Last summer I ventured into woven garments for myself. I really loved the different looks I was able to achieve with them and the variations it added to my wardrobe. With the ever increasing temps here, I went looking for some new patterns to try this year and found the Venice dress from New Horizons Designs. I had previously overlooked this pattern in my search because I didn’t realize it was drafted for wovens. I had seen that it was able to be used with lightweight knits and I completely missed the woven part. Being able to use both wovens and knits is a benefit in my book since it allows me to use it more often and with more of my fabric options. Something about my custom fitting clothing being even more cost effective makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
The Venice has several length options, mini, high-low, and maxi. I am continually blown away, with how the simple change of length can completely change up the look of a dress, love it! In addition to the length options, you can choose several sleeve options. There is the sleeveless, long sleeve, and both long and short split sleeves. I love how the split sleeve adds just a little something different and allows for air flow while still giving you some arm coverage. I decided to go with the high-low length and the short split sleeves. Look at these pretty sleeves!!!
Since this is a woven, there is the concern about fraying edges and seam finishes. The way the Venice is constructed accounts for that and I just love when the inside of a garment is as pretty as the outside. The neckline has a facing and the way it is finished with the sleeve is super clean.
I usually find something to modify on patterns and this make was no different. I really try to follow things to a T but unless I’m testing a pattern, I usually fail in that regard ha ha ha. Last summer I discovered the rolled hem feature on my serger and this dress seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it again. I feel like rolled hems are so pretty on garments that need flowy drape, it just seems to add to the look. It also makes the inside hem seam not visible when doing the high-low option, which I love.
The second tweak I made was to the split seam hems. The pattern has you fold over ¼” and then fold over again to hem. I like to finish the edge, before folding, by running it through my serger. I’m not cutting anything off and it gives me an easy fold mark for the first ¼” fold.
I got this print last summer, but ran out of time to use before our “winter” began. I didn’t have to wait long to sew it up, I guess that’s a positive to living in the desert?? This is the Blue Leslie Rayon Challis from So Sew English Fabrics. Rayon challis is one of my favorite woven fabrics I discovered last summer. It has gorgeous drape, it’s not usually see through, and has a cool smooth feel to it. Perfect for all those light and flowy spring/summer dresses I have on my list.
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