Bespoke Double Gauze Pearl Dress

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This lovely double gauze has been sitting on my shelf for months while ideas for what it would eventually become percolated through my brain. I purchased it in a double-gauze-buying-binge from Fancy Tiger (a fantastic shop that also sponsors my blog!) earlier this year. I loved this stripe print so much (see: this top and these pants) that I decided I wanted to try it in this red/peach/blue colorway. Last week I suddenly pounced on it and it was all cut-it-out one night and sew-the-placket the next afternoon and then there were a few days of sewing french seams that felt like forever and then the hemming and it was done. It’s so satisfying (and rare) when it all falls together in a few days and I can walk away with something that looks great and fits nicely. Having a good trusty pattern that you can jump in with that doesn’t require fitting is half the battle to be sure: this one is the Pearl Dress by Green Bee Patterns (also one of my blog sponsors!! look at me with the sponsor mentions today), again, I am really enjoying making these. I added the henley placket option this time and while I think it might be a bit tricky for the beginner, even with double gauze it really wasn’t too bad.

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Double gauze is just dreamy (and the Cotton and Steel double gauze seems to be especially soft). I’ve said this so many times before, but wearing double gauze is like wearing pajamas. It might also even look like I’m wearing pajamas but I really couldn’t care it’s so comfortable. And personally I like the slightly rumpled look it gains as its worn; I was careful to steam this one before taking photos and not wear it around like I usually do. I got a comment recently from someone on a social media platform which will remain unnamed pointing out the wrinkles in my photos and asking if I ever press my garments when I sew them which of course I do, I press like a maniac while I’m sewing. I really don’t mind constructive critique when it’s kindly delivered, but this commenter also couldn’t resist mentioning that “many of us have been discussing the rumpled nature of your garments” which then made me feel like I was back in middle school and “they” were all over on the other side of the playground, talking smack about me. Believe it or not though, it was a good thing to hear, because the truth is that 100% cotton clothing does get wrinkly, and yes, I could stand to pay a little more attention to that in my photos, so it’s all good. I just need to photograph things before I start wearing them all over the place which will require some self control. Hey, upping my professional game a little bit can’t be a bad move.

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Let’s talk about the french seams (shown above). I realized right away that it would be necessary to do some major seam finishing on this thing because raw edges on double gauze fray something fierce. My go-to option is to use a serger to finish seams, because it’s fast, but somehow I got it into my head that french seams would be better (read my Super Seams post for a few other favorite seam finishes). Which they are, but I’m gonna be straight with you, with double gauze they were a total bitch to sew. French seams on set-in sleeves, for instance. French seams on inseam pockets. And the trimming of all those little tiny threads every time. I persevered and now I LOVE it, but there were moments, let me tell you. Thank goodness for Jane Eyre on Neflix.

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Anyway, I don’t want to scare anyone off double gauze — if you mind your seam finishes and cut carefully it’s actually quite wonderful to sew with, despite how the name might sound (am I right that the word “gauze” freaks people out?), and once sewn it is wonderfully forgiving, fit-wise, as well. IP information In fact, the loose weave creates a more generous fit so you could easily go down a size; my double gauze garments usually fit larger and looser than identically-cut garments in more stable fabrics (voile, lawn, for example). It’s also breathable for summer and layers well for fall, all in all I highly recommend sewing with double gauze (it’s one of my Five Favorite Fabrics, in fact). As you can see in the photo above, I’ll probably be wearing it with skinny jeans quite a bit this fall, and I can picture this with a big chunky sweater. Bring it, fall!!

By the way, you can find all kinds of double gauze fabrics at the following links from my fantastic sponsors: Jones and Vandermeer (a brand-new-to-me sponsor with all kinds of great apparel fabrics, welcome!!) /  Fancy Tiger  / Fabricworm / Fiddlehead Artisan Supply

and the Pearl Dress sewing pattern can be found at Green Bee Patterns, of course!

34 thoughts on “Bespoke Double Gauze Pearl Dress

  1. How is it that you can wear a dress shaped like a sack & look great in it, while I just look like I’m wearing a sack?! That’s gorgeous fabric & it looks so cool & comfortable. I’ve got to get my hands on some double gauze.

