Hi, I’m very happy to present to you my new sundress. I designed this dress myself with the help of a (I think) 1960’s book by Enid Gilchrist – Basic Fashions for Women. It’s a fab book that shows you how to draft your own patterns and alter them. I used the square neck bodice pattern and changed it a little mainly by making the shoulders a little narrower.
The skirt part of the dress I chose myself. It originally had pleats in but after faffing about with them for ages and then sewing it to the skirt I picked it all out and decided on gathers under the darts of the bodice.
I bought the fabric on a whim whilst on a weekend away recently. We walked past a sewing shop and I just ‘had’ to have a look in. This fabric appealed to me very much and it reminds me of a Cath Kidston fabric. I love her stuff! When in the shop I imagined it made up into a full gathered skirt so only bought 1 1/2 metres. But, when I got home I’d changed my mind and wished I’d bought more. I could see it as a dress so had to think carefully how I was going to manage to have enough fabric. I really did only have enough for the bodice and a skirt with not a lot left over! So, I decided to line the whole dress therefore not needing any facings. I didn’t even have enough to make bias binding to face the neck and armholes. I like it fully lined though. It gives the dress a bit of structure and is not see through – always a bonus!
I used an invisable zip on the side seam. I’m very pleased with how it turned out. I did one side twice though. Always remember to match things up ie; waistbands!
I decided to add a waistband to my dress for the feature of it but also to maybe add a little length to the overall dress as I didn’t want my dress to be too short and I only had a limited ammount of fabric. (There really only was enough left to make some patch pockets if I’d wanted them). I have some lovely grosgrain pink ribbon that is the same pink as on the flowers. I bought this off ebay because it was a nice price with no intention of what to use it for – well, now it has come in useful. I’m very pleased with how it looks used as a feature along the edges. I folded it in half and included it in my seam allowance.
Detail showing my full lining. It was relatively easy. I completed the bodice first and once it was in place and the main part of the dress was attached I then attached the bottom half of the lining to the bodice lining.
The skirt part of the lining I confess is actually a piece of old bedding that I was using for making my muslin. I didn’t have enough of my ‘nice’ white cotton to use for the full lining. It’s Ok though because who is going to see it? Except you guys right now? He he.
I recently was looking through an old Butterick book of my Mum’s and saw and filed in my mind this scallop stitch I used to hem my lining. It is done by hand and was really easy. Just make a narrow hem and as you are slip stitching it every now and then (every 2 stitches for me) make some stitches over the hem edge pulling it tight to make the scallop. I think it gives a pretty edge should anyone happen to see it when I swish about!
Once my dress was assembled and because I only ‘just’ got it out of my 1 1/2 metres the length allowed nothing for hemming. I didn’t want my dress to be any shorter so I turned the hem just a little onto the right side and stitched some more of my ribbon along the bottom as a feature as well as a hem.
I hope you like my dress as much as I do?