This is yet another version of my ‘Gerry’ dress which is a hack of the Dartmouth Wrap top by Cashmerette into a dress with a variety of skirt options. Once again I used the half circle skirt from the Penny dress by Sew Over It.
fabric is from my stash and is another Cobra Corsage print, this time
on a fine viscose jersey 4-way-stretch-double-crepe.
There were 3 metres in the stash – enough to make my favourite
version of ‘Gerry’.
out was a trial as the fabric is so fine and slippery. It stretches
every which way so in an effort to gain control I pinned the layers
to my corrugated cardboard cutting out board.
was straightforward as usual. I may have to go back and put some form
of stabiliser in the waist seam as the weight of the skirt is
stretching out the length of the bodice. The v neckline may end up at
my waist and I will definitely need to wear a camisole underneath!
have just one more length of this fabulous print left in my stash –
an ivory background cotton lawn. I will retrieve that later this
month and hope there is sufficient to make a long sleeved blouse.
Many years ago before I was married, I made up a dress using a Jean Muir original designer pattern from a magazine. The fabric used was a fine Light Blue cotton jersey, at that time one of my very few forays into jersey sewing and it was a ‘special’ dress. I remember I wore it twice to attend concerts at The Mayflower theatre in Southampton. The first time was to see the group SKY and second time to watch Wayne Sleep with his dance troupe. That dress is long gone and in any event I am sure that it would no longer fit me.
The thought of the dress remains in my ‘treasured dress’ memory and just by chance I came across a collection of vintage Vogue patterns featuring Jean Muir designs. I decided to do some further research to see if I could locate the original pattern.
Unfortunately I could not find the exact same one (probably because my original came from a sewing magazine) but I did find Vogue 2883 printed back in 1973.
This is almost the same dress with the exception that mine had long sleeves into a deep buttoned cuff and did not have a zip closure at the back. The pattern that I purchased from a seller on eBay is a size 16 – Bust 38 ins so will need to be drafted up to fit me.
As I am not especially confident about that process, I also purchased a copy of McCalls #M5640 for woven fabrics which has a similar shaped yoke, full short sleeves and gathering front and back.
I believe that I can utilise the yoke and sleeves using a jersey fabric and design a high-waisted band to replicate the Vogue dress. Depending on the amount of fabric that I have in my stash, I may make long sleeves, otherwise the flutter sleeves will look good and balance out the full skirt.
I have a few other projects that need to be completed in the next 4 weeks but after that I full intend to spend some time slow sewing a replacement ‘special dress’.
During my recent review of fabrics to be used during the Autumn and Winter months I came across this length (2 metres) of Cobra Corsage printed on a stretch cotton base that was bought from Minerva. Originally I had intended to make some slim leg trousers but have still not sorted out the very best pattern to use. I knew that I needed/wanted a new pinafore dress and thought this fabric would be ideal. Hmmm, though which pattern to use?
After a search through my previously used patterns (I did not want to have to make a toile of an as yet unused patterns) I decided to try a repeat of the hack Vogue 8577/Sew Over It (SOI) Penny dress skirt.
In truth the only parts of the Vogue 8577 and SOI Penny that are used in my version is the yoke and bodices but even they have been amended. The ‘old favourite’ half circle skirt pattern from the Penny dress by Sew Over It does not normally have a centre front button opening but I added to the centre front seam (originally a fold line). I also added my standard side seam pockets that are attached to the waistline seam to prevent them flapping about!
To cut the dress from this meagre 2 metres was really ‘pushing’ it and I did have to reduce the length and then the width of the skirt panels at their hemline and also cut the front facings in pieces that were then combined to produce the full length required.
It was only when I came to put the part-stitched bodice onto the mannequin that I realised the glaring error in motif placement! When cutting out I had been concerned that I had a good-sized motif placed at the shoulders, just under the yoke seam but overlooked the checking of the other motifs. Now I have the same large, dominant motif on either side of the lower bodice front. Unfortunately even with a generous overlap of the buttonholes and the addition of a wide elasticated belt, these two motifs are rather ‘in your face’. An important lesson to learn when next I use a fabric with such large motifs.
I used some plain Black anti-static lining from New Threads Quilt Shop for the bodice but did not line the skirt as I would always be wearing a slip.
Having managed to construct half of the dress I then fell ill and was unable to continue for nearly two weeks. The dress was on the mannequin – taunting me. However, I finally managed to return to the project. I was fortunate that even after reducing the skirt panels, they still fitted onto the bottom edge of the bodice at the waistline seam.
searched through my button stash I selected from a range of painted
wooden ones that I had bought in bulk from eBay.
I worked 9 buttonholes, 3 on the bodice and 6 on the skirt, before laying out the dress to try and coordinate the buttons with the pattern around the buttonholes. I think that I have succeeded quite well in this.
