Un plan de Paris

I’m a little bit of a map nerd.

I visit Stonemountain and Daughter fairly often, now that Harold lives a 10 minute walk away. It’s a delight of a store, and has a huge high-quality quilting cotton section. This fabric popped out at me as I walked past – maps! and an understated color!

Before you ask – the map isn’t quite geographically accurate (it has to tile, after all!), but it’s still fairly comprehensive.

The fabric’s from Moda textiles' Passport collection, in the Paris flea market colorway, I think. It’s a mid-weight quilting cotton, so it’s a little stiff for a full dress, but I decided to wing it, anyway. The bodice’s princess seams could handle a bit of structure, anyway. The body of the fabric works really well for the half-circle skirt, though!

I made this dress in the beginning of September, but it’s taken me forever to actually blog this. (I’ve backdated the post, because I like keeping track of when I actually made the thing.) In November, Harold and I impulse-drove to Livermore to go visite a few wineries. Harold’s been doing some work with researchers at UC Davis on how grapevines respond to drought conditions. In this image: tiny Cabernet Sauvignon vines getting a much-needed drink of water after being scanned.

Now that we have our own tiny (and irradiated) grapevines, we’ve been meaning to go visit some grapevines for a while. Tromping through vineyards tasting Petite Sirahs seemed like the right opportunity for this dress!

The bodice is By Hand London’s princess-seamed Kim dress. I haven’t tried either of the skirt variations that come with the Kim, but I’m hoping to make up the tulip skirt variation soon. I love the shape of this bodice, but getting princess seams to fit right is harder than I’d expected.

The skirt’s a self-drafted half-circle with pockets. I’d made this exact dress before, for my (as-yet unblogged) galaxy print dress, in case the pattern looks familiar. I’d intended the galaxy print dress to be a wearable muslin/trial for this one, but I think I like both equally!

I didn’t really bother with pattern matching, partly because I was running out of fabric, partly because the pattern’s too busy for it to matter, and partly because I’m just super lazy.

The left strap still ended up a bit too long; I wonder if my shoulders are sloped asymmetrically, and that left shoulder just drops more than the other.

I’ve worn this a couple of times now, both with and without a belt at the waist. This photo’s from a hike through Muir Woods – the bear does not appear to approve of wandering through the woods in an overwhelmingly twee dress.


I did my usual alterations on the bodice: a 1.5" FBA, a 1" wedge out of the upper back, shortened the straps, shortened the bodice, did a sway back adjustment, and took in the waist seams a little. Whew, that’s a mouthful!

The construction of the top was really fun, and awfully similar to the Elisalex construction. I ended up machine sewing the lining to the zipper, following Tasia’s tutorial for the Cambie dress, and hand-sewed the bottom of the lining to the dress.

The rest of the construction isn’t that interesting – all exposed seams are serged. For once, the invisible zipper actually meets across the waistband perfectly! Too bad the print’s so busy that isn’t noticable.

I’m a little displeased with the fit of this dress. I think I actually did a better job on the fit with the galaxy dress, since I took a lot more care to get that just right, and didn’t transfer all my adjustments to paper. There’s a lot of odd pulling/lines at the bust. I think the curve of the princess seams isn’t quite right, and might take a little more futzing with before it fits well.

Until then, though, I’m fairly happy with this. I’ve made better-fitting dresses, but this one has the tiniest Arcs de Triomphe on it.

Fabric //

Pattern // By Hand London’s Kim dress

Sizing // I cut a size 10, then did my usual adjustments.