Hello hello hello!
If you live in a climate like East Japan, you know summers are long and very, VERY humid (now, this year is a bit weird, as the rainy season came from the North instead of the South, and it’s still ongoing. Hopefully, we’ll experience a cooler summer than, let’s say, last year). To avoid the stickiness of the humid days I like to wear dresses in summer, as they make me feel put together without inducing any pairing-tops-to-bottoms panic, plus my love for big, flowy skirts means I have a natural breeze cooling me down at all times.
To be honest with you, I love all kinds of one-pieces. I’ve been a very enthusiastic adopter of the jumpsuit, having made 5 in one year (2 more planned, fabric prepped and stuff. It’s an obsession, y’all!) BUT my love for dresses in particular often comes as a shock to people around me, as nobody has even seen me wearing a skirt. I also don’t wear shorts, though I did make a pair I will blog about later on, and I even ventured into rompers with the Helga Playsuit by Named.
In addition to this more “stylistic” objection, I personally find it somewhat hard to encounter a dress pattern that really speaks to me. I don’t like to wear ruffles, I find shift dresses too constricting, and am continuously torn between my love for loose temple-wear, which would result into me only wearing sac dresses, and the somewhat retro silhouettes that really flatter my body.
This brings us to today’s make, the Friday Pattern Company’s Hilo Dress. As soon as I saw this pattern, I knew it would be a winner. I am not a particular lover of knits, but at the time I was looking for a simple project to relax after a big and challenging one (for reference, it took me longer to assemble the pattern than to sew it up). I am so happy I did. The finished dress is breezy and cool but still retains a lot of interesting details, and can be entirely constructed with a serger, which really makes it a super rapid make.
There are two back options, a low one and a high one. I settled for the latter to make it somewhat work appropriate. I also lengthened the dress to a maxi: I didn’t own any maxi dress up, and was really curious to see if the style would work for me. To avoid having a skirt so full it would swallow me and everyone in a 10 m radius, I took it in from the waist down of about 2 cm, ending up at 5 cm by the hem. I left all hems raw not to disturb the drape of the fabric. I also decreased the length of the shoulder straps a bit to make the neckline less low. Also, regardless of what knit type you decide to work with, I really do recommend using knit tape to stabilize the armholes and necklines, so they don’t gape after construction.
I’m 168 cm tall and made a size S. For reference, my measurements are 88-60-93 cm.
As for the fabric, after long deliberation, I settled for a mercerized cotton. Not what I had in mind originally – I wanted a Bemberg knit, or a Lyocell – but I must admit it’s growing on me. I love the silky texture and the fact that it’s completely mat. The fabric has quite a substantial weight, which adds to the drama of the dress.
I am already thinking of experimenting with some knit deadstock I was recently given, and make a shorter version, or maybe again a maxi one but with a slit…? So many options!
Overall I am very pleased with how this turned out! I just have to wait for summer to come so I can take full advantage of this dress.
Have a good one!