Business Lady with a Sharpie Twist

Rush Hour Dress

I recently received a copy of the new extended size range of the Liesl & Co Rush Hour dress for review on the Curvy Sewing Collective. It’s a classic princess-seamed sheath dress or peplum top which is just perfect for a business look. That’s one of my favourite silhouettes, but I prefer it in a knit!

Luckily, I’d just received my order from Cali Fabrics (Oh happy day!), and I had plenty of Liverpool knit to choose from. It’s stretchy, has body, and never fades or wrinkles! I know some people find polyester knits too sweaty, but I find making a sleeveless dress solves that. In winter I’ll be wearing a cardigan anyway!

Rush Hour Dress

I used this diagonal stripe and floral print for the centre panel front and back, and some solid black for the skirt side panels. Just for fun (and scrapbusting), I used leftovers from this Cali Fabrics dress from 2018 for the bodice side panels!

Rush Hour Dress

But when I tried it on, there was a problem – no, not with fit (although I’d tweak that next time) but with how my colour-blocked appeared from afar! If you squint at the picture above, can you see how the bodice side panels blend with the centre panel because they are a similar depth of colour? I wanted the side panels to read as dark like black, for that classic hourglass effect.

Left: original print. Right: Coloured in!

Never fear, my Sharpies are near!

Yup, that’s right – I coloured in my print! I shaded most of the white with black and blue markers, and thanks to the painterly print it blends right in. I’ve coloured on a few dresses before, and it’s a fun way to adjust a print. It lasts well in the wash too!

It’s hard to explain how darkening the print changes the balance of the garment, but I think you can see it best in black and white. To show you, I coloured in the front but left the back panels as-is, for now!

Rush Hour Dress

Can you see how now the side panels on bodice and skirt read as a unit, but on the un-Sharpied back, the bodice panels merge with the centre panel instead? It’s a small difference, but it matters to me! In fact, now that I’ve looked at photos, I’m going to make the side panels even darker.

Rush Hour Dress

What do you do with your polyester knit scraps? They aren’t ideal for quilting, nor underwear or baby clothes, which are usually the common scrap-busting ideas online. I’m hoping that mixing prints and colour blocking is going to help me use of some of my leftovers!

Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow

Hi! My name is Gillian, and I love to sew! I blog at and I run the Sewcialists.

I’ve enjoyed sewing since I was a kid, but when I started sewing clothes in 2012, it became a bit of an obsession. I’m all about wearable, comfy everyday clothes – and my wardrobe is overflowing! I’ve pulled all the colours that I love wearing into my personal colour palette, which keeps me inspired and my fabric shopping on track. I’ve ordered from Cali Fabric for years, and I’m so excited to be able to join their blogger team!

I live in Ontario (Canada) with my nerdy and awesome husband and our two cats. I’m a teacher by day, and fabric hoarder by night!

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2 thoughts on “Business Lady with a Sharpie Twist”

  1. WOW! If you wouldn’t have told me, I would have thought those were coordinated fabrics from the same line. This is really amazing. What a cool tip for all those scraps, or even when you didn’t quite buy a piece large enough!

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