I have a navy blue summer dress that I bought at the gap years ago. I love it because I can wear it to work, out to dinner at a nice restaurant, or even to a festival. It's the go anywhere dress. Consequently, I've worn that dress hard, and it shows. Here's what the old dress looks like:
I decided to try Vogue 1086, a Tracy Reese design, in a navy and white fabric to replace my old dress. The print is kind of interesting - it's like stylized seaweed.
As much as I love Baton Rouge, there are very limited fabric options. Fabric selection tends to be heavy on material for dance constumes and LSU gear. The Hancock Fabrics, which has the most extensive selection in the city, does carry a whole aisle of rayon challis, so that is what I used here. Rayon Challis is great- soft, not stretchy, drapes nicely -it just unravels like crazy. You really have to finish your seams with rayon challis or your dress will come apart little by little. I used french seams here, which were also called for in the pattern. French seams are when you sew the fabric with wrong sides together and then fold the seam back on itself, sewing the seam again with the raw edges encased. Here is a great tutorial from Grosgrain on how to make french seams.
I also decided to disregard the sizing chart, which has historically been the bain of my existance. I made a size 8, which is usually my store bought dress size, instead of the 12 which matches my measurements. It fits almost perfectly. I wore it to a BBQ, and the waist band felt a little tight after filling myself with hot dogs and beer, but it is otherwise comfortable!