Earlier this year, I posted about my Gemstone Staple dress, which I made out of some rayon from Cotton + Steel. At the same time I bought the fabric for that dress, I also bought some yardage in the pink colorway so I could make a "matching" dress for my daughter. After seeing countless cute versions online over the years, I was itching to try the Geranium dress from made by rae.
The pattern itself is very well written and designed, with several options for customization. I chose to use the gathered skirt from View A and the faux cap sleeves from View B, and was very pleased with the end result. The only change I would make next time would be to add in-seam pockets.
While the pattern is awesome, it is labeled as intermediate, and rightly so. For my first try, I probably should have used something other than rayon, but I had a vision and wanted to jump right in. Since I knew I was in over my head, I took it slow on this dress. (That, and for several weeks it was too hot to turn on the iron.) It took me a long time to get up the nerve to cut out the dress. Rayon sure is slippery, but I went slowly and it turned out all right. I used fabric shears, but if I had a big enough cutting mat, I would use a rotary cutter. You could totally tell that the edges of the skirt pieces weren't 100% straight, but it doesn't show in the finished dress. In the end, choosing a challenging fabric worked out, because the end project feels so nice and the skirt flows so well.
I really like how the bodice is lined, since that means you don't have to finish the seams. I also think it makes for a more comfortable dress, which is important when sewing clothes for kids. I didn't really understand the instructions for sewing the bodice sides, but I figured it out by looking at the bodice itself and applying what I already knew about garment sewing. Speaking of what I already knew, I would have liked the seam allowances to be larger on the skirt, so that I could use French seams. Instead, I just used a mock overlock stitch to finish the seams.
The last delay in making this dress stemmed from the buttons. I had sewed buttonholes before, and I had sewed with rayon before, but I was super nervous about sewing buttonholes on rayon. I waited until I was well-rested and had the house to myself before I attempted it, and I had no problems at all. My daughter picked out the buttons themselves, and I think they are really cute.
I am really, really happy with how this dress turned out. My daughter likes it, and I can see myself making more of these for her. I guess I can call myself an Intermediate garment sewer now that I've successfully completed an intermediate project. Whew!