Joni Dress: Channeling my inner southern belle

This Joni dress is kind of a step outside my normal style habits. I’m not much of a florals girl. Give me a geometric or abstract print over a floral any day. But I saw this double brushed poly on the Califabrics website and I just couldn’t get it out of my head (it’s sold out now, but here’s one that’s similar) . It’s so sweet, but without being all flowers everywhere. I love the almost southern feel, like I should be sitting on a porch drinking sweet tea. Never mind that I don’t have a porch and I absolutely HATE sweetener in my iced tea. I’m also generally not ladylike or graceful enough to embody that southern charm. I swear, if I go one single week without crashing into something or giving myself a mysterious bruise, it’ll be a damn miracle.

The Joni dress from the new Tilly and the Buttons: Stretch! book seemed like the perfect pattern to really lean into all that sweetness. I love this book. Seriously, I would (and probably will) make every single one of the patterns. I’m generally really comfortable sewing with knits, but I’ve definitely learned some new-to-me techniques, which has been really fun.

I made a size 2 based on my bust measurement, but I found that there was a lot of excess fabric around the bust area, so I ended up taking it in at the bodice armscye by about an inch or so. I think this might be because I often need to do a hollow chest adjustment, and some of the excess fabric from the twist rests in exactly the spot I usually do that adjustment. The finishing techniques I definitely think I can improve on. I’d never sewn knit binding before, and the twist feels a little less polished than I’d like. I also didn’t bother with waistband elastic, because this fabric has such good recovery, though I might regret that later.

I didn’t really bother to try and match up the stripes on the side skirt. The stripes are so small they aren’t very noticeable if they aren’t perfectly aligned. Because of the way the bodice is cut in one piece, rather than two, I knew the center front stripes would line up. But I did take special care as I was sewing, to make sure they were really crisp. I worried the double brushed poly would feel too warm in this dress, but it’s actaully fine. This isn’t the dress I’d grab on the hottest days, but I definitely am not going to overheat.

My coverstitch machine did like the binding though!

Overall, I love the supremely ladylike feel. I’m also experimenting with above the knee hems and really enjoying the result. Usually I’m so concerned about anything higher than my knee that my boyfriend jokingly calls me a nun. I probably am always going to love the knee length silhouette, but branching out a few inches has been pretty successful so far.  Maybe I’ll even sew a true mini dress or skirt someday!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find myself a porch swing and start calling people nicknames like “peaches” and “sugarplum” in a fake southern drawl. (And I’m definitely accepting suggestions of other southern style pet names to add to my list, haha).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.