Category Archives: Dresses

Take the Chance Dress by Pattern Emporium

Inspired by the vlogs of Karina of Lifting Pins & Needles and Whitney of TomKat Stitchery I decided to do just that!

Take the Chance Dress pattern by Pattern Emporium

The Take The Chance Shirt Dress has been designed with the relaxed structure of an easy fit shirt. It features buttons (or snaps) along the front opening, a simple placket & collar (with the easiest instructions ever!) & is finished with a tiered skirt.

For this toile version I used some recently purchased Viscose from Rainbow Fabrics, I bought 3 metres for a total cost of £10.78. This had been washed and dried on arrival and sat awaiting inspiration as to the design of dress that I would make.

Ditsy printed Owls on Viscose from Rainbow Fabrics, Kilburn

Construction notes: I printed off the design in size 20 using the layers function in Adobe, a first time of using that option. I made no changes to the pattern – just went for it! First I cut out the bodice fronts, back, collar, under collar and short sleeves. When laying out the fabric I had discovered a nasty mark across the entire width so knew that the skirt would have to be cut to avoid this mark. This means that the skirt was not cut in the tiers as per the pattern illustration but I was able to cut 2 longer panels each 40 inches wide x approximately 20 inches deep and a further 3 widths of the fabric, each 12 inches deep for the hem ruffle. I used the spare pieces to cut 4 of my TNT pocket patterns.

To begin construction I made up the skirt. I attached the pocket pieces to the main panels then followed with the hem ruffle. This latter was pleated with the pleater foot using a long stitch length of 5mm with a pleat every 6 stitches. I found that the 3 widths of fabric pleated in this way were sufficient to complete the hem of the main panels with just a short section approximately 8 inches long left over. All seams were overlocked as although the fabric was fine enough for French seams, I wanted to complete this ‘toile’ quickly. The skirt was set aside whilst I worked on the bodice.

Following the vlog by Karina I completed the yoke, grown-on facings and collar before basting the side seams and having a ‘first fit’. I noted that I needed to shorten the back bodice length by at least 1 inch, the front bodice will need to be lengthened by at least 1 inch on the next iteration. The side seams were also taken in by ½ inch on both fronts and back. Next time I will also need to reduce the shoulder width by at least 1 inch. I took the time to adjust the pattern pieces now whilst the changes were still at the front of my mind. Once I had made those adjustments to the pattern, I returned to the bodice and marked up the buttonholes. I made 5 vertical buttonholes and attached 5 of my favourite 4-hole tortoiseshell buttons.

Bodice with collar and Faux Tortoiseshell buttons

The bottom of the button placket was basted together as the front skirt panel had been cut on the fold. Next I set in the sleeves. These were very well drafted and were set in easily with no gathers or tucks to spoil the shoulder line. The top edge of the skirt panels were gathered with 2 rows of long stitches and then attached to the bottom of the bodice. As I had already hemmed the ruffle, the dress was now complete.

The finished ‘Take The Chance’ Dress

Conclusion: Working with this very fine Viscose was like ‘herding cats’ as it was so slippery. Overall this was a simple enough dress to make and the drafting is very good with all notches matching up as they should. I am very pleased with the result and with those changes to the pattern mentioned above, I am sure that the next iteration will be even better.

Project #48 completed 19th October 2022

Harley dress version #2 + circle skirt

I bought 4 metres of this very bold cotton print ‘Peachy Pink Large Leopard’ back in June 2022 from Rainbow Fabrics. It was laundered and then sat in the pile of fabrics awaiting inspiration.

Peachy Pink Large Leopard Cotton from Rainbow Fabrics, Kilburn

I knew that I wanted to make a dress with full circular skirt but apart from that could not decide on what style of bodice to use. Finally, as I had the idea to make the ‘toile’ version of the Morgan Messenger Bag in the fabric remnants, I needed to get on and cut out something! I finally went with the ‘Harley’ dress. I used my self-drafted ‘Harley’ bodice and an adapted skirt from the Penny dress by Sew Over It.

