I made this dress after one of my first dresses, an H&M dress bought about three years ago. I still wear it and as this is a perfect summer dress pattern, I replicated it. The fabric is rayon: made from cellulose fibres and semi-synthetic. It smells like paper when you burn it. (For those of you who now wonder when I started burning my fabrics: lighting a small piece is a way to find out whether it's synthetic or not.) It's lovely for these kind of dresses but the production method, I learned after buying it, is not very environmental friendly. I had been eyeing this fabric for a while, every time I was at the fabric shop.(Yes, the fabric shop, sadly we have only one! And they seem to be aware of it, judging by their grumpy personnel.) It has pretty green and pink dots, it's not as bleak as it looks in the pics. Blame the weather for that too!
See that frumpy part in the back? It's shirred! The first time I tried this technique, and I was surprised how easy it is. It creates a waist and because it's elastic there was no need for a zipper. I don't think I will ever hand-gather again, shirring is so much easier. I also shirred the gathers in the bust and at the shoulders.
I'm very happy with the finishings on this dress, an area of continuing improvement. The fabrics were very difficult to sew though. The rayon is not stretch fabric, but it does sort of move in all directions. I used a stretch lycra for the underskirt, seriously the most slippery fabric imaginable. It even slips away between your scissors when cutting! Anyway, I hope the weather gets better soon, so I'll have a chance to wear this dress before autumn sets in. I guess moving to Norway in a few weeks won't increase my chances either!