I have long been a lover of Roses in all their shapes and forms. We have many different roses in our garden, from miniature patio roses, hybrid teas, floribunda, climbers and ramblers. Each year the first to flower is ‘Canary Bird’ a charming harbinger of Summer in our ‘Courtyard’ garden.
It will therefore come as no surprise that I love a rose print fabric. These are 100% cotton by Hill-Berg and were bought several years ago from Fabricland, Salisbury branch.
I was inspired by a shirt worn by Sue Perkins in an episode of QI and bought a coordinating print of similar roses but in a larger scale.
The main bodice of the shirt was made using the large scale print with the sleeves, collar, cuffs and pockets made in the smaller scale. I took a lot of time and care to make this shirt which has plenty of double top-stitching. Although the shirt is now quite old, it washes and wears really well and best of all, still fits!
The second project using yet more of the smaller scale print was a ‘wearable’ toile of a Gertie pattern. Unfortunately this dress was only ever worn once. Although I thought that I would like the neckline and tulip sleeves – they just did not work for me and the dress has since sat at the back of the wardrobe. Finally, as there was a lot of fabric in the skirt and I had located the remaining remnant, I decided to unpick the dress and use the fabric for another project.
The fabrics were laundered and laid out on the cutting board. I had 3 widths from the skirt, cut at 30 inches long, plus the bodice pieces unpicked and 2 other remnant pieces of approximately 2 yards total.
I decided to make another ‘Kitty’ dress with a shawl collar, similar to the Caribbean Madras check that I made in November 2018.
I thought that as the print is so busy, the shape of the collar needed to be highlighted in some way. I found some pretty Pink and Silver ric-rac trim in my stash and thought it would ‘do nicely’. I was unable to make the dress button through to the skirt as I could not find sufficient matching buttons in my stash.
Once cut out, the construction did not take long although because we are enjoying lovely weather the ‘Spring clean’ of the garden took priority. The dress was sewn in several sessions over the week and has therefore taken about 10 days to complete. To bind the armholes, I cut bias fabric 1¾ inches wide and folded in half wrong sides together. I stitched to the right side taking a ¼ inch seam before turning the binding to the inside and top stitching in place.
Conclusion: Project 29 of 2020. I love the print of this dress and the style is very comfortable. Being sleeveless I will be able to wear when the weather is warmer but also with a cropped cardigan in the cooler evenings. I have found that the collar sits quite high at the back and will therefore make an adjustment ready for the next time that I make the pattern. Although I still have some of this print fabric left, I will now change over threads to make a Navy NHS scrubs set and give the roses a rest!
Completed: 27th April 2020