Construction of this cotton fabric was straightforward. I used French seams on the skirt panels and included concealed side seam pockets – also French seamed. I left the skirt to hang whilst I made up the sleeves and then went onto the bodice. The sleeves have a deep hem facing that was hand stitched in place on the inside. Two rows of gathering at the sleeve head before inserting the sleeves using French seams. The bodice was lined with some plain White cotton with the facings appliqued on using fashion fabric. Seam allowances on both the fashion fabric and lining were pinked to help prevent fraying.

I applied a 3 inch wide facing to the front edges of the skirt panels and ran two rows of gathering along the upper edges of the back skirt panels.

Back view showing gathering in centre back

I attached the skirt to the bodice, overlocked the raw edges and then turned up the bottom edge of the bodice lining and top stitched from the right side.

Close up of Bodice & Sleeves

Buttonholes were worked on my machine and I used 12 coconut shell buttons stitched wrong side up so that the paler shade was on show.

The hem of the skirt was overlocked before turning up a ¼ inch twice and top stitching in place.

Harley dress #2 in Peachy Peach Animal Print Cotton

Conclusion: I am delighted with the dress and will definitely be making this pattern again. When you are a larger lady it is best to go big, go bold!

Project #44 completed 29th September 2022

Sofia dress #2

After the disaster of the Annette handbag, to restore my confidence I decided to make version 2 of the Sofia Dress by Victory patterns.

Sofia Dress by Victory Patterns

I have had this bold printed cotton lawn in my stash since December 2021 and as I have previously made the Sofia thought it would be suitable as a (relatively) quick make. Well I was wrong!

Riviera Walk Marlie Cotton Lawn by Lady McElroy

As I had a generous 3 metres of the wide fabric I cut out elbow- length sleeves plus an almost maxi-length skirt. First thing to do was a test swatch of shirring. This worked out well so on with the construction.

Test swatch of shirring

I like to get the sleeves constructed first, followed by attaching concealed side seam pockets to the skirt panels. As the overlocker was still threaded up with White thread, I finished all the construction with French seams. The first thing to do with the sleeves was the shirring at the cuff. I started with the first row 2 ½ inches from the raw edge and managed to get just one row completed before the sewing machine decided not to play! Several broken threads and ‘bird’s nests’ of shirring elastic and top thread meant that it took a long time to shirr a band of 4 rows for each sleeve. After that experience I was not looking forward to shirring the bodice front and back, but continued with the construction of the sleeves. The underarm seam is Frenched and a narrow hem top stitched in place.

Now I was ready to shirr the front and back bodice. I had exactly the same problems as on the sleeves. I applied plenty of seam to the first bodice piece and finally managed to shrink down to approximately 20 inches in width. Before shirring the second bodice piece I took the time to change the elastic, this time using a brand new spool from a multi-pack recently purchased from eBay. I also changed the top thread spool. I decided to ignore the usual advice and rather than hand wind the bobbins, I used the bobbin winder on the machine but ran the thread through only one of the tension hooks. For this second bodice piece I stitched the rows of shirring ½ inch (1 cm) apart (the previous piece has shirring circa ¼ inch apart). The shirring worked beautifully! After steaming the second bodice piece, I stitched the sides with French seams.

First fitting of shirred bodice

Next step was to add the shoulder pieces. Before I attached them to the dress I made little straps with KAM snaps ® to keep my bra straps in place and ensure that the shoulders of the dress stayed put. These are a much better solution to the safety pins that I have been using on Sofia #1.

Lingerie strap keepers

Again French seams were used to insert the sleeves which gives a much neater finish to the insides of the garment.

