I’d like to start this entry with some gratitude for the reaction to the size inclusivity ideas I shared on IG a couple weeks ago. The post garnered more attention than I expected and I truly appreciate that it resonated with so many people and inspired them to re-post. The message was action-oriented, so I had turned off commenting, hoping that whatever time people might use to comment would be spent either implementing the ideas or coming up with better ones. Still, I received many wonderful private messages, which made my heart glow. While I do fall within the traditional, limited ‘straight’ size range (meaning not that things fit right out of the envelope or off the rack, but that my measurements are covered by most patterns and ready-to-wear brands), I am a staunch advocate for size inclusivity for many reasons. It deserves a whole post on its own, and I’ll work on that in the coming weeks. In the meantime, thank you, keep moving forward, and enjoy my latest wardrobe endeavour!
When I opened the joonmade IG account, I wrote in the profile, “I sew things to stay sane when my other things go off the rails”. I don’t know if that’s ever been more true than in these past couple weeks. No matter where you fall on the woo-woo spectrum (I myself hover around the left-of-centre mark), it’s likely you’ve been feeling Mercury thoroughly rope-a-dope your life. For everyone I know, it’s not just the usual tech glitches, delays, and bungled communications. It’s dropping every single thing you put your hands on. It’s taking the same well-worn path from the bedroom to the kitchen and body-checking yourself into the door frame as if some unseen force moved it three inches. It’s catching the belt loop of your jeans on the gate latch while you’re trying to let your 2pm appointment know you’re running late because you spilled coffee all over yourself, and the latch yanks you back, making you drop your phone just in time for three kids to go whizzing by on their bikes, crushing it to bits. This Mercury retrograde has been a relentless deluge of cosmic assholery. That’s why I’m calling this my Retrograde Redemption dress, as making it was a glorious calm in the storm.
It probably would have made more sense for me to do some loose, floaty, forgiving number — maybe even in a pattern I’d made before — for an easy win. But I’d been dreaming of making the Axis dress by Papercut Patterns ever since I got this beautiful linen from Fabric-Store.com back in April. It was on one of those flash sales they sometimes have on certain colours, and this one instantly made my shoulders drop and my brow unfurrow. It’s called Meadow and it’s the most lovely shade of robin’s-egg-blue with a hint of minty-sorbet-green — pastel but not babyish, soft but with a presence. I am a huge fan of colours that don’t fit under one label, and since this was in their perfect mid-weight linen that you can make into almost anything, it was a no-brainer.
The Axis is fitted enough that I needed to make a muslin, and while the adjustments were small, I’m glad I did. I widened the top of the front bodice and the ends of the straps a tiny bit to ensure that my bra straps would be covered, and there was some gaping at in the front armscye that was remedied by a 1” dart. I also added 1/2” in the hip area, but this ended up being due to some user error on my part. I misread the instructions and thought the seam allowance was 1/2” when it’s actually 3/8”, but only realized it after I had made the changes on the pattern and cut out the skirt. Whatever. I like bigger seam allowances anyway, so I made a note on the envelope and plowed on.
The design doesn’t have pockets, so I added them. I used the slash pocket pieces from the Closet Core Jenny Overalls and accorded the side seams with those of the skirt — really simple and it can be done on any flat-front skirt or pant.
I enjoyed the construction of this dress — I had to pay attention, but not in a way that overwhelmed my already-scrambled brain. And honestly, I just cannot lose my cool while looking at this colour. I’m a sucker for a lovely wrap, and this one is different than anything else in my wardrobe. As you can see, it can also go a bit more elegant by tying the wrap ends in a big bow at the back — takes a bit more bra management (or the personal comfort level to go without), but a really nice option.
Now somebody go get married so I can wear this to your garden wedding!