I made this Vogue 8659 a few times when it first came out around 2012. — Gosh, is it really 8 years old? Well, I still like it a lot and hope it doesn’t look too dated, even though it is now very OOP. It is still around on Etsy though, so someone must think it is still worth buying and therefore making.

My early versions have now passed on to the great wardrobe in the sky and I feel ready for a couple more. It is a particularly good pattern for semi sheer fabrics if worn with pants underneath and I have some silk/cotton voile which is too transparent on its own. I suppose I could make it into a lined dress but this maxi dress/tunic idea appeals much more to my quirky taste.

I am also always on the lookout for a back drop for my fabric printing and it ticks that box too. That said, I had some trouble with my colour combination initially, thinking for some weird reason that light olive green would pair well with a mid grey. Well, it didn’t. I knew this as soon as I pulled the block off my first print, but at that point I felt I was committted and couldn’t change to black, which would have looked so much better. Ever heard the Einstein quote that the definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing over and over and think you are going to get a different outcome?

>Blush<. Not sure how many leaf prints are on that garment, but with every one I kept hoping that somehow, when it was all done, it would magically turn from an ugly olive-grey duckling into a swan.

Well, it didn’t.

So it languished in my wardrobe, waiting for my next bright idea. Which was a long time coming, a couple of years to be exact. At one stage I made a half-hearted attempt to overprint the grey with black and that was a bad idea too.

But I don’t give up easily, especially not on expensive fabric, and in the end I decided that a darker background colour would suit the grey prints much better. Fortunately the screen printing ink I used to block print does not take the dye at all, and the colour of the leaf motifs would be unaffected while the rest of the fabric would take the dye. So off it went to the dye pot, to go from a light olive to a dark blue-ish green.

And would you believe, it worked, and now looks so much better!