Now to attach the prepared skirt. As I had made the skirt panels to match the bottom edge of the bodice pieces this was relatively straightforward to do with French seams. Next was to attach a length of ¼ inch elastic to the seam allowances and turn up the hem of the skirt. This was completed about 7am as I woke early! The elastic insertion was steamed and dress given a final press, Voila! Sofia #2 is complete.

Sofia dress #2 in Riviera Walk cotton lawn

Conclusion: I love this dress and it has turned out much ‘smarter’ than I expected. I will keep in reserve as a ‘Party’ dress especially as I plan to attend the Sprat & Winkle Quilters Christmas Dinner in December. The only change that I will make for the next version will be to lengthen the front and back bodice pieces so that the shirring finishes closer to my natural waistline rather than as the ‘Empire’ line of the pattern.

Project #42 completed 16th September 2022

A new design – Hyacinth

Inspired by a dress offered for sale on the Museum Selection site I have drafted a new dress pattern. It is a hack/combination of several designs as follows:

Basic Myosotis bodice, extended length, converted to the Maryon neckline, plus a self-drafted collar. Shirred puffed sleeves from the Sophie design by Victory patterns. I added a button through gathered skirt made from 2 rectangles, each 32 inches length x width of fabric and 2 patch pockets.

Line drawing and samples fabric & button

For this ‘wearable muslin’ I used 3metres x 114cms wide cotton floral print – total cost £14.97 bought from Fabricland, Bournemouth back in February 2022. As this is such a florally-designed print, I have named this dress design ‘Hyacinth’ after Hyacinth Bucket, a character in the TV series, ‘Keeping up Appearances’.

The collar: I started sewing with the collar as I had decided that if it did not work out, I could abandon the collar and stick with a simple V-neckline. Fabric was tight so the undercollar was cut from a complimentary poly/cotton from my stash (yet another remnant from a king size duvet cover conversion project). To ensure that the undercollar did not roll to the top side, I inserted some narrow piping. I was delighted with the way that this turned out so proceeded with making up the bodice. Darts and shoulder seams were stitched and then the collar machine basted in place. Looking good. On to the side seams of the bodice in preparation of completing the neckline and then adding the sleeves.

Close Up neckline & collar

Sleeves: I used the short sleeve from the Sofia dress by Victory patterns but due to shortage and width of the fabric had to reduce the width at the hem. This still made the hem about 20 inches wide so enough for shirring and a little frill, plus lots of ‘pouff’ at the sleeve head.

Skirt & pockets: As the skirt was cut as 2 rectangles with a centre back seam I decided to add some patch pockets (for a change to my usual concealed side seam pockets). I used two pieces that were left after the cutting out and this gave me quite large pockets with curved bottoms and straight tops. As the pockets were very wide, I added a central inverted pleat for extra interest and to accommodate the extra width. Once the skirt had been gathered and attached to the bodice, I identified their location which was 3½ inches down from the waist seam and 3½ inches from the side seam point on the bodice.

Button fastening: I was most fortunate to find a set of Teal Blue sparkly buttons (included with a fabric parcel from Rainbow Fabrics) that matched perfectly with the colours of the floral print. There are 5 buttons on the bodice and 7 on the skirt.

The hem of the skirt was overlocked before turning up by 2 inches and machine blind hem stitched in place.

Finished Wearable Toile version of Hyacinth design

Conclusion: I am very pleased with the finished dress although I am not 100% sure about the collar. It fits well with the style of the dress but in the final analysis I believe that I prefer a V-neckline with no collar, but maybe next time a bias cut frill to compliment the frill on the sleeves.

Project #39 completed 20th August 2022.

Sofia dress by Victory Patterns

A very popular style this Spring and Summer is a dress with shirred bodice. Although very late to the party, I have done shirring in the past – firstly way back in the 1960’s and more recently before Covid when I made the Siena dress by Sew Over It.

Sofia dress by Victory Patterns

I checked out several ‘make your own pattern’ vlogs on the internet but was still not confident to try ‘going it alone’ so purchased the Sofia dress pattern by Victory Patterns. I checked out the size and measurements chart before deciding to make the size 20, version 1 dress with the short puff sleeves.

