Looking for a sewing pattern to create the perfect go-to dress? April Rhodes' staple dress is just that! Designed to be simple yet flattering, this dress is great for running errands during the day and effortlessly transitions into the perfect frock for a night on the town. Ideal for the beginning sewist, this pattern sews up easily using three yards of fabric. One lucky winner will take home a paper copy of the pattern and three yards of custom printed fabric!
Enter anytime before Tuesday, August 20th, for a chance to win. The winner will be announced on the blog on August 21st. Lauren Burg and Erin Reazin are the winners of last week's May Designs notebooks and fat quarter bundle giveaway– congrats!
April was kind enough to share a bit about her first experince designing her own fabric and how she used her design on organic cotton knit to sew up a staple dress!
I have long dreamed of trying my hand at fabric design. But there are already sooooo many amazing designers and prints in this industry that I felt it both intimidating and unnecessary. I like to feel as though I am filling a need with my work. There aren't many patterns a beginning sewer can feel confident in completing alone. Likewise, there aren't many patterns experienced sewers can sew up in a single afternoon. I hope my patterns offer a few more choices.
When it comes to choosing fabric there is a VAST assortment. One of my many jobs is "picker" for our fabric shop Sew To Speak. This task can be daunting, as my mom (the owner) will often say "ok, we can get about 5 bolts" (out of a 30 bolt collection) and I will then have to whittle away at them, to pick, what in my opinion are "the best" 5. Being such a fabric lover, I would much rather pick 20! It's fun yet challenging.
My point is; I know the world of fabric is not in need, but perhaps the need is within me. I needed to see if I could do it. I wanted to know what it feels like to make a dress from the very beginning: Imagine the shape, design the fabric, choose the weight, sew it and wear it.
Well… it feels pretty GREAT!!!
Spoonflower contacted me to do a Staple Dress Pattern giveaway. They asked that I make a dress using fabric from their site and I thought "this is my chance!!"
I said yes right away!
I definitely rushed the process a bit. I messed around with one print I hand drew and scanned and once the swatch came I quickly knew it wasn't what I wanted. So the very day I needed to make my final decision and order the yardage, I began playing with a new print.
I have been working for several months on an improv cross stitch piece and I thought it would look really cool as a printed pattern. I scanned it into my mac and manipulated it in photoshop for a while. Then I loaded it into Spoonflower and played with their tools for repeating the pattern. I used the mirror option and edited the scale. Then I found their color changing tool and changed the black to a creamy peach. After that I was feeling pretty smitten and I ordered the yardage right away.
I chose the organic cotton knit so that the dress would have a nice drape for the drop hem. The scale of the print was a bit larger than I envisioned. That's the sort of thing that happens when you rush, as I did. Had I taken the time to print it out on paper I would have known the true size and been able to adjust it. The color is fantastic and exactly as it looked on my screen. Even though I might try the print a hair smaller I still really like the way it all came together with the proportions of the dress and I don't think that I'd change it now.
The end result is my new favorite dress that I know I will be wearing often this fall! The pretty pennies I spent to have my button boots resoled will certainly pay off as I just love this pairing…
Of course Suzanne snapped these photos for me. She is such a dear and so talented with a lens. We had a great time with this shoot. The photos were all taken in my friend Eva's shop, EcoFlora. Eva and I went to school together and her brother is actually married to my sister 😉 It is so nice to build a connection with her as we move on our individual journeys. She is another extremely talented woman and her space exudes the creative spirit that is within her. If you are in the area you should really stop by, make a terrarium or purchase one of her amazing bouquets. You will love it!
About Our Guest Blogger
I'm April. A happy, crafting mom, who often stays up WAY too late trying to stitch up dresses and create other fun bits. I have just stated publishing a few of my own sewing patterns and I hope to produce more designs over time. My dream is to provide simple garment patterns for beginning sewers and/or experienced sewers who want to quickly sew pretty things to wear. In addition to my days as "mommy" and my nights of sewing, I also work with my mother and our wonderful team at our family business, SEW TO SPEAK, a modern fabric shoppe in Columbus, Ohio.