The next dress is starting to come together in my head. Even though I know the best use for that 1.6 meters of blue flowered Liberty would be to make a shirt from it and not try to stretch it beyond its capacity, it wants to be a dress. It told me so. The problem was how to make 1.6 meters of not-particularly-wide cotton into something resembling a dress big enough to fit me.
The answer: careful cutting, a fabric pattern that's non-directional and a contrast fabric used in such a way that it won't look either cheesy or like I ran out of fabric.
My first idea was a dress based on B 4985, which I really liked as a blouse, but even though the more numerous yet smaller pieces might be a bit more sparing of fabric, I've decided to use the bodice from Vogue 8352 instead. 8352 fit pretty well and the top half didn't take a lot of fabric. It's got a slightly dropped waist which will allow me to swap out the existing full skirt for something a little less generous. While I like the original just fine, (a) I don't want an identical dress, and (b) the full dress takes 3 yards - I can't stretch 1.6 meters quite THAT far.
So I'm going to use just the bodice, and see how much fabric I have left after that. I found a warm tan cotton broadcloth that would work with the Liberty, though I haven't completely given up on finding the right light blue. If I do the collar and the facings in the contrast color, that will tie the bodice together with whatever I have to do to make the skirt work, which right now entails making something vaguely A-lined, and possibly using vertical bands of contrast - which seems more interesting than a band at the bottom of the skirt. The dropped waist also means that I don't have to make shirt dress - I can just do buttons from the waist and keep the skirt as one piece, also using a lot less fabric.
At this point, the dress is sleeveless. If it looks like there's going to be a decent bit of fabric left after the skirt (I know, I know, I'm dreaming) then I'll find some itty-bitty sleeve to put in. Otherwise, the armholes will get banded with more of the contrast fabric.
If this works, it's going to be a miracle on level of the loaves and fishes. But with fabric.