Viscose Challis from Rainbow Fabrics

I had chosen this pretty viscose challis deliberately as it had a background print of even checks that I could use as a guide for the lines of shirring. The fabric came from Rainbow Fabrics and I purchased 3 metres at a cost of £10.78.

First task was a trial run of the shirring. Having hand-wound several bobbins with shirring elastic I cut a rectangle 10 inches across by 5 inches deep and then stitched rows of shirring on my machine. The settings were for a stitch length of 5.00 with tension racked up to 9.00. The swatch was then steamed with the iron until it shrunk down to 5 inches across.

Shirring sample swatch

The 3 metres was easily sufficient to cut the dress with a plain skirt. Initially I had considered adding a ruffle at the hem but decided that would add too much weight to the skirt and may cause the bodice to drag down.

I completed the shirring for the front and back bodice, then completed the construction of the sleeves. All the shirring took a total of 16 pre-wound shirring elastic bobbins. I stitched the side seams of the bodice and tried it on having pinned the sleeves in place. It was immediately apparent that I would have wear a strapless bra as the sleeves are set too wide. I recalled that on one of the vlogs the seamstress encountered the same problem, the easy solution is to add the shoulder bands as shown with the Bell sleeves.

Bodice with shoulder bands included

Next onto the skirt. I did not use the pattern. I simply cut two rectangles 40 inches wide x 34 inches deep. By cutting rectangles I was able to use the printed check lines to ensure accuracy. No side seam pockets for this little number as the fabric is too light the pocket bags would pull on the side seams and and without lining the skirt, show through on the right side. I overlocked all the seam allowances for speed as this dress is a ‘wearable muslin’ in anticipation of making another in a different print. The hem was of the skirt was double turned by 3 inches to add some weight to the hemline and then hand stitched in place.

Completed Sofia Dress

Conclusion: The fabric is exceptionally soft and lightweight, perfect for this project. The check print made keeping the lines of shirring straight very easy. I particularly like the short sleeves with shirring and ruffle. I will definitely be using that pattern on other dresses. When this style dress was a project on The Great British Sewing Bee the contestants were allowed 3½ hours to complete. My version has taken longer but maybe the next iteration will be a quicker sew. I may revisit this dress and add a plain White viscose voile lining to the skirt for modesty but in the meantime will enjoy my ‘milkmaid-look’ dress.

Project #37 completed 9th August 2022

Maryon #2

Hot on the tails of the success of Maryon #1 – a wearable toile, I decided that I needed another version. This time I fancied a Pink dress in cotton poplin.

Floral print cotton poplin

I purchased this pretty floral print cotton poplin in April 2022 from an ebay seller (fabrics-online) for a total cost of £15.16. There were 4 metres x 147cms wide. Once I had completed the cutting out I found that I had used only 2.66 metres of the very wide fabric. I now have 1.34 metres remnant to make a blouse. Result!

Noting some things that were ‘not quite right’ about the Maryon #1, I first ‘finessed’ my pattern. I altered the neckline slightly and trimmed down the side seams by 1/8th inch. I would change the way that the waist darts are sewn so that they more closely fit my rib cage.

First I made up the skirt with the concealed side seam pockets. I used French seams as I particularly like the insides of my garments to look neat. French seams will help to prolong the life of the dress through many washes.

Next, onto the bodice. I marked and stitched the darts also adding stay stitching to the front neckline which is on the bias. I stitched the side seams and neatened the armholes with self bias binding.

The front neckline facings were cut extra long so that they can be added to the skirt without a seam adding bulk at the centre front waistline seam. I used the last of my stash of fusible interfacing for these facings so must put some onto my shopping list.

