The Lenox Shirtdress in Ranchero Rayon Chambray

Hi Readers!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on the hunt for the Holy Grail of shirtdresses for a long time!  I’ve been searching for something classic, comfortable, well fitting with a myriad of options to customize and I think I’ve found it with the Cashmerette Lenox.  This pattern certainly went together easily and I had no alterations to make.  A great fit out of the envelope is always an A+ in my book!

I knew I wanted to make my version of the Lenox in chambray and I fell in love the Robert Kaufman Ranchero Rayon Chambray.  The color that I used is “indigo” and is no longer available on the Cali Fabrics site, but they do still have it in denim blue, which is a shade very close to the fabric I used for my dress as well as grey.  It’s a really lovely fabric with a wonderful drape that’s fantastic to wear.

However, the rayon chambray can be a bit finicky.  I have a few tips to help you handle sewing it.

  1.  Prewash the fabric.  You should prewash most fabrics prior to sewing, but rayon especially as it has a tendency to shrink.
  2.  Serge or zig zag the edges of all of your pattern pieces after you cut them.  This fabric frays quite a bit.
  3. This fabric is slippery and pins will make their way out.  I pinned my pieces with a double pin  (dipping the pin in to the fabric twice to anchor it) at a slant so that the pins would stay in.
  4. The rayon has a fluid drape which is beautiful to wear, but more difficult to sew.  Some sewists recommend spraying the fabric with spray starch to make it easier to work with the fabric.

Yes, the rayon chambray takes a little bit more work to sew with, but look at how lovely it is?  It’s definitely worth some cautionary steps to tame it.

I graded between sizes for this dress as my  bust differs from my waist/hip measurement on the Cashmerette size chart.  I cut the out the largest sleeve instead of doing a full bicep adjustment.  The pattern has a built-in swayback adjustment, but I could probably take out a little bit more of a wedge on the back bodice.  It does have a blouson effect that I like, so I’m happy with the fit.  The fabric is a little sheer, so I have a full slip on with this dress.

It’s so nice to add an easy everyday shirtdress to my closet and look forward to making another.  Perhaps a lovely cotton shirting or a poplin for the next one?

*Note:  I received the pattern in return for pattern testing with Cashmerette Patterns.

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