Pastel cocoa tencel dress

For my autumn wardrobe at first I had planned all sorts of colors. Many gorgeous and colorful fabrics were sitting in my stash and I had plans for almost all of them. But then something else happened. In few blogs that I follow I saw beautiful pastel dresses, sweaters and pants, the colors dominating these collections were light pink, grey, sand or cocoa. This inspired me to throw all of my previous ideas out the window and start planning all over.

The first among my new ideas was flowy light salmon color dress that I wrote about in my previous post. The next was this seemingly simple straight cut dress from Burda magazine that I made in pastel cocoa tencel.

After deciding on the color scheme that I would be exploring, I quite quickly found a suitable pattern for this tencel that I had bought at my local fabric store. I chose the pattern from Burda 2020/08 issue and thought that I was choosing the dress that will come together quickly and swiftly. It was not to be!

First of all, tencel was very difficult to handle. It does not hold any shape whatsoever. Of course, that’s also nice as it has a beautiful drape. But this also meant that cutting pattern pieces was quite a struggle, sewing was not too easy either. And in addition to that, the dress was deceptively complex when it came to the construction. It only looks straight and easy, however, all sorts of things are happening around the neck and yoke.

First I had to deal with with the back pleat. Decided to give a shape to it by top-stitching from the wrong side all along the pleat crease lines. Then I decided to install the lining and instead of making the same pleat at the back, I came up with an idea to gather the back piece below the yoke, which was clearly not a great decision. The gathering of the lining gives a bit of bulk right below the yoke, which I do not quite like. V shape opening in the front presented me with a challenge of attaching the neck band. I contemplated extensively how to avoid the top stitching but could not come up with any reasonable solution. So I ended up doing the best top stitching I possibly could.

The next challenge I had with the neck band was its shape. Raised neck patterns rarely work well for me as my neck is disproportionately thin. The neck band of this dress is supposed to lay nicely around the neck, while mine ended up standing up straight regardless of what I tried. In the original pattern the neck band was supposed to be closed at the back using two buttons. I realized that if I do this, it will not look nice, that is why I opted for only one button at the bottom of the neck band. It still does not lay as I would like it to, but it’s not too bad after all.

It ended up being much more complex make than I had initially expected. I barely harnessed the patience to actually finish the project. It is only now that I finally started enjoying this dress. It feels soft and nice against the body. Fair enough that the fabric wrinkles quite a bit – lyocell, tencel tend to do that, so will have to live with that. However, after this project I told to myself that I would not be buying tencel fabric in the foreseeable future. There are many other beautiful fabrics so much easier to work with.

I used the pattern #102 from Burda 2020/08 magazine. I needed 2.25 meters of the tencel fabric and viscose lining for this dress. Other notions were thread and 1 small button. This dress cost me 43 EUR and a ton of patience! It was made in October 2020.

Let’s all stay healthy! 🤍

~Giedre~

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