of a linen-cotton blend embroidered fabric, harvested from this skirt I haven't worn in several years.
I absolutely love how this dress turned out!
It combines all my favorite elements of the Wildwood Wrap pattern. . .
The beautiful bodice style and fit. . .
The obi-inspired wrap belt. . .
And the large pockets. . .
With my personal preference for a full skirt!
This combination is a winner!
Not bad for curtain fabric huh??