I recently decided that I need to expand the style and design of dresses that I make. I have so many different patterns in my stash that I am sure I shall never get around to making them all.
The first new style on the list was to be the Alder dress by Grainline Studios. I have this pattern in pdf format but not got around to printing it off. I studied the line drawing and having thought about it for a while believed that I could draft something very similar using my TNT bodice block.
I first started with the simple rever collar which is also a TNT pattern. Then I extended the bodice front by 30 inches from the centre of the body darts and drew a parallel line to the front edge to make the centre front panel which would include a button fastening. The front facing was also extended by 30 inches which I knew would be too long but best to err on the side of safety and have too much rather than too little. The skirt was two rectangles, cut 30 inches deep x the width of the fabric which was 42 inches. Of course, I included my standard side seam pockets.
The fabric is yet another 100% cotton printed with birds (Storks or Cranes?) from the Salisbury branch of Fabricland. I bought 4 metres but only used just over 3 metres. I have since purchased some more fabric in this print to combine with the remnant and make a Summer Shirt/tunic top.
Construction took a little thinking about but in fact turned out to be fairly straightforward; I first stitched the darts for bust and the body darts on the back bodice. The shoulder seams were stitched and the collar basted into position. This was followed by the side seams of the bodice, checked for fit and then stitched. I made up the skirt which included slashing a ‘side seam’ into which the pockets were inserted and ran two rows of gathering thread along the top edge.
I did toy with the idea of adding a self-fabric tie belt but having pinned into place, was soon discarded. The skirt was attached to the bodice up to the centre point of the front bodice body darts. Those darts were then stitched and run down to join the front edge of the skirt panels to the extended centre panels of the bodice. The front facing was attached then buttonholes and buttons (Pale Duck Egg Blue from my stash) stitched. The armholes are bound with self-fabric bias binding. There is a wide 3 inch hem which I hand stitched in place.
I am absolutely delighted with this dress it has turned out just as I wanted and planned. I have some more cotton print from Fabricland that was gifted to me by the ladies of the Friday Sewing House Group and I plan to make another version of this new style dress.