With the end of the year approaching quickly, it’s time for me to get out of hibernation and catch up on some projects from this summer! In particular I wanted to talk about this dress which was hands down my favorite from 2017 🙂

This is my second iteration of the Zeena dress from By Hand London, which I had made already last year for my Sprout Patterns review. I really like the cut of this dress: cinched at the waist without being too tight, with pleats on the skirt and bodice adding some ease, and kimono sleeves and a wide neckline which give it a very relaxed feel. The only thing I didn’t like on my first version was that due to the nature of Sprout Patterns projects I wasn’t able to make any adjustments and I thought it was a bit too short. This time I added 1 cm to the bodice and 2 cm to the skirt and I think the length is perfect.

The fabric is a Telio rayon floral crepe, heavier than the poly crepe de chine I had used for my first dress. I had ordered this at first thinking I would make the Helga wrap playsuit from Named, but when warm weather came I chickened out and the fabric stayed in my stash. A few months later I decided last minute to make a dress to wear with this metal mask I love for a “masquerade” party, and I figured this fabric would be great to whip up a quick Zeena.

And indeed, it’s perfect! This fabric is drapey but not flimsy, with a nice texture, and very comfortable to wear. I’ve bought Telio fabrics a few times now, and I’m always impressed by the quality – I made a Melilot shirt in the spring in their flamingo rayon voile (still need to post it here by the way!) and the fabric was lovely. In the US I buy them on Fabric.com, and in France I’ve found some bolts at Tissus Reine in Paris. Right now I’m drooling over their velvets ; this one would be perfect for the Gemma maxi dress, don’t you think?

That said I still had minor issues doing clean finishes with this rayon. I interfaced, under-stitched, and hand-stitched the facing in several spots, but it still peeks out a little in the back of the neckline. This might be due to the back bodice being slightly too wide for me, so it might be worth doing a small back adjustment on the next one.

I also have this issue with the shoulder seam pulling on the sleeves, causing them to ride up at the hem. I guess it’s unavoidable on kimono-sleeve bodices, and I have the same problem on my previous version of Zeena as well as on my Arum dress, although not as pronounced. In this fabric it’s very obvious, and I wonder if I should try lengthening the shoulder seam to see if that improves the fit.

But really I’m being nitpicky here, because I love this dress! I’ve worn it all summer, in particular during a weekend in Barcelona where we took the pictures for this post (I can’t resist colorful street art!). I still have a little bit of this wonderful fabric left, probably enough for a small project – maybe it’s my chance to finally try the Scout Tee?

Masquerade Dress
Zeena – By Hand London
Size UK10/US6
Bodice lengthened by 1 cm
Skirt lengthened by 2 cm
Telio rayon crepe – Fabric.com

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