Every once in a while, my vision of what something will look like when it is sewn up just doesn’t match to the resulting reality. Sometimes, fabulous fabric combined with a perfect pattern plus hours and hours of no-mishap sewing still adds up to MEH. It’s the kind of occurrence that makes me scream, weep a little, and throw up my arms. I’m speaking, of course, about this Sanibel dress in patterned denim. I know that my tribe of beautiful people will say very nice things about this dress and there are nice things to say but I’m telling you…on me, this dress is meh.
Actually, let’s get very specific. The cinched waistband on this dress is just not a shape that works well for my body. I already don’t have enough of a defined waist and adding bulk to that area only highlights the lack of curves. I knew this. I know this! This is why I never wear peplum styles. I still proceeded to make myself a finely-detailed box. It happens.
The pattern is the Sanibel Dress and Romper from Hey June Handmade with some modifications in a Robert Kaufman denim I bought from Hawthorne Threads with a super fun, quirky pattern. I actually think the combination of these two is pretty great for a casual dress. It’s just not working for my shape.
There are many things I like about this dress, though, so let’s start there.
First of all, I really love the shirt portion of this dress. Love it! I have always shied away from cap sleeves but they are growing on me and I like the button flap detail on the shoulders. I also wanted a more open look to the top, so I added in some elastic to draw it open (I got the idea from my everyday blouse, which did that at the shoulders). I love the placket and it fits well.
I wanted that love to extend to the whole dress but I just don’t feel the shape is flattering. I tried to adjust it with another modification: I removed an inch of the bottom on the top and added it to the skirt. I was hoping for less volume at the waist. It was only a partial success.
I will probably wear it some but not as often as I was dreaming I would when I conceived of the dress. Perhaps if I wash it a few times the rigidness at the waist where the button plackets meets the waistband will soften a bit? I dunno. Considering I have made nearly every pattern Adrianna at Hey June has created I can safely say that the pattern isn’t the problem. I honestly should have known better than to use a stiff cotton fabric on this dress. If I was going to venture into waistbands at all, I should really have used a rayon or something with more drape. I learned my lesson. If I were of a more scientific disposition I would probably try the dress in rayon to experiment. As it is, I’m wrecked over the work I put into a perfect shirt that I proceeded to pair with an imperfect dress skirt and I’m going to steer clear of elastic waistbands for a long time.
Doesn’t it look like a dress that could be so great!? Harumph. I leave you to admire, once again, the beautiful top.
By the way, I hope you are following along with my Instagram. I’m really following through on Me Made May this year and posting my me-mades nearly every day. I’m really enjoying seeing which of my handmade clothes I pull out of the closet.
Note: This post contains affiliate links and that means if you purchase this pattern you get to support both an independent pattern designers as well as, at no additional cost, me! Thanks!