My latest Fabricville blogger’s project is the cat’s meow! I used McCalls 7992, a Laura Ashley pattern, and added this Cat Happy Printed Cotton (SKU WR704-014) to come up with a dress that is just purr-fect.
The very best dress of all! And it matches in all ways with my favourite book of all time, Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag! This charming book, full of woodcut illustrations, is also the oldest American picture book still in print. If you don’t know it, go find a copy right away.
But now for more on the dress itself. This is made with quilting cotton, which is very usable for clothing as long as you pay attention to the properties of it. For example, it really doesn’t drape. So don’t use it for flowy or highly gathered makes. But for this dress, all in one piece with an elastic casing sewn in afterwards, it works fine. I really like this fabric — it is a lightweight cotton which manages to hold its shape but also be flexible enough to wear in dress form.
The crispness of the fabric also holds the shape of the pussy bow nicely. (so many cat puns here). The neckline was one detail which really caught my attention when I first saw this pattern. I also loved the little bit of sleeve ruching on View A.
This dress is a lot of fun. From a distance it’s hard to tell it is made up of cat faces. I love how the little odd white faces pop out and almost sparkle against the background. It’s also really fun to see how people stop talking to me in mid-conversation and stare more closely as they realize that the print is allover cats!
It’s an easy sew; the collar is the only slightly unusual piece of the process. It’s just a folded band sewn on with a facing, and then the ends are tied. Really not hard! The sleeve ruching is so easy — just stitch on a stretched 2″ piece of narrow elastic and it gathers up nicely when you are done. The body is cut as one piece — front and back both cut from shoulder to hem, and an elastic casing added to the inside.
I did add a few inches to the length — I think 2″. And I am very short! So watch the skirt length if you are making it, to make sure you’re comfortable with the finished fit.
Overall this was a quick and enjoyable make. I’ll definitely make this one again, maybe in a softer fabric next time — I can imagine it in a flannel for the fall, too! But I love, love, love the quality of this cotton, and the print is unbeatable. I’ve already worn this twice since I finished it last week — and I have a large variety of coloured tights so I only see more fun outfits in my future 😉