I had been eying the Clover pattern by Papercut Patterns since it came out, but wasn’t sure if I should get it or not as I was sure it would look like a ridiculous moo moo on me. After seeing all the cute versions floating around the blogosphere I broke down and ordered it. I then ordered some bright and fun thistle printed rayon challis by Anna Maria Horner. My last experience with rayon challis, when making my Sewaholic Gabriola skirt was quite interesting as the fabric would not stay still when cutting it; so I really hoped my second attempt at sewing with rayon challis would be better.
I cut out a straight xxs which is measures too big for my bust, but figured it shouldn’t really matter since the dress is so loose. This time while cutting I used pattern weights and my rotary cutter, which I think really did help keep the fabric on grain better than when I was cutting with scissors and pins. Also, everything is cut in a single layer, which I think also helped minimize fabric shifting. I found the cutting layout to be a bit off as the directions don’t seem to pay any attention to print direction (unless I missed something), so I didn’t use the cutting layout exactly as prescribed. After I cut out the pattern I realized that I paid zero attention to pattern matching and since the dress has a big seam down the middle and my fabric pattern was huge I had no clue how it would turn out. I was just hoping it didn’t look too crazy. I also decided to not use a contrast fabric for the bust panel, but instead used the main fabric with piping.
I ended up packing up the instructions and my cut pieces and taking them all home with me for the holidays. I borrowed my mother’s Brother sewing machine and sat down one day to sew the dress together. I have to say that it was a bit strange to sew in not my own space and without my own tools.
As far as sewing the dress, it was fairly easy. I had never sewn piping before and wasn’t sure I was doing it 100% correctly and the front pieces of the dress didn’t seem to be entirely straight after I had sewn the top, bust panel, and bottoms on, but I just sewed everything as evenly as possible. I even used some embroidery floss that my mom dug out to make the belt. Overall I think this pattern was pretty easy, sewing with rayon challis was definitely easier and I think the dress turned out pretty cute. I think I will have to keep my eyes peeled for some more rayon challis to make the Clover dress again.