As the skirt was already prepared it did not take very long to add to the bodice. I had increased the centre front and centre back skirt panels so gathered the extra at the fronts and centre back before attaching to the bodice. I neatened the seam with overlocking. Now I was able to finish off the facing on the bodice and skirt.

The hem was overlocked and then a double turn before top stitching. I usually make 5 buttonholes in the bodice and 7 in the skirt. This time I got carried away and there are 8 buttonholes in the skirt. The mother of pearl buttons were attached on the machine using the button foot.

Maryon #2

Conclusion: Although the fabric was listed as cotton poplin I did find it to be very lightweight – almost like a cotton lawn. Had I realised at the beginning, I would have preferred to have the bodice lined. The dress has taken 6½ hours to complete and I am very pleased with the end result. I have yet more cotton print fabrics to make up this design but for now will try a new design that includes shirring.

Project #35 completed 24th July 2022

Maryon – another new hack

The Myosotis dress by Deer and Doe has certainly been worth its weight as a base for hacks.

Myosotis dress pattern by Deer and Doe

Using my previous hack of Myosotis/Montana, I have made another hack and this one is called ‘Maryon’.

Drafting the pattern: Starting with the cap sleeve bodice (Marilyn), I redrew the neckline into a V-shape. I extended the length of the bodice by 1 inch so that the waist seam would fall at my natural waist and decided that this particular design would have the bodice lined with a front facing that extended down from the bodice onto a front-buttoning skirt. For the skirt I started with the full circle Penny dress pattern from Sew Over It as a base before cutting in half (to make 4 panels), adding to the seam allowances, adding to the width to allow for front button closure and adding 3 inches to the length.

I made a toile using purple poly/cotton fabric which, once refined, I used as the bodice lining for ‘Maryon’.

Fitting the toile: I found that I needed to add 1 cm to the side seams at the waist, grading back to 0 at the underarm. I also cut away 1 cm from the front V-neckline shaping and also the back neckline. I altered the pattern accordingly and drafted the facings before cutting out the fashion fabric.

For the fabric I used some quilting weight 100% cotton that I bought from my local P&Q store, New Threads based at Weyhill Fairground. The fabric is ‘Sweet Harmony’ in the Blue colourway from American Jane Patterns for moda fabrics ®.

Sweet Harmony by American Jane for moda fabrics

The fabric was on sale and I bought 4 metres. As this is not a one-way design, I had sufficient to add the full circle skirt that I planned. The fabric was laundered and been sitting in my stash since February waiting for just the right project.

Before making up the bodice in the fashion fabric I made up the skirt using French seams and included concealed side seam pockets. The skirt was left to hand to allow any bias to drop. Once the bodice was completed, I then attached it to the skirt and hand tacked the lining to the waist seam. This was machine top-stitched in place.

Buttons and Buttonholes: I had several choices available for the buttons but after consultation with my husband decided on the last card of TRAEKNAPPER wooden buttons that I bought in Alesund when on a Norwegian cruise with my sister. All 12 buttonholes and the buttons were sewn with my Brother 4000D sewing machine.

Norwegian wooden buttons – A great match

The hem was overlocked with 4 threads and then turned under twice before top-stitching in place.

Jpeg

Conclusion: I am very pleased with how this ‘wearable toile’ has turned out. It will certainly be worn over the Summer. As the fabric is quite substantial I feel that I shall also be able to wear it in the Winter as a Pinafore Dress with a fine knit top underneath.

Project #33 completed 14th July 2022

‘Marilyn’ – a new hack

I recently purchased 3 metres of this very bold ‘in your face’ Viscose crepe from Rainbow Fabrics, Kilburn. To be honest I am not sure what I was thinking when I ordered the fabric so was a little surprised when I opened the parcel and saw how dramatic the colour and print was. However, the fabric was laundered, has a lovely drape and feels great against the skin.

Having made 6 versions of the Montana dress by Style Arc and 4 of the Myosotis dress, I thought it would be a good idea to combine the two designs, make a new style that I have named ‘Marilyn’ and use the bold Orange viscose for a wearable toile.

