I knew I wanted to add a Trapeze Dress to my wardrobe when I saw how amazing Allison's Trapeze dress turned out. I made this dress to bring with me on a trip to the mountains to celebrate my anniversary this summer. And when we got this adorable cherry fabric from Cotton + Steel in my new favorite color and the softest, flowiest rayon, I got pretty excited. I love the way rayon feels, the drape is amazing and I love the way it moves with you.
Pattern: Trapeze Dress by Merchant and Mills
Size Made: 14 UK
Materials: 2.25 yards Rayon Cherries by Cotton + Steel
Modificaitons: Omitted the facing and did a bias tape facing, lowered the neck line by 3/4", shortened length, cut just one piece for back instead of two
I learned a lot about working with rayon from this project. It's stretchier and slipperier than you might think, and it may take a little more finesse than other fabrics, but it's an absolute dream to wear. The Cotton + Steel rayon is not only super soft and drapey, but it's also a thicker, more stable rayon, which I feel makes it easier to work with than some others. I'd definitely recommend pre-washing this fabric as it has a tendency to shrink and you'll want to get that out of the way before you make something with it. It washes great as a finished garment after you take care of pre-washing.
I have to admit that I sometimes cut corners when I'm in a hurry and I was on a timeline with this dress. I saw that the pattern called for a facing which would take a little extra time, so I opted to go for a bias tape binding for the neck and the arm holes. I purchased a pre-made cotton bias tape and it didn't work at all. I should have known it wasn't going to play nice with rayon, but I ignored my intuition. I ended up having to rip out all of the bias binding, but luckily I had only done one arm. Whew! And lucky for me we still had the fabric in stock so I could purchase enough to make my own bias tape. I finished the edge with a double needle so it laid flat and had a nice, clean finish.
I also took off some length, as it was almost down to my ankles. I cut the back a little longer than the front for a subtle high/low effect. And instead of cutting two pieces for the back as the pattern class for, I opted to make it all one piece.
This dress is super cozy and stylish and I'm still able to enjoy it paired with a sweater and boots for the colder weather ahead. I made the sleeveless version, but the pattern includes an option for sleeves, so there should be nothing stopping you from whipping one up for yourself this fall.