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Violet Noor dress

by Melt.stitches

* This is a paid blog submission.  Guest contributors receive a small fee along with their choice of fabric to use for their selected project.  All content, thoughts + creative are the guest writers own. 

Handmade noor wrap dress in violet lavender linen with puff sleeves

I was very excited when I received linen swatches sent by Trin. There were so many beautiful colours that it was hard to choose a favourite… actually, no it wasn’t. I fell in love with “violet” straight away. It was the perfect lilac shade! 

I had been searching high and low for this shade linen for months and had no luck. Local fabric stores didn’t carry a purple shade this light and I wasn’t keen to purchase online without seeing and feeling the fabric first. 

THE FABRIC:

The violet linen from A and R is so special. The colour is the perfect pastel tone, I have not found anything as close. I can see it on many skin tones. This is a midweight of 160gsm which is perfect for dresses, blouses, even shorts and trousers. On the first handle, it is soft to the touch but firm. I can tell this will soften with wear and washings, and I envision my garment to last the years. I also love that it’s opaque and doesn’t require a lining. I pre-wash in the same way I plan to wash all my garments, on a cold machine wash and hang in the morning sun. I love the way linen softly wrinkles after it’s washed.

You can read more on this fabric here

THE PATTERN:

I received the fabric and had an initial idea...but I waited a few weeks until I was sure I had the right pattern. A fabric this special, requires the perfect pattern. My sister Jac, had recently made a hacked Noor wrap dress, and as sisters do, I copied her.

This is a free pattern by Fabrics Store. 

Let me share how I hacked it into the purple cupcake you see! I received 2.3m of this fabric which was ample for my dress (I made a size 4/6). 

THE HACK:

This wrap dress is beautiful as it is originally drafted, but I am a huge fan of puffy sleeves, and of course had to add some! I did this by the slash and spread method on the sleeve and also shortening it by 28cms. You can see in the photo below how much wider my sleeve is compared to the original pattern...I ended up spreading my sleeve to 70cm wide! My biggest, most puffy sleeve yet! 

I also wanted the dress to end above my knees, so I shortened the skirt pieces by 10cm (I’m 160cm tall for reference). The instructions tell you to add ribbons to tie up the dress, but I cut 25cmx 4cm lengths for linen ties. 

THE SEWING & LESSONS LEARNED:

Okay, spoiler alert. The dress you see is after a few tears.. I planned to cut, sew and complete this dress in one day. On new year’s day in fact! I don’t know why I always do this, but I set myself these goals to finish on the same day as I start. I also remember messaging my sister, telling her I wouldn’t need the instructions or pins for this project. *big mistake!* Yep, it was easy enough to sew the seams of the bodice without pins. I even managed to attach and fold the double fold neckline bias without pins. After a few hours of sewing, the skirt was gathered, sleeves were nicely puffed and attached and I’d just finished adding the ties. I tried it on but something was very wrong. The neckline was wonky and not sitting right...it seemed to jut out and not follow the curve of my front well. I thought it was my pin-less sewing...then I remembered: you need to stay stitch especially when it’s cut along the bias!!! *cue crying

This is what I get for being an overconfident sewist! After a bit of brainstorming, I realised the only way to fix this was to unpick the neckline bias; ever so slightly, baste and gather the neckline to its original drafted length and re-attach the bias. It was late in the day which also meant I wouldn’t accomplish my all-in-one day sewing goal, so I gave it a rest. I made sure to take my time the following day and it turned out beautifully. Lesson learned; it’s not worth rushing things! 

This violet linen is not only visually beautiful, it is also a lovely linen to work with and wear. I want to thank Trin for not only gifting me this beautiful linen, but for just being a sweet, genuine person! I’ve had plenty of chats with her and I can tell she loves what she does. As an online fabric retailer, she knows her stuff and only offers quality fabrics. She is someone I would recommend supporting in her small business!

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