    I have to say that I don’t pay attention to how well ironed your projects are. I read your blog because I enjoy seeing what you make & learn things from you. I enjoy your writing style, too. It’s probably naive of me to feel this way, but I continue to be appalled as to how the internet seems to have completely obliterated peoples’ filters. Does not having someone in front of you allow you to say anything & everything to them,? What happened to, “don’t say anything if you have nothing nice to say?” The irony for me is that these very people get totally put out if they’re called out on it. It’s no different than what I see in my car – the anonymity of being hidden behind the steering wheel robs some drivers of all manners & common sense. I’m going back to my cave now to stew about this. Rae, you continue to sew & iron whatever you want to sew & iron & your critics can f*ck off.

      • and yes i’ve been there…in the stewing position, over people and their gall online. The ability to be anonymous can sometimes bring out the worst in all of us, unfortunately, and I for one admit that when I first started reading and commenting online many years ago I often felt free to say whatever thing came first to mind as well; though I can’t recall anything specific, I imagine there must have been at least one or two things I said that pissed someone else off. Being on the receiving end has really schooled me, though, and I can only hope that those who may have read any harsh words I insensitively typed without thinking back then had the wisdom and graciousness to just shrug it off.

  2. I’ve been noticing a lot of this sort of bitchy comment on social media recently (thinking particularly about Christine Haynes and Cashmerette) – maybe I’m getting old but it makes me really sad. I agree with Samina – if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!

    Anyway. I actually came here to ask about seam finishes on double gauze. I have some C+S double gauze too and although I’m not going to be cutting into it in the near future I was wondering about your “mind your seam finishes” advice – I don’t have a serger and I think French seams on sleeved garments might be slightly beyond my skill level for now! What might you recommend? Zigzagging raw edges before sewing the seams? Thanks!

    • YES that is the best advice!!!!

      Seam finishes: Yes, you can definitely zig-zag stitch (and actually, the flat fell is quite nice too, for sleeves, believe it or not!) to finish those edges; the key is just do SOMETHING (no pinking though) to help those raw edges stay put together!

      And I would actually just zig-zag the seam allowance together after sewing the seam, if you can be careful not to mess with it too much while you’re sewing! If you’re worried, though, a zig zag around the entire edge before you start will probably work, just be careful not to let the stitches gather the fabric.

  3. Rae! you are ADORABLE! keep doing what you do! ever since i made my first toddler backpack from your pattern a few years ago, i have been a sewing addict! i can honestly say that your work has inspired me both personally and creatively in so may ways, and dare i say, it’s even helped me grow as a wife and mother. your patterns and blog posts are so very thoughtful, clean and well put together. Don’t let a few jerks get you down. i’m certain they must have much bigger problems of their own if their poor manners are so easily visible.

  4. Another gorgeous Pearl dress! Love it! Never mind wrinkles – what wrinkles? That’s life! I bought the Pearl dress pattern because of all your wonderful makes. Now I just need to get myself organized to get started on my first one!

  5. I love this version of the Pearl Shift. Once I finish my current line up I am going to have to get this pattern. The henley neck is such a great feature. I can honestly say I’ve never noticed you being wrinkled. Sometimes I just don’t get people. (Also, your hair looks super cute in these pics!)

  6. Your makes always look beautiful and so insanely stylish! I’ve never noticed them looking unironed! But even if they did, you’re a mother of three bonkersly happy-looking young children, running your own successful business; I think most people would actively embrace your not viewing starching your clothing as the number one priority.

    From a maker’s point of view, I actually prefer to see what garments look like when they’ve been worn for a few hours – it really helps to know how a fabric wears when I’m trying to choose the right fabric for a specific pattern.. And from a blogging point of view, I think it’s much easier to share how successful a fabric/pattern/make is once you know whether it rides up every time you move/feels scratchy etc. Whatever way I look at this, I can’t think of a single positive reason for you to become Obsessive Ironing Woman when your clothes already look fantastic! x

    • Well my goodness you’ve made some awfully good points here, F!!! I think you have me turned around towards my old wrinkly self now I do declare. 👍

    • I agree with you! I always like to see the clothes after they’ve been worn, as well as on the model. I actually noticed that comment when it was made and was quite surprised – such a nit-picky and unnecessary thing to say. Especially in a forum I’ve found to be usually pretty positive and encouraging! I can understand wanting her own clothes to be neatly pressed at all times but who cares if someone else does or not? Don’t let it get you down – you’re amazing and so are your creations.

  7. Woah, someone actually said that? How incredibly rude! Give me photos of a garment ‘in the wild’ being worn and loved over hyper-stylised, air-brushed images any day.