Line drawing for Marilyn design

Drafting the pattern: I first copied the bodice front and back of the Myosotis before laying over the Montana so that I could extend the shoulders for the cap sleeves. These days my ‘go to’ method for sleeveless and cap sleeved dresses is to line the bodice so that the armhole can be clean finished. However, this time I drafted an all-in-one facing. You will see that originally I planned to make the skirt with a hem ruffle but then I decided to make the skirt in three tiers.


Cutting out: I was careful with motif placement as I really did not want that large White bloom on the apex of my bust! I cut the back bodice in two with a centre back seam so that I could then cut 6 panels 12 inches deep x width of fabric (WOF) to make a three-tiered skirt.

Construction: The Bodice – My usual MO is to make up the bodice first so that can sit on the mannequin (to be admired!) whilst I stitch the skirt panels, pockets and frills. After a night’s sleep when it came down to it, I decided to ignore the all-in-one facing and instead use self bias binding. I still have the pattern for the facing in the envelope so maybe next time. For the self bias I cut strips 2 inches wide and pressed them wrong sides together before sewing to the right side of the bodice and flipping to the inside. I understitched the bias and seam allowances before top stitching the free edge of the bias binding in place. I was unable to find the exact colour of Orange for the buttons (not really surprising) so reverted to more of the Mother of Pearl ones that I bought in bulk and have now become my favourites.

The skirt: Again, I procrastinated before sitting down and getting on with the skirt. All those lengths of fabric had to be stitched together and have double rows of gathering. Then it was sitting quietly, marking the quarters, matching and gathering evenly for each of the three tiers. Each tier was sewn before attaching the final skirt to the bodice.

Final fitting: The overall length was a little too long (possibly dragged down by the weight of all the fabric in the skirt). I revisited the seams between the second and third tier and re-stitched taking a further ½ inch seam allowance from the original seam and overlocking (once again!). This brought the overall length up by 2 inches which was ‘just right’.

‘Marilyn’ version #1

Conclusion: I am very pleased with how this ‘wearable toile’ has turned out and delighted with the colour and design of the print. I think it is a dramatic dress and may well end up being my ‘birthday’ dress for 2022. I may be ageing but will certainly not be invisible. I am sure I will make the ‘Marilyn’ again in Viscose crepe but next time will either cut as a skirt plus a hem ruffle, or cut the skirt tiers at 11 inches rather than 12 inches so that the length is less ‘maxi’ and more ‘midi’. I have an idea for another ‘hack’ for the Myosotis to remove the collar stand and clean finish a round neckline instead. Watch this space…..

Project #31 completed 23rd June 2022

Revisit an old Favourite

Butterick 5356

Back in the Summer of 1998 I made my first version of Butterick 5356. I remember it particularly well as it was my ‘birthday’ dress. That year my husband and I spent a lovely day exploring ‘The Vyne’, a National Trust house and garden in nearby Sherborne St John, Hampshire.

The fabric used was a polyester crepe de chine purchased from a market trader in Andover. I still have the dress, it still fits, and I wear it every Spring and Summer.

I made a second version of the dress using a Lavender-coloured crinkle cotton. Unfortunately I no longer have that iteration as I gifted the dress to a friend, now sadly passed away.

Every Spring/Summer since 2000 I have wanted to make the dress again, but this time in a natural fibre so that it is more comfortable to wear in the really warm weather. Finally I have done it!

The original dress was made to size 22 with a few adjustments – reduce the width of the shoulders and the length of the dress. As I knew that the dress was ‘just right’ in terms of fit, I would be able to cut straight from the pattern.

Ditsy Daisy Sustainable Soft Viscose Challis

Turquoise is a special favourite as I believe the colour particularly suits me, I selected some Ditsy Daisy Sustainable Soft Viscose Challis purchased from Rainbow Fabrics, Kilburn at the end of April 2022 at a cost of £21.57. Thus this length has not been long in my stash and I thought that the print and drape of the fabric would be a great match for the Butterick pattern.

