Well, here it is after all the weeks of my talking about it…the famous June Dress. As you probably know, I set myself up with a challenge of making at least one dress each month for the entire year. I had originally planned out the entire year based on fabrics I already had, trying to make each dress specifically for an event that month, or failing that, at least coordinated with the weather/season of that month(ie, I might make a summery and/or nautical looking dress in July and a more autumn colored one in October).
When I was invited to a co-worker/employee’s(I’m not really sure what to call the people I work with since I’m not technically their employer but they do work for me….??) June wedding, I knew that was the perfect oportunity to make a show-stopping dress. I don’t like wearing solid color dresses to weddings as I feel like you run the risk of looking like a bridesmaid. I figured a nice floral print would be the best for this late spring/early summer wedding.
I’m pretty picky when it comes to floral prints. I wanted a somewhat abstract/not perfectly detailed and nothing in a crazy color or crappy material. When I stumbled across the fabric which would eventually become my June dress, it was love at first sight. It ticked all the boxes: abstract floral design, good quality material(silk/wool blend), beautiful colors. The fact that was designed by Oscar De La Renta really just sealed the deal. The only caveat was the price. At $40/yard and knowing I needed at least 2-3 yards I figured it was too expensive to be a reality.
Finally, I just decided to use my birthday money to buy the fabric and accessories to make the dress. I didn’t even have a pattern picked out yet when I bought the fabric. I figured I’d find one and make it work. I looked around Neimen Marcus and Saks for inspirations of a silhouette that I could create using a pattern I already had.
Then McCall/Butterick/Vogue patterns had a huge sale on patterns, and I decided to take a look and see what they had. I fell in love with this pattern designed by Gertie of Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing(I own her sewing book as well and I love it).
I ended up having to buy a bit more of the Oscar fabric as well as some silk organza(to make the double bodice lining), spiral steel boning and fabric for the bustier/strap(and then ended up using some fabric I already owned).
I made about 3 muslins for the bodice of this dress because the sizing is either way off or it has WAY too much ease built into the pattern. According to the pattern instructions, I should have needed a size 10/12 for the bodice. I cut out a 10(having had experience with patterns being much bigger than they said) and made it. It was HUGE. So I cut it down to an 8. Still too big. Honestly there was little difference between the 8 and the 10 when you compared them side by side.
Finally I cut it to a 6 and that is what the final dress was made as. Now, I do my seams at 1/2″ instead of 5/8″ that most patterns call for(with my needle at the 0 position, I can line the edge of my fabric up with the edge of my presser foot and it’s exactly 1/2″ so I make my seams that size because it’s so easy) so that does account for some of the reason as to why I need a smaller pattern than the instructions would say, but not the dramatic difference of a 12 to a 6.
Anyways, even the 6 has a little play and *technically* it could be a little more fitted, particularly around the bust, but it’s good enough and it’s very comfortable the way it is, so I went with it.
I basically did everything that Gertie said she did(read her detailed instructions here) including the double bodice lining, adding pockets, using spiral steel boning(as opposed to the plastic boning called for in the pattern instructions) and using horsehair braid on the hem. The only thing I changed was to convert the straps to a halter neck instead of regular straps. I did this because that’s hubby’s favorite type of neckline.
I messed up a bit on my measurements for the strap however, and they ended up too short. Instead of taking the bodice apart and making a new strap, I added some plum colored ribbon to increase the length of the straps, as well as add in a cute detail. I love how it turned out.
I think it’s rather appropriate that I’m calling this dress the June dress, because not only was it the dress I wore for the month of June in my 12 month Dress challenge, but it also looks like a dress that someone named June would’ve worn back in the 50s.
The circle skirt is perfect for twirling:
And the inside(I like the insides of my clothes to be just about as pretty and finished as the outsides). Forgive the wrinkles on the lining…these were taken after I wore it to the wedding.
The lining is a Japanese polyester, and the inner lining of the bodice is a plum colored silk organza. Both the organza and the polyester were so thin, delicate and sheer, that I had to do French seams to make sure you didn’t see any finishing(dress/bustier seams were finished with my serger).
I love this dress so much! I’m already planning on a way to wear it to work.
I even did my manicure to “match” the dress(it’s not as nice as it was on Saturday since I just took the pictures now, but you get the idea):
And with the clutch I made out of the same fabric as the bustier(using a zipper I stole out of a dress I’m going to convert into a skirt haha)
And the picture you saw yesterday of hubby and I at the wedding(and I don’t know why my hair color looks so off in this photo)
I hope that the June Dress reveal has lived up to all the hype I have given it over the past 2 months!!