    (For what it’s worth, I’ve never ever thought of your clothes as ‘rumpled’ – I’ve never noticed such a thing.)

  8. I have never been able to “iron” double gauze. The two layers of gauze are not bonded together, They are stitched so together in the Japanese way. This makes for an extremely soft double layer. But because it is held down in some places, you can not get either layer really smooth. Starch does not help. It is the softness and lightness and the feeling of working with a cloud on your lap that I cannot resist.

  9. You know what? If the fabric wrinkles when it’s worn, then please, for the love of all that’s holy, show it with wrinkles in your photos. It’s 100% professional to help your less-experienced readers understand how fabric works. (I, for instance, have never held double gauze in my hands, but I’m venturing bravely forth into the world of making jeans & dresses, and I’m so happy to know now).

    And also, you are doing a great job as a blogger & sewist.

  10. I can’t say I’ve ever noticed a gratuitous amount of wrinkling in your garments. Some people just have too much time on their hands to not only notice, but to make a nasty comment.

    What I will say is that you’ve been a huge inspiration in my sewing life, I’ve followed you since 2009. Your buttercup bag was the very first thing I ever sewed, closely followed by the itty bitty baby dress. I think you’re awesome, and hopefully some day I’ll come across the state and get to meet you in person. Keep being you, it’s what keeps us coming back.

  11. Love this dress, I am going to ha e to get myself some of the c&s gauze and get my French seam on!

    For what it is worth I am on your side of the play ground wondering why those girls waist so much time on negativity. Xx

  12. I think I like this color combo better than the other one, and the dress looks great on you! I love it with skinny jeans. Just a little curious what those words on the print says…I could never get a good look. Like others, I actually like to see some wrinkles on the garments, to see how they really look when worn. Looking at the perfectly sewn, perfectly pressed garments make me wonder what I am doing wrong 😮

  13. Ok so me and some of the readers got together when you were off making us amazing sewing patterns instead of ironing all day long and decided we wanted to state publicly on the internet that we haven’t noticed and don’t care and even if we did notice we’d rather a real wrinkle than a facelift frock any day. As you were… And keep it up ! X

  14. You cut your hair, it looks totally adorable.

    Someone mentioned your wrinkles in your clothes? Wow, how rude. I hope you mentally keyed their car…. No? Oh well, I will do it for you.

    Gorgeous, you look gorgeous.

  15. ok…i want to know about the placket. i should be able to figure this out myself, but if you have any pointers, i’d love to hear them. the pattern just arrived last week and i really want to make a slew of them for my fall wardrobe.
    (wrinkles? seriously?)
    xo.

    • E: I think the placket thing is just a do it and see how it goes — that’s really how I learned. Every placket is different though (Colette’s are different than Green Bee’s, for example), so every time feels like a new experiment to me. I think if you follow the markings and press like crazy you’ll have no problem at all!!! It’s actually really fun to see it come together.

  16. I agree with previous comments about you always looking awesome and stylish! Never once looked at your photos and thought about wrinkles! Pics of how a fabric/pattern combo wears are way more valuable than a perfectly pressed/non lived in version. Don’t let people change who you are! I had an aunt that always had perfectly pressed clothing – she always sat really straight/stiff as to not wrinkle 😂. I only iron by throwing stuff in the dryer (when not sewing of course)- if they don’t come out, oh well! To each their own – not your problem.

  17. try to ignore the meanies, they are just rude and probably jealous 🙂 wrinkles happen, in cloth and in skin, it shows a life lived.

  18. Another Rae gets real post!! I love it! I get so excited when I see you’ve posted new things since I’ve been here. I have 5 kids under 8 and I am having such a struggle to figure out when to sew but it’s necessary to be creative in order to be happy and nice. Or to be fulfilled as a human. Which means happiness.

    I have a hundred projects in my mind and a huge pile of hemming or mending to get through for the boys and I think there are shorts in the pile that won’t be hemmed before my kindergartener grows out of them. Ah! At least I have three more kids who might wear them. I want to sew little clothes while my kids are little but it’s even harder when they’re so young!

    I love that you have such a distinct style and that you follow your dreams and create so much from patterns to fabric plus this blog. It’s so visually interesting and a special experience to be here.

  19. Boo to the mean people. I love that you are showing the clothes how they will really wear vs. freshly pressed. I was in search of how a double-gauze dress would look when it’s been worn. So … THANK YOU!

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