I am currently in love with this dress.  I know, I know, you may think I feel this way about all my newest makes, but that is not always the case.  The dress I made before this one, I don’t like it at all.  But I will save that dress story for a different day because now, I want to talk about this one: The Kaleidoscope dress – the newest addition to my dress family.

Simplicity 1873

It is another Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity 1873.  You know how I like to make my dresses in threes!  And here it is, my third try, and I have to say my best one of the three so far.  I liked the last one I made just fine, and have actually worn it several times, but the fit of it was a little on the baggy side.  After looking at my notes on that make, I noticed that I made my seam allowances a little on the bigger than usual side.  Why I did that, I don’t remember.  I think it had something to do with correcting what I thought was a problem on the wearable muslin that I made last February.

Anyway, I went with all the seam allowances as called for for this one, and it came out perfectly.  The weirdest thing though was that I noted I had taken a whole inch off of the bottom of the bodice with the Take me to the Beach dress, but if I was going to do that with this one, It would be way too short.  How was there such a difference between the two?  I don’t know, but maybe it had something to do with the fabric.  And let me tell you about this fabric…

The Kaleidoscope Dress

Any of you me-made-mavens of the internet may be familiar with the fit and flare dressmaker herself, Dolly Clackett.  Well, I am a regular reader of hers, and have gotten plenty of inspiration from her ever expanding dress collection.  One fabric she tends to make many dresses out of is wax print cotton.  There was one print in particular that I was head over heels about, and I may have even shrieked a squeal of delight when I thought I found it on ebay.

I snatched it up as fast as I could and very impatiently waited for it to show up on my doorstep.  In the meantime, I also found this particular fabric that you see on me, and counted the days before it arrived as well.  They both showed up on the same day and one of them had to be sent back.  Obviously it was the one that I wanted the most.  You know why?  Well, there is a difference between wax printed cotton, and waxed print.  The one that I bought, was covered in a waxy coating.  Bummer!  The other one, however, was beautiful and perfect for whatever my heart desired – it came as a 6 yard piece.

fit and flare homemade dress

A Simplicity 1873 it became.  The material has wonderful coloring, it is 100% cotton, and it is the least wrinkly of all of my me-mades.  I didn’t even iron it before taking these pictures, it was simply hanged up straight out of the dryer.  It reminds me a little bit of the type of material that Hawaiian shirts are made of.  It presses nicely and sews up great.  I did notice a little less stretch in this fabric compared to other cottons that I have used.  Probably the reason for the different fit.  But still, I am a fan!  In fact, I have just ordered myself some more wax print cotton this very day.  I cannot wait for it to get here.

retro style dress

I made a conscious effort to pattern match with this one.  I made sure to get a big flower on the center front and I wanted it to line up somehow on the back.  I even tried to get the big flower to line up centered on the skirt portion, but then with all those pleats it kind of hides it from view when it is draped.

The Kaleidoscope Dress full skirt

Let me tell you one more thing about this dress, I didn’t do a side inserted zipper like I made with my last one.  I stuck with the called for back zip, but I did have to take out a half inch from the back pattern piece itself.  Also, I used self-made bias tape for the facings, as per my usual, instead of lining it.  I think I have the fitting for this one finally down.  And, I will make sure and add pockets the next time I give this pattern another go – now that I know the pleats won’t interfere.

retro style dressmaker

Once again I asked Yuki what she thought, but I still think she could care less.

Details:  pattern – Simplicity 1873 || fabric – ebay || shoes – Doc Martens || sweater – courtesy of Steals.com || sunglasses – Oakley

*Linking up with: The Modest Mom, Craftastic Mondays, Creative Mondays, Tuesday’s With a Twist, Top of the World Style

10 Replies to “The Kaleidoscope Dress”

  1. I like the fabric you used. My first impression was that the pattern was butterflies. That may be because my wife is working on a butterfly patterned quilt and the squares are hanging all over our studio right now.


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