Finished Project · Sewing

The Big Bang Dress and Cardigan

Sew Well - Saltspring Dress and Nina Cardigan made with Mood Fabrics.

After taking a few months away from the Mood Sewing Network so that I could focus on my new baby, I really wanted to come back with a big bang.  I’d been keeping up with the Mood Fabrics New Arrivals page, and when this galaxy poly print from Mood Fabrics popped up, I knew it would be a stellar choice for my first MSN garment post baby.

Haha!  Too much?!  Big bang… Galaxy print… Stellar?! Also, please tell me I’m not the only one who regularly checks the Mood Fabrics New Arrivals page?

Sew Well - Saltspring Dress and Nina Cardigan made with Mood Fabrics.

At first I didn’t have a particular pattern in mind.  All I knew was that I wanted to make a dress so that I could take full advantage of the panels that I ordered.  I ended up choosing the Sewaholic Saltspring pattern since I thought the poly chiffon would work well with its drape and gathers (previously made here and here).  Plus, as a nursing mom I quickly learned that dresses are not inherently breastfeeding friendly, but the Saltspring pattern has ties at the shoulder that provide access where access is needed, if you get my meaning!

Sew Well - Saltspring Dress and Nina Cardigan made with Mood Fabrics.

After I’d chosen a pattern but before I’d gotten to any actual sewing, I learned through the power of Instagram that Sally of The Quirky Peach had squeezed a simple and elegant tee out of one panel of this print.  I’d worried a bit about how well the poly would sew and press since I tend to sew with natural fibers, but Sally had nothing but positive things to say when I asked her about her experiences.  I used my regular machine on the top (since all of the seam allowances are hidden in the lining) and my serger on the skirt (since I didn’t really feel like going through the process of making a French seam for a polyester dress), and the fabric behaved perfectly in both machines.  The little straps were even easy to turn as long as I took a big enough bite of fabric with the safety pin before trying to thread it through.

Since the poly chiffon is sheer, I chose to line both the bodice and the dress with a lovely dark purple silk crepe de chine from Mood.  I hoped purple would help the stars pop while being a bit more interesting than black.  The exact purple silk is no longer online, but this one is pretty much the same.  The Saltspring pattern doesn’t come with instructions or pattern pieces for lining the skirt, so I just repeated the main skirt pieces, removing 4″ from the hem so the sheerness of the poly chiffon could show through at the bottom of the skirt, and then sewed the top of the lining to the top of the main skirt before attaching both to the top. I hemmed both by pressing up 1/4″ twice and then topstitching.

Sew Well - Saltspring Dress and Nina Cardigan made with Mood Fabrics.

It’s been kind of chilly here in Seattle lately, so I wanted something warmer to pair with my new dress.  Mood had (yes, past tense, but other Thakoon fabrics can be found here) this amazing coral sweatshirt knit that Thakoon used for a loose-fitting short sleeved sweatshirt (and Lori from MSN and Girls in the Garden used for a fitted long-sleeved sweatshirt), but I was thinking more of a versatile cardigan wrap.  I figured the right pattern could make it wear like a sweatshirt (a must these days when I’m baby wrangling) but still work with dresses like this one.  Plus, the back of the fabric has this lovely nubby texture that I wanted to peek out through the long folds of a cardigan wrap.

Sew Well - Saltspring Dress and Nina Cardigan made with Mood Fabrics.

This cardigan was a really fast make because I sewed every seam on my serger and left all of the edges raw. I used the StyleArc Nina Cardigan pattern, my first ever attempt at a StyleArc pattern.  The shoulders are looking a bit too wide in these photos, something I didn’t notice when I was making the cardigan, so I’m not sure if I need to watch that when making future StyleArc patterns or if it’s simply that the cardigan has stretched out a bit because I’ve worn it nearly every day for a week.  It’s in the wash right now, and I’m going to make sure to check the fit as soon as it comes out of the dryer! [UPDATE:  It’s much snugger again now that it’s been washed.  I’m going to pay better attention to how it wears this week.]

Sew Well - Saltspring Dress and Nina Cardigan made with Mood Fabrics.

Life as a new mom has been quite hectic these last few months, but I’m really looking forward to posting regularly again at MSN.  Though I’ve long since forgotten what it means to sleep through the night, baby girl and I have gotten into enough of a routine that I can regularly sneak time in front of my sewing machine, and I’ve had several months to dream up lots of things that I want to sew for MSN.

This post can also be found on Mood Sewing Network. I used my MSN allowance towards the purchase of the fabric.

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23 thoughts on “The Big Bang Dress and Cardigan

  1. I love it! The print is so pretty… and I actually just put a yard of it into my cart. I think I’m too shy for a dress, but a scarf would be just right!

  2. You know, I clicked on this link with some trepidation. What a title! I do love the dress~~. And the color on the cardigan is a perfect match.

    1. Thanks! I am really happy with the color of the cardigan, too. I’ve actually been able to pair it with much more in my wardrobe than I had realized at first. Bonus!

  3. I bought the Style Arc Nina cardigan pattern when I was pregnant and I made 3 of them. They are truelly lovely. I’ve noticed the same thing with the shoulders though, I think it’s the collar part pushing the shoulders down. Your girl is about the same age as mine (5.5 months), so how is she doing?

  4. Really pretty dress and great look! I love the galaxy print! Great idea to choose a tie strap dress for breastfeeding access. I can see some similar makes in my future 🙂

  5. Lovely Amy and well done you for getting your figure back! Also for establishing a routine that gives you “me” time.

  6. I remember the days of “sneaking” time in for sewing!! 🙂 I still have to sneak it in!!! I love this dress. Your fabric choice is awesome.

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