Monday, September 10, 2012

Clio Does It? Cabana Edition!

First off, let me just say, back attcha, Oona! As we kiss summer  - and my vacation -  goodbye, here is a summer project that just didn't make it to the blog before now.  There's a bit of a back story...

No worries here.

Way back when I met the fabulous Oona in LA, I came home with about 1 1/2 yards of an orange stripey knit that we'd split rather than amuse the staff of Mood with a catfight in the knit aisle. Plus there was a challenge: that we'd both make something from it and post on our blogs.

My half of the shared fabric

I felt like I'd been issued my very own "Oona Does It" challenge, AND from the master, herself no less! Oona had already decided on harem pants, which didn't go according to plan. But I knew she'd save the project and make something fantastic. (And she did - seriously!) So, since I'd been in a beachy frame of mind, Cabana was my inspiration.

Now, I'm definitely not the quick-and-easy/instant gratification sewista (How's that for an understatement?!?!). Nor do I have much (any?) experience radically altering the design of a pattern. But somehow I talked myself into basically taking a sweater pattern, and turning it into beachwear, and doing it in a day - warp speed for my sewing!

Onion Patterns #5039

First, the sleeves had to go. Next, the back. (Yes, the back. Nearly down to the waist). Then, the shoulders in the front. Finally, I needed some extra length. Here's what the pattern looked like after I was done - you can see the pieces I removed. 

A few prayers to the sewing deity and a little bit of creative piecing on the cowl later, and my dress was cut and ready to sew, with just inches of fabric to spare. I was a little worried that the back would be droopy, so I made the remaining bits of fabric into a bias strip to make a casing for elastic. And because this is me, I matched up all the stripes.

Yards of bias strips with matching stripes

Ultimately, I liked the bias tape so much I used it to finish the hem, too. A little fitting later (I decided a plunging neckline was just fine) and my beach cover-up dress was done done done!!

My Cowl Neck Striped Cabana Dress

I think this is perfect for throwing on over my favorite bathing suit. And I just love backless dresses.

The bias binding that runs across the back and up to the neck has elastic in it so that it hugs slightly instead of drooping or gaping around the armscye and across the back. 

So, does Clio do it?

Not sure why the color is off on this one.

I think so!

I wore this coverup all summer and now it's packed away for next year. Sigh.

Dreaming of summer on my back porch.
Be sure to check out Oona's fantastic creation over at her blog


oonaballoona said...

stripes go lengthwise.... STRIPES GO LENGTHWISE... i don't know why i did not adhere to this cardinal rule...

your drapey beachiness is summer in a pattern hack. clio done DID it.

Lisette said...

So chic, movie star material ;-)

Clio said...

LOL - thank you! Stripes are tough! Actually, I'm intensely jealous of how you put some horizontal and some vertical.

Clio said...

Ha! You mean I actually made an effort with the photos this time!

Meg the Grand said...

Totally fabulous!! I love how you are rocking it here as a beach cover up - the colors on both of you are stunning!

T. Sedai said...

I love it! The drapey cowl is great. It looks perfect for a lazy day at the beach or pool.

LLBB said...

Brilliant way to finish the back!!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Love this! I never would have thought to combine backless and cowl.

I'm going to have to try that apple cake/clafoutis recipe. Looks divine.

Roberta said...

Love, love, love love, love! Clever techniques with the bias strip and elastic.