Hi all! Here is another dress I finished recently. I bought the fabric during the last fabric market in Leiden back in… September? I originally wanted to make a jacket, but I was able to get 2 meters for the price of 1.5 due to a small tear in the fabric. So I decided to make the most of it and make another dress.
Here is the pattern I used from Knipmode, issue October 2017, dress 9. What I liked about it is the simple style which I felt complimented the fabric most. Also, this dress has pockets! Who doesn love pockets?
Pattern available for purchase here
- Turned French darts into princess seams
- Added pockets
- Fit: FBA, small shoulder, narrow back modifications
The small tear was at the bottom of the fabric. I wasn’t too worried about it, I could cut around it if needed.
And luckily everything fit just fine. The bodice front was divided into thee parts with a pattern modification I did, separating the French dart into a princess seam. I find that a princess seam makes fitting for a small chest, big bust (85HH cup) much easier.
The original material list asks for ~ 2.5m fabric, but I was able to fit everything on 2 meters because of the bodice modifications. The side-front panel fit next to the skirt panels, and I also did not add any hem allowance to the skirt as I was planning on adding a black border.
The fabric was too thick to fully stitch on the serger, so I opted to serge all the edges individually and put the panels together on the regular sewing machine.
Serging the edges also stabilizes them. I did add some black seam tape to the pocket entrances to prevent sagging over time.
Stitching the pockets. They could of course be cut attached to the skirt panels, but this way I can stabilize and understitch them to make them less visible.
Pocket attached to back skirt panel. Then I placed front and back panel together, matching the pockets, and stitched all around, turning at the bottom of the pocket and continuing stitching the side seam all the way down. Then I stitched the pocket opening separately.
After a quick press here are the near invisible pockets.
I pleated the skirt according to the pattern’s instructions. Then I stitched them in for about 2.5cm.
I decided to change up the neckline a little, making a deep square neckline with a black border. I saw something like this on Instagram but alas, I can’t seem to find my inspiration again!
I also did the back, cutting a slightly square neckline.
Then I quickly drew a pattern for the black borders. This was relatively easy. I just copied the neckline opening onto the paper (minding my seam allowance) and echo-ed the shape.
Some plain black jersey was used for the border. Next time I will probably use a thicker fabric as this was a little too think in contrast to the chevron fabric.
I specifically got black interfacing for this project but I forgot it in my other backpack at home! So white will have to do.
Stitching the inner black border to the outer black border, then serging the edges together for a neat finish.
I figured I would fit the dress first to rule out any fitting issues around the shoulder area. I have small, sloping shoulders and no dress ever fits right on the first try. So I attached bodice and skirt together, omitting the back zipper on the pattern.
Starting to look really cute! The shoulders actually fit great and I decided against my original plan of adding another black border on the hem as it was more than long enough for me. I did end up adding a 5cm black border to the sleeves as they were a little short on me.
Fitting the neckline was not as difficult as I thought it was, but I did have to clip some corners. Basting was my friend here, as I used my favorite red basting thread to secure and stitch the black border to the neckline.
I actually ended up cutting ~3cm from the hem before turning it over ~2.5 cm and hemming with twin needles.
And here is the finished product! I really like how it turned out!
My favourite part is the square neckline extending to the back. It gives me a historical feel to it – Renaissace Leiden dress had a very low square neckline in the back.
Overall, while I am very happy with how my dress turned out, next time I would probably cut the bodice ~5cm longer as it tend to ride up a little with wear. And I would use either a stiffer interfacing, or a thicker jersey for the border as it is sagging a little.
Thanks again for reading!