Not Your Dorothy's Gingham

I got home from vacation to find an awesome cut of gingham from RP Custom Fabrics waiting for me. I so love gingham-- it's absolutely adorable and perfectly summer. RP has six colors available for preorder right now. While I love them all, I was all over that Ruby-- because it's the classic gingham to me. 

I wanted something extra cute and summery, so I went with a Sweetheart peplum from Patterns for Pirates. I'll be honest: I kind of have an obsession with peplums. 

I feel like a picnic. In a good way, haha. 

I also feel like a Rogers and Hammerstein musical. Also in a good way, HA!

I wanted an extra touch, so I decided to do a back cutaway.  I think it's a fun surprise, and adds a little bit of sass. 

My mother-in-law has dress with a small cutaway here at the small of the back and I just loved hers!  It was my original inspiration for doing this-- it was a super cute jean dress from Kohl's, with an encased elastic waist. I didn't get time to really look at it, so I just had to wing it with my own construction. 

The first time I tried this, I was super bummed that I made the cut out too big.  It still worked out, but I don't think it looks as nice. 

Look! Green grass! I almost remember what that was like.

This method used an additional waistband piece that had elastic in it. It served the purpose of eliminating the raw edge at the base of the cutout, but it wasn't my favorite.  It cut up the lines of the shirt a little bit too much for me. 

I was determined to do better this time, so I started out with a smaller cutout. It does get bigger after the seam allowance, so I kept that in mind as well. 

This is such an easy mod, guys!

Cut your back bodice piece like normal, and then cut your cutout, as big or as small as you like. This time, I did about 2 inches by 4 inches. Then cut a lining piece for your back bodice. 

Place your lining and your back bodice right sides together and sew along the curve of the cut out.

Flip it right side out and topstitch along this seam (optional).  

Follow the rest of the instructions for bodice construction as written, treating the lining and back as one piece (you can baste them together along the sides and shoulders (within the seam allowance)) if you want, but I like to sew on the wild side, so I just make sure that I'm catching all three pieces as I serge. 

Attach the skirt as written.

This will leave a raw edge (I'm pointing to it in this picture).

As I mentioned, last time I tried the waistband method to take care of this problem.  This time, I just decided to topstitch that seam allowance to the skirt. Easy as pie! I think it looks great and is such a simple solution. 

You can see that my fit is a little off-- I have some excess fabric here, and a little bit of bunching as a result. Unfortunately, I thought I had cut my pattern piece to account for my height, but apparently I cut it as written.  It's crazy what a difference a 1/2 inch can make when you're sewing! Ah, well, better luck next time, I say. It's still a better fit than ready-to-wear! 

See what I mean though? Such an easy mod, but such a fun little somethin' extra! I can't wait to wear this this summer! <3 

Pattern: Patterns for Pirates' Sweetheart Dress

Fabric: RP Custom Fabrics (gingham), Smoogie Fabric and Design (floral skulls)