Purple Floral Ava Dress

Greetings! While I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of sewing since I returned from the Medterranean, this is my first official post, written by me, since I got back. How exciting! A bit ago, I joined Sally’s (she blogs at The Quirky Peach) Summer 2014 Stash Bust. This means that between June 21st & September 21st, I have vowed to buy no new fabric and to only sew with what I have! I joined in on this because, well, I have a lot of fabric stashed away that has not been sewed up. Like, a lot… ahem.

A long time ago I bought fabric for an Ava Dress, and I was timid about starting it because it’s labelled “intermediate” and it has this sweetheart neck line where you have to sew a sharp point. And the sharp point is hard to get right, and it’s right SMACK in the front of the garment. Pretty obvious if you eff it up, and I was nervous of doing just that. Hart’s Fabric in Santa Cruz was holding a class on sewing with light, slippery, summery fabrics, and Ava was one of the patterns they were sewing! So, joining the class was a no-brainer! Here’s the image from the front of the pattern to get an idea of what it’s all about:

I have been eyeing the Ava dress for a while, and noting all the gorgeous versions on the internet. You can sew her up in a short dress version, a midi dress version, a peplum blouse, with pleated details on the bust, cap sleeves, ruffle sleeves, sleeveless, and all the various combinations of these! I wanted a more everyday look, so I went for a floral cotton lawn for the main fabric, and a complementary solid cotton lawn for the upper bodice. I also decided against the pleats and ruffled sleeves for this first version. Oh yes, there are more versions planned! Once I sew up a bit more of my stash, first 🙂 And, here’s the finished product!



This fabric was actually not that difficult to sew with, so I filed away all the tips our instructor, Katrina, went over for some future products with voile and rayon challis. We talked a bit about how to finish seams, and Katrina showed me how to use the overlock stitch on my machine. I’m suuuuper proud of the finished seams on this dress, I think they’re the best I’ve done yet! I did french seams almost everywhere, and where I couldn’t I used the overlock stitch. You can see it in action on the edge of where the upper and lower bodices come together:

IMG_20140803_220957I have a bad habit that I haven’t quite kicked yet…. sewing over my pins. I totally know better, but usually it isn’t a problem! For this thinner fabric, I used a thin needle which meant that when I sewed over my pins, my needle was more prone to breaking. And I definitely broke TWO needles in one hour…. whoops! I learned my lesson though, haha. From the side you can see that the voluminous part of the dress starts right below the bust. It’s pretty comfortable this way, but now I can see why the pattern shows the dress belted:



In the back, the upper and lower bodices meet in a nice curved line:


The best part though, by far, is the full circle skirt. Every time I put it on during the process, I obviously had to twirl a couple of times! I am loving this Ava dress, and I can’t wait to try more versions of it!

PurpleAva_circle.jpgThe details:

Pattern: Ava Dress by Victory Patterns

Size: 8

Alterations: Lengthened the “Short” dress version by ~3 inches, which is a couple inches shorter than the “long” version.

Fabric: Floral purple printed lawn from fabric.com and solid purple cotton lawn from Hart’s Fabric.





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