Some sewing and knitting today for you! You may recall that earlier in the fall, we established that I really love galaxy prints. Well, now I’ve had the opportunity to sew a galaxy print dress!
This dress comes as a result of being generously offered to try out fabric by Funki Fabrics out of the UK. I almost said no—their fabric is a lycra and nylon blend, very well suited for swimwear or dancewear. And I’m not interested in either. But then I saw they had several galaxy prints, and after a couple of email exchanges, I decided I was in. The lure of the galaxy! I figured I’d work something out. I had to. Galaxies are hard to come by!
I went with the Lady Skater bodice and just a plain gathered dirndl skirt. I didn’t want to use the original skirt because I felt it was too similar to my ModCloth galaxy dress, so it needed to be a wee bit different. So I did a dirndl that hits a few inches below the knee.
I used the same short sleeves I did for my polka dot skater dress, and used sleeve and neckline bands this time like the original pattern. I raised the neckline 3/4″ at center front, and I took a wedge out of the back to fix some pooling I had in my first version (how I did it is from the sewalong). But that was it for changes.
Sewing this felt a bit kooky. Obviously being mostly lycra, the fabric was slippery as all getout (although it was surprisingly easy to cut), but I just pinned like crazy. Fortunately it showed no pinholes which was awesome. The entire time, I kept telling myself “I’m sewing a swimsuit dress. I’m sewing a swimsuit dress.” I opted not to topstitch around the bands just to keep it a bit less from looking less… swimsuitish.
In the end, it’s not really reminiscent of a swimsuit after all. The skirt has a lot of heft from the weight of the fabric, so it’s fun and swishy, too. Success! I know not everyone would actually sew a lycra dress, but if you DO (because hello, they have literally hundreds of vibrant prints, not just galaxy ones!), or you want to make a swimsuit or leggings (see Lauren’s fab yoga pants, which are also galactic!) or maybe you want really fun dancewear, then I’d highly recommend Funki Fabrics.
I admit, I did second-guess my original choice of a more blue and green galaxy print and went for this one, and perhaps I should have stuck to the first one. In person that pink is pretty much just as electric as it looks like, if not more so! I have to say that the printing on the Funki Fabrics is extraordinary, some of the best and brightest colors I’ve seen on any type of fabric. So with such a bright dress, I kept it simple with black shoes and a black cardigan. Well and a couple of matching accessories, of course.
The cardigan is actually one I finished up last month. Nearly four and a half years ago, I started knitting it and then stalled out. The project and yarn remained stuffed in a bag ever since. For some reason this fall I got a bug up my butt to pull it out and rip the project and reclaim the yarn, but I discovered it was almost complete! Like seriously, almost an entire cardigan. How did I not remember that?! I can’t remember why I fell out of love, since I was literally on the neck band (of a bottom up sweater).
But I tried it on, decided I’d actually wear it, so it was worth putting the finishing touches on. Which only required knitting the neck, button and pocket bands, and sewing down the pockets on the inside.
I popped on the only large black buttons in my vintage button stash and voila, a cardigan that almost was not!
The pattern was (mostly) Convertible Cardigan by Wenlen Chia, a designer who has a lot of chunky patterns. The gauge for this was something crazy like 3.5 spi. And yes, there are pockets! Not really sure why it needs them, since they’re kind of in an awkward place. But whatever, 4.5-year-ago-me wanted to keep them. You can see I obviously went for a plain crew neck, unlike the original pattern. I have no idea what 4.5-year-ago-me was planning to do with the neckline.
It’s knit in two strands of Madelinetosh Vintage, a worsted weight yarn, in the colorway Brothers Grimm. It’s already pilling like crazy on the underside of the sleeves (way more than my other sweaters in the same yarn base), but it’s super warm and comfy.
It’s nearly impossible to tell because hello, black cardigan, but there’s a nice thick cable running down the front of each side, with half the leg in seed stitch, which is a nice touch… when you can see it. 😉 It’s a little too far off to the sides so it kind of disappears when I wear this open, in part because it’s a round yoke. Current-me doesn’t really do round yoke cardigans for this very reason, but 4.5-year-ago-me didn’t mind.
But honestly, it felt like an almost presto instant cardigan, so current-me isn’t going to complain!
It’s the ideal cardigan to wear with my galaxy dress, because the yarn is actually a not-quite-solid black with green undertones, and the black in the dress has some greenish tones in areas, too.
