Now, I'm a lover of ikat fabrics from way back. When I was in graduate school in the late '80s, I acquired a number of garments made of Guatemalan ikat, including but not limited to: a bucket hat; a reversible bomber-type jacket with double ikat on one side and single ikat on the other; a couple of fanny packs; and last but most definitely not least, double ikat Hammer Pants. What can I say? My fashion choices have, at times, been questionable.
All this is to say that I'm glad ikat is a trend at the moment, even if a lot of what we're seeing is ikat-like prints and not true ikat fabric. And apparently I've been living under a rock, because it took me until now to discover the Dear Stella Maasai Mara collection, from which my Hazel fabric hails. This collection was from spring 2012 - now I'm worried I won't be able to get all the prints I want! And I'm not sure what any of them have to do with a Kenyan game preserve, but they're lovely nonetheless.
Because the background of the fabric is white, I chose to underline this dress as well to keep the seam allowances from showing through. The bodice is underlined in cotton batiste, but I used a lightweight muslin on the skirt because I wanted something a little more substantial. I'll admit though that the finished dress is a little on the heavy side. But the good news is that I don't have to wear a slip if I choose not to.
This time, in order to reduce the bulk a little, I finished my seam allowances with a three-thread overlock instead of my usual four. I'm really happy with how that worked out and will try to remember to do it that way in the future. And because my underlining was white and my thread was also white, everything is very clean and neat on the inside, even though it's just serged. I also really love how easy it is to catch-stitch the hem to the underlining so that it's completely invisible on the outside.
Because I already had all my fitting issues worked out and had just made this pattern less than two weeks ago, it felt like a very easy project. Still, I worked on it slowly, doing a little bit each day over the span of a week. Well, actually that's not accurate - there were a couple days when I didn't work on it at all, so let's say five days. I did add the 2" in length I felt was lacking from the skirt before - something to keep in mind if you make this pattern and you don't want your skirt too short. I'm only 5'4".
And now here's the good stuff: I had a lot of fun playing off this Maasai Mara theme. What does one do in the Maasai Mara? Go on safari, of course!
|Look at that lion!!|
Yes. We have a pith helmet in our home.
Here's a better look at the bodice and the angles the stripes made. I'm very happy with how this one turned out!
And minus the binoculars, here are the accessories for this fun photo-shoot:
Fake leopard sandals. Real pith helmet. And I didn't have time to actually do my nails, but I was planning on using this polish from the China Glaze On Safari collection from last fall - how perfect is that? Both the name and the color! Incidentally, this is probably my favorite blue polish.
As much as I love both my Hazel dresses, I think I'm done with the pattern for now. But expect to see some projects using other fabrics from this Dear Stella line soon!