My mom took me for a birthday shop at Waechter's, which is always a treat. This fabric doesn't seem to have made it to their website yet, but it is a black and white ruffled knit from Marc Jacobs. Some of the ruffled knits I've seen in both garments and as yardage have been very flimsy and delicate. The combination of the neutral color scheme with the texture of the ruffles, plus the nice quality, drew me to this ruffle knit particularly.
Although I love all the ways designers and home sewers have been playing with stripes, I thought it would be best to keep the style simple for this dress. I wish I could have made it a straight tube, with the hem a straight line, but that geometry doesn't suit my figure one bit! So the bodice is straight, with the skirt portion slightly flared.
I had to puzzle over the best way to finish the neckline for some time (turn and topstitch? fold over elastic? black knit binding?) to finally hit on the most obvious solution--use a strip of the black ruffle fabric. I'm glad I didn't introduce another element or a line of stitching over the ruffles at the neck edge; this treatment looks natural and clean.
The weather hasn't been warm enough yet to wear this dress. I need to take it for a test drive to really know how I like it, but I think it will be a good summer staple.