Welcome to my stop on the George + Ginger Festival Fever Blog Tour. I’ve been loving all the beautiful creations that I’ve seen so far this week, make sure to read all the way to the end for all the links.
George + Ginger (referred to as G+G from this point forward) have released a new range of patterns inspired by summer festivals – think sun, music, friends and fun, and endless summer days. Being a mum living in the suburbs I wanted to translate this look into something more wearable for my everyday activities, after all just because my days are filled with chauffeuring my children and husband around the place, spending most of my ‘free’ time washing, cleaning and cooking, and going to the supermarket becomes an “outing”, doesn’t mean that I have to do it in boring clothes!
Most of the other festival fashion looks on this Blog Tour will be for summer, but living in Melbourne, Australia, we are in the middle of winter here, and I found it really hard to be inspired by summer looks when it is so cold and wet here. So I saved an image of the Bonnaroo skirt into Pinterest and just sort of followed along where that lead me, I did end up creating a whole Pinterest Board of festival fashion ideas (feel free to browse). There were some elements that came up in my feed over and over again – colourful patterned fabrics, beaded jewellery, lots of lace and embellishments, and my favourite of all … bell sleeves!
And from that I let me creativity lead the way, my thoughts early on were towards the classic Ginger Dress with its awesome hem band, but in the end, the bell sleeves won my heart and G+G have the most perfect pattern for a dress with bell sleeves.
The Pattern: RuLo Top and Dress
The RuLo dress is a gorgeous swing dress or dolman top with several different bell sleeve options. I went with the regular dress style and single tier bell sleeve. The dress came together so quickly with only a few pattern pieces – but it really doesn’t need any more when the design of those pieces is so elegantly perfect.
There are a couple of features that I really love about G+G patterns, firstly, the pattern pieces are sent in three separate files: large format for the copy shop, US Letter and A4. The files have layers, of course, so that only the required size(s) need to be printed. The pages are also trimless, which, although not really essential, makes assembling the paper pattern a lot quicker. But my favourite thing about G+G patterns is that each pattern piece is assembled separately! I do my pattern cutting and preparation on a fold-up trestle table, so it is long, but its not very wide, and it can get really troublesome trying to stick together multiple sheets of paper when the pattern pieces are overlapped, but with G+G patterns it is much easier to manage in my small space.
I chose my size based on my full bust measurement, and it is just a perfect fit. This was no surprise as I made the same size that I always make with G+G patterns – and the sizing is totally consistent, always.
The Fabric: Sincerely Rylee
I bought fabric for my RuLo from one of the Blog Tour sponsors: Sincerely Rylee. This was my first time purchasing from this company, so I was pretty excited to see my fabric when it arrived! It does take a little bit longer for a parcel to ship to Australia, but it arrived in good condition, the fabric is all cut generously and is just lovely – there was lots of fabric hugging going on!
I actually couldn’t decide what I wanted when I was online shopping, Sincerely Rylee have quite a big range of beautiful fabrics, so I bought more than one possible choice for this dress. I was originally leaning towards the blue print in the middle:
Both the top and bottom fabrics are rayon, but the middle is a slightly heavier-weight polyester, and it is not quite as drapey. The top fabric has a fairly large geometric print, which I just wasn’t sure would be the best for the swing-iness that this dress required, so I went with the burgundy coloured rayon with the ivory geometric flower pattern. The others will now have to wait for other projects.
Rayon knit fabric is not the easiest thing to work with, it is very drapey and it just doesn’t ‘behave’! Hence, rather a lot of these little clips were used:
Incidentally, I have a mixture of brand-name and non-brand-name clips, they all live together in this little jar, and now I can’t even tell which is which, so in my opinion at least, the bulk-bought cheaper ones of these are just fine, this is not one of those things where there is a dramatic difference in quality between brands.
So I used lots of clips, and stitched quite slowly when required, and I ended up withe some stitching that is really neat and tidy. I’m particularly pleased with the neckband, because it does sit flat all the way around, without any puckering, although I do wish that print wasn’t so ‘matchy’ at the front – I don’t think that I could have done that if I tried.
And, because this fabric is printed, meaning that it still has its base colour on the wrong side, I used coloured thread to match the print in the outside needle on my overlocker, and kept the other threads as white, so that the stitching is invisible from the right side, and completely blends in with the wrong side. Unless you look really closely, like this picture:
Finishing Touches and Embellishment
I hemmed the dress and sleeves with my coverstitch machine. Even though I knew that I was going to apply some trim, I still wanted the insides to look neat. I used white thread for all, with a wooly nylon in the looper only.
So my dress was indeed wearable at this stage, but I did have one more thing to do to achieve my Pinterest inspiration, and that was to apply some trim. I had a few different things to choose from, in the end I chose the one in the middle, because it is the best colour match to the fabric, and because it is a stretch lace (some of the others aren’t stretchy – although they would still have worked for this dress, it just would have hung a bit differently).
It was only at this point that I actually tried the dress on … and I will admit that I was silently praying that it wasn’t going to look like a nightie! But it was instant love, the shape of the sleeves and the swing-iness of the dress itself feel so elegant, just a little bit princess-y (but not in a 5-year old Rapunzel kind of way), and just plain, old pretty.
For these photos I have worn the dress with winter tights and boots because it is really cold here! I would also need a jacket with this dress because the fabric is so lightweight, so I am looking forward to when spring comes and I can wear this dress on its own.
Caught the fever? Check out all the amazing looks in the Festival Fever line up!
Thanks for reading!