Creative Sewing Challenge Project - Violette Field Thread's Jospehine

Violette Field Threads
Josephine Dress with Flutter
Sleeve option.
Update: more pictures and results HERE

I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from meeting a goal.  I tend to set my sights too high and not enjoy that feeling as often as I'd like.  But this week - I met a goal!  I submitted a completed project to a sewing competition I wanted to enter.

My favorite local(ish) fabric shop - The French Seam - sponsors The Creative Sewing Challenge during our State Fair.  This is the second year for the have sponsored the Challenge and I thought it would be really fun to enter.  I had dreams of pattern hacks I would do, or creative touches I would add to my project, but my underlying goal was just to enter.  When it came down to it, finishing a straight-forward project was all I could make time to accomplish.  (even that involved late nights and pictures taken in a fast food parking lot!)  While it would have been fun to add a few other touches, I am really pleased with the finished garment!  I have no dreams of placing (the judging is this coming Sunday), but in my mind I won my own victory by completing a lovely dress and meeting my goal of entering.

The theme for this year's challenge is "Inspired By Color" and I immediately knew I wanted to use this cotton lawn fabric from Robert Kaufman, which I already had in my stash.  I tend to like a lot of Robert Kaufman's fabrics (see this project, for example) and particularly liked the small floral pattern with bright blues, orange, pink and green.  This is from the London Calling 3 line (bright floral).

pin-tuck rows and ruffles along
button panel on Josephine
The pattern is Violette Field Thread's Josephine using the dress option with flutter sleeves and the ruffle on the button strip.  The pattern was clear and easy to follow, including a diagram to show the best way to lay out the pattern pieces on your fabric.  The pattern has rows of pin-tucks on either side of the center button panel, bias tape on the inside of the collar, and several options to customize the pattern to your preferences (blouse or dress, flutter or longer sleeves, with/out ruffle, with/out sash).

Something New
Although I didn't have time to do some of the things with the pattern I had hoped to do (I originally wanted to turn this into a romper with shorts.  I'd love to make another dress with a full lining.  I had also thought of doing the blouse option with the Whitney pants), I was able to try some new things with the pattern.  It was my first Josephine - and I will definitely make more.  It was also my first Violette Field Threads pattern actually sewn - I own several, but haven't made others yet.  Also, in honor of the sponsor of the Sewing Challenge, and because it was on my Sewing Techniques to Try list, I used french seams for the first time.  I'd read about them, and if you aren't familiar, you can find a good tutorial here.  I found them easy to do, with a very nice finish.

Figuring out how to attach the sleeves took me a few minutes, but other than that it went well and I really like the finished look.  I debated back and forth about top-stitching the seams down and around the collar.  The pattern doesn't directly call for it, and I keep going back and forth about whether I wish I'd done it.  Usually, I do top-stitch, but for some reason, I didn't know if I wanted that for this dress.

french seaming on side seam
french seaming on sleeve seam

This week I am looking at everything I have to do to be ready for homeschool to start next week and feeling very overwhelmed.  But I am taking a moment to enjoy one goal that has been accomplished!  Overall, I am really pleased with the dress, and I have enough of the fabric left to make a coordinating outfit for Little Sister so both girls can match next spring and summer.  

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