I think it’s a perfect match. Now I have another warm cardigan for winter, plus a funky electric dress. I’ve actually been much more in the mood to sew separates lately (well, ‘lately’ generally being after the Christmas rush obviously, I’m doing lots of planning for things I can’t get to yet, ha ha), but I’m so glad I now have a galaxy dress made by me!
dress: made by me, fabric courtesy of Funki Fabrics
cardigan: made by me
confetti lucite earrings: Desperate Beatnik
shoes: Bobbi Blu (an gift from Mel years ago)
(While I received the dress fabric free from Funki Fabrics, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own as always!)
Ummm that dress is AMAZING and now I’m second-guessing my leggings haha
Noooo your leggings are awesome!!! 😀
This dress looks awesome on you! The bright pinks and purples look great with your red hair.
Thanks! I actually thought it was kind of clashy with my hair, but really, what does hot pink match with anyway? LOL
You are all kinds of cute in this dress! I really like the vibrant print and I can imagine how fun a twirl in that kind of fabric would be with that full skirt.
As usual, your clothing making skills astound me! I buy, alter and repair my vintage and second hand clothes. Maybe one day I’ll get brave enough to sew something from scratch like you.
Thanks Lisa! Well those are awesome skills to have, too. 🙂
Shannon P says
I love this dress! I am so glad you went with the pink instead of the blue/green–it really stands out from other galaxy dresses I have seen!
i love your cardigan and i think the neckline on your version is so much better than the original pattern.
Thanks, I quite like this neckline too!
This. Is. FABULOUS! I love all of the pink hues in this print! It’s almost like cotton candy floating in space!
And great cardigan!
Ha ha, I love that description Janey, thanks! 😀
Debbie James says
This dress is fantastic: retro meets scifi!
Miss Crayola Creepy says
LOVE the dress!!!! I’m going to do a post about Funki Fabrics too and let me tell you, it is HARD trying to decide which fabrics to choose! There are a lot of cool galaxy prints!
Oooo can’t wait to see what you make!!
Rochelle New says
I seriously CAN NOT get over how amazing that dress is!! And thank you for reminding me of Wenlan Chia! We sold the big city knits book in the shop where I used to work but I didn’t know how to knit then so I didn’t pay much attention… but holy chunky sweaters, Batman!!! I’m really into gigantic tendinitis friendly yarns lately but was struggling to find patterns to match them. So thanks for that! Love the sweater, and the dress, and the earrings 🙂 🙂
Yeah, seriously chunky sweaters, huh! Actually for me personally, super heavy knitting bothers my hands and arms than smaller gauges. Bodies are funny. ;P
Love doesn’t even begin to cut it. You are vibrant like a supernova in this frock! Always must emulate.
Aww, thanks! 😀
Also it occurs to me that saddle shoes would be adorable with this dress.
Miss Nathalie Vintage says
Another truly wonderful creation :). My favorite print is blue camouflage, can’t to get started on my handsewn skirt.
Thanks! Blue camo sounds fun too. 🙂
so!!! two things!!! you may slightly second-guess the colorway for your dress, but it looks great on you – skin tone, hair, etc! and i LOVE the cardigan with it!
secondly, the cardigan itself was a smart choice for your 4.5 year ago self 😉 you may usually tweak things now to not have that same fit/styling, but it is super complimentary on you – the neckline, ease, etc. nice work!!
Casey Maura says
The colors are too fun! Perfect dress for this time of year. 😉 Your cardigan is lovely too.
Seeing your cardigan and reading the story behind it reminds me I have a completely knit cardi from four years ago–just waiting to be sewn together! Evidently I HATE that part of projects, since I’ve put it off that long. haha. I need to dig it out and deal with it. 😉
I love this entire outfit so, so much!!
Jessica Cangiano says
The juxtaposition of old and new at work in the styling of this dress and whole ensemble is nothing short of sensational. You’ve sincerely deepened my own passion for galaxy prints with this dress. It’s such a stunner!!!
That fabric is so fantastic! I love the dress – simple style, wild fabric, perfect!
I honestly love your style! Looking forward to see what else you sew up next! <3
Loving your blog – I am just getting back into sewing after a 25 year gap….needing to make wheelchair friendly pretty things for one of my twins- I got to you via funki fabrics. I love this dress. Is this a commercial pattern or one you designed? Just what I am searching for