As I am currently watching the latest series of ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ where each challenge is undertaken with a time limit, I decided to time myself making this project. Total time taken including cutting out and the final hand sewing of the hem was 8 hours. This is longer than expected but can be down to the mobility of the fabric, having to hand sew tailors tacks for all the deep tucks on the bodice, plus a hand sewn hem. However, as I was very keen to get the dress completed quickly, I have neatened seam allowances with the overlocker rather than make French seams which is time-saving.

Order of work was:- Session 1 – Cutting out. Session 2 – Making the self-fabric ties, interfacing the collar and front facing, making the back darts and including the ties at the waist point of the darts. Session 3 – Making sleeves, preparing the back neck facing with a ‘Carousel’ label. Session 4 – Sewing the front bodice tucks, shoulder seam front to back. Prepare Collar and one half of front facing. Session 5 – Second front facing, side seams, set in sleeves, make 12 buttonholes. Session 6 – Add 12 buttons, prepare the hem. Session 7 – hand sew hem in place.

Conclusion: Marking the I front bodice tucks and sewing the collar are both fiddly, especially with this particular type of viscose. I am sure that if (when!) I make the dress again using a crepe it will be less time-consuming. I love the finished dress which I think is particularly slimming and very comfortable to wear. I will definitely be making another.

Butterick 5356
Butterick 5356 Back view

Project #30 completed 15th June 2022

Myosotis #4 – a catalogue of compromises

I decided that I would make just one more version of the Myosotis pattern before changing to a different collection, utilising cotton fabrics and some new patterns.

Myosotis by Deer & Doe

The last of the ‘Spring Greens’ fabric collection is a Viscose Marrocain purchased from Rainbow Fabrics.

Viscose Marrocain ex Rainbow Fabrics

For this final (for the time being) Myosotis I wanted to add ¾ length ‘blouson’ sleeves with elastic casing and frilled cuffs plus a 3-tiered skirt. However, when ironing the fabric I discovered that it was not a 4 metre length – only 3 metres and also some marks that had not been removed by washing. So back to the drawing board….

Cutting out: I was so intent on avoiding the marks on the fabric that unfortunately the motif placement, especially on the bodice front(!) is less than ideal. I discovered that if I cut the back bodice in two with a centre back seam and the sleeves on the cross grain I would be able to cut 3 x width of fabric (WOF) to make a deep frill of 11 inches for the bottom of the main skirt panels. The main skirt panels were cut 40 inches wide x 20 inches deep.

Construction: The Bodice: My usual MO is to make up the bodice first so that can sit on the mannequin (to be admired!) whilst I stitch the skirt panels, pockets and frills. I used my hacked sleeve pattern but this time I have added to the depth of the sleeve cap in the hope that this will compensate for the removal of 1 inch from the shoulder width. The faced hem of the sleeves has been twin needle top stitched in place. The button bands have also been topstitched. With regard to button selection – again a compromise. I found two perfect colour-matched buttons, but sadly only two and I needed five. I chose some mother of pearl buttons that I bought from eBay a long time ago but never got around to using.

The skirt: At least this time I could use the ruffler/pleating foot which is far less time consuming than all those rows of gathering stitches and organising of the gathers. One thing that I did not have to compromise on was the fabric for the pocket bags as I was able to cut my favourite pocket bag 4 times in the fashion fabric.

Myosotis #4

Conclusion: I think that this version is my 2nd favourite. It has turned out a little longer than I anticipated but that’s OK, it will look even better when worn with my wedge heeled espadrilles. The sleeves are still not quite right, I will have to go back to the drawing board the next time I make a Myosotis dress. I still hanker after a long sleeved version so will revisit later in the year.

Project #25 completed 24th April 2022