Botanic Bower dress

Last weekend I had a quick trip to the Blue Mountains so I had to make sure this Botanic Bower print was in my travel wardrobe. I’ve used Simplicity 7156 and made a few mods for how I wanted to wear this dress both for the weekend and for future events.

It’s really hot here at the moment and the weather won’t get cooler for a while yet. I gave this fabric a good prewash before I cut it out and I can tell you the fabric dried in 35C heat in less than an hour. Yes. It’s that hot here right now.
I’ve used Minerva Exclusive Viscose Challis fabrics to visit the UK last year so I know this is a great fabric to throw in your travel bag and wear again and again.
The V-neckline on this pattern is a bit high so I’ll go back and lower it by about 3cm before I wear it again. This means I’ll need to draw a new neckline facing for it but that’s easy peasy to do.

Here’s what you can get away with using this fabric. I say that because there’s no need to overthink how to use this fabric. French seam the seams if you like or as I’ve done, use the three- thread overlocked seam on each seam. This way the seams are finished quickly without adding bulk to the seams.

This v-neckline on the front bodice is a bit tricky. The front bodice pieces are cut on the bias so when you do sew the front bodice pieces, you may need to adjust them to fit your actual bodice, based on the bra you choose to wear. Again, just go with the flow and recheck the neckline before you tweak it to fit you.

What I did with this fabric is use a light pink thread to overlock the seams. Any thread that isn’t white, won’t clash with the fabric base colour. That’s what I’ve learned while using these wonderful exclusive Minerva prints. They are so forgiving with the notions you’ll be using.

Oh. The zipper I used was only 20cm long. The pattern suggests using a 50cm zipper. What I did was use a snap at the neckline to close the centre back. Then the zipper is used from above the shoulder blades to just below the waistline. Have a look at the skirt. If you’ve used a larger sizing to take advantage of the flowing nature of the fabric, you’ll realise you can use a short zipper and easily hop into your dress.

I made the front hem higher than the pattern because I wanted to be able to walk around the tourist trails around Echo point and at various lookouts around the Blue Mountains. Yes I’m wearing comfy walking shoes for this trip but I’ll be wearing this dress with heels for more urban pursuits ie dinner and drinks with family and friends.

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