Concord Dress

Concord Dress

In the continuing Cashmerette-ization of my wardrobe, I bring you: a Concord Dress!

I’ve been dreaming of a ruffle-hemmed shift dress for a few months, and very nearly stuck a ruffle on my trusty Ultimate Shift Dress pattern… but then the mood struck for a simple knit dress, and I used the Concord pattern instead!

Concord Dress

Wearing a ruffle means you are REQUIRED to shimmy, shake, and do the twist. 

The Concord tee has a couple of features I really like. I’m really into the combo of high neckline and longer hems this year, whereas last winter I was making a lot of Jalie raglans with big scoop necks and slightly shorter hems. I’m not sure if those tops have become a bit shorter over time or what, but now I find them a bit too short and the neckline too open. I feel like the Concord gives a nice long line visually. Concord also has quite angular shaping at the waist, which I think works well on my figure.

Concord Dress

To make it a dress, I cut the shirt to the middle length (i.e. not the cropped length, and not the tunic length). The shirt runs quite long, like a Lark tee. Then I cut two rectangles about 60″ x 7″, gathered them up, and stitched them on the bottom. As usual, I used knit interfacing along the bottom of the shirt so that it wouldn’t get distorted by the ruffle. I think the key to a dress like this is where the ruffle begins – in this case, just below the largest part of my butt, and right at the widest part of my hips.

Concord Dress

Can you tell I really like it? Sure, it’s a cross between a skating costume and a little girl’s dress, but it’s really fun and flippy to wear.

I’d always thought of this fabric as an abstract houndstooth… but now that I see it made up, I like how the scribbly shapes make a diamond pattern. It’s my absolute favourite type of fabric to sew and wear – lovely, squishy, beefy mid-weight rayon. Why is this stuff so hard to find in stores?

On a Better Pictures Project note: I tried several locations (in a downtown parking lot) when I photographed this dress,  aiming for something more urban than a park or field, and here’s what I learned:

  • Cool graffitti is hard to find in my city
  • Jumping in a short skirt is hazardous in public

PicMonkey Collage

  • At least 12 people walked by, and no one asked what I was doing, including the guy whose stairs I was sitting on as he walked up
  • Busy background + busy print = too much. I think the brick and stair location would have been better if I’d been shooting something with a large print or solid colour
  • Street photography is hard: posing quickly, it’s hard to tell if you are in frame, if someone is walking into your shot, and you feel like a total fool as people drive by

Concord Dress

Can you tell in this picture how much sideseam shaping Concord has at the waist? It skims all the way down, but isn’t boxy. Oh, and the swayback-esque wrinkling I had disappears with the ruffle weighing things down.

I made this back in February, but couldn’t blog about it until after the pattern was released. The bright coral colour is putting me in the mood for spring sewing! Are you in the mood for ruffles? I just want to put ruffles on EVERYTHING, but I fear going overboard and looking twee!


25 thoughts on “Concord Dress

  1. Love it! I’ve never been one for ‘girly’ ruffles, but your dress looks terrific. I can see myself making one for spring.

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  2. This looks great on you! I think the print keeps it from looking twee, although I have a fairly high tolerance for twee so maybe I’m not the best judge!

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  3. Adorable. I’m going to steal your idea as soon as I make up the regular version (this weekend, hopefully!). Also, I really like the photo of you standing on one of those cement parking space thingies in front of the b/w mural – something about the combination of the busy pattern print next to the mural…

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  4. CUTE!! I can’t wear knit shift/tee dresses because I’m so hip-py compared to the rest of my body. But I could do something like this with the ruffle on the bottom! My wheels are turning- I love it! I love the combination of graphic print combined with the girly ruffle, too. So great.

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  5. This is so cute Gillian!! I am definitely pro-ruffle! I am so amazed at you going out and taking photos in busy public areas. I am too shy to go out onto my front street. Ha!

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  6. So cute, Gillian! And your pics…awesome! Thanks for the tip about busy backgrounds with busy prints. I had never thought about that.

    I’m loving the ruffles too, I just put them on my linen coat.

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  7. Oooh, I love this. I’m going to have to copy you! How did you finish the hem? Is it any different to the pattern instruction for the shirt? Cheers!

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    1. Thanks! The shirt is sewn up as normal, then I used knit stabilising tape to support the seam where the ruffle was sewn on. The ruffle is finished with a lettuce hem on my serger – I like the way that gives the ruffle a bit more body. It’s all easy peasy – happy sewing!🙂

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  8. I love this dress on you too Gillian – I made a ruffle dress but it just didn’t look right on me. But when I made the ruffle into a straight sort of panel it looked much better. It might have had to do with the placement of the ruffle however so reading exactly WHERE you placed it on your body was helpful. I will revisit this in the future and experiment more with it’s location on my body to maximize it’s benefit🙂

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