Finally, I came to the hem of the skirt. I had to reduce the length of the panels when cutting out and therefore did not want to make a deep hem and lose anymore length. The solution was to have a narrow seam with bias binding (as demonstrated by Sian of Kittenish Behaviour).
I did not have any satin or plain cotton bias tape so decided to make a feature of the binding. I used a fat quarter of some French General quilting cotton to make 1¼ inch wide binding. I stitched to the hem of the skirt using a ¼ inch seam before turning to inside, edge stitching on the machine and finishing with a hand sewn hem of the binding to the skirt. I am really pleased with this finish and will probably use it again whenever I want a narrow hem.
in conclusion, some good points and a couple of disappointments for
this project. Finally, although the fabric has a great print design,
is lovely to cut, stitch and press it is terrible at picking up lint.
I have been forever picking off threads and ‘fluff’ so perhaps it is
just as well that I did not make trousers from this fabric.
is yet another version of my ‘Gerry’ dress which is a hack of the
Dartmouth Wrap top by Cashmerette into a dress with a variety of
skirt options. This time I used the half circle skirt from the Penny
dress by Sew Over It.
The fabric is a pretty understated geometric design in Mustard on a Navy background. The fabric is a soft and warm jersey from Abakhan that I bought in August last year. Unfortunately I do not know the fibre content, only that it has good width-wise stretch and recovery.
Due to the width of the fabric I cut the skirt in 4 panels and adjusted the waistline to fit the Dartmouth bodice. The sleeves have deep double cuffs that can be folded back if required. The hem of the skirt is stitched with twin-needles. Sewn in part on my sewing machine and partly using the overlocker.
The dress is one of my favourites and I have already worn on two occasions. The finishing touches are my usual wide Navy elasticated belt and Navy faux snakeskin ballet flats from Hotter.
is my hack of the Dartmouth Wrap top by Cashmerette into a dress
witha variety of skirt options. I shall call this my ‘Gerry’ pattern
and this particular iteration is the ‘House Mouse’.
colour and print is so not my usual style. This is a muted floral
print on a dusty Burgundy background. I don’t know the construction
of the jersey but it does have a tiny loop wrong side that is a sort
of taupe colour. Also don’t exactly know if it was from Abakhan or a
gift from my sister – either way it definitely counts as stash so
that’s 4 projects made. Now I can justify buying something new.
used the Dartmouth wrap top for the bodice and a simple gathered
skirt. Wished that I had put in pockets! The back panel of the skirt
is patched as I did not do a very good job of calculating the skirt
length and width. Still it is at the back and fairly well disguised
by the gathers. Long sleeves have narrow hem band and skirt hem is
finished with twin needle stitching. Mostly sewn on my Juki
addition of the wide elasticated belt helps to improve the look of
the dress but I will never wear it outside the house!
Many years ago I had a Burgundy needlecord shirt dress and this dress is a re-imagining of something that I loved back in the 1970’s.
used a King Size Duvet cover from Dunelm Mill in a Burgundy jacquard
cotton/polyester blend to make a wearable toile.
had originally intended the dress to be worn on Christmas Day.
Unfortunately the construction was delayed and I thought ‘OK never
mind, I will wear the dress on New Year’s Eve’. The Eve and New
Year’s Day came and went, then due to illness it was not until 10th
January 2020 that I finally completed the dress.
paraphrase a western movie, the construction has been a tale of ‘The
Good, the Bad and the Ouch!’
good – brilliant pattern matching on the bodice,
bad – uneven revers on the collar,
Ouch! – I left a glass headed pin inside the collar and
stitched it closed.
that was on 29th December and the thought of unpicking
combined with a raging headache meant that the dress was put aside
until I could face the unpicking and re-stitching.
had also originally planned to make the dress button through the
bodice and skirt, although the buttons from my stash were a
perfect match, there was not enough so I had to fix the opening at
the waistline seam.
skirt is the full width of the duvet cover gathered into the
waistline seam and there are concealed pockets at the side seams.
also drafted long sleeves into a button cuff (similar to the original
inspiration) but on completion found that I had been over-zealous in
shortening the sleeve length so even with the addition of a 2 inch
wide cuff, they are just short of my wrists. With a big sigh – I
could remove the cuffs and make new wider ones but with all the
previous problems, I don’t think I can face another alteration to the
do have sufficient fabric to be able to send to Harlequin for a
matching belt but I was pleased to find that one of my wide
elasticated belts co-ordinates well with the colour of the dress and
that is how I plan to wear in the future.
have retained the modified pattern for this dress and have several
other lengths of fabric that I plan to use to make more in this
style. I even have some needlecord….. hmm watch this space.
readers will be aware that I dislike alterations but I have in my
wardrobe a shift dress that I made when first exploring jersey sewing
and it was in need of some radical alteration.
The dress was originally made according to a Prima pattern APRIL 1997 designed for woven and having been washed and worn over the years was now too big. The dress bore the styling of the the eighties including shoulder pads and was very long. I have never liked the faced neckline which was a little too high and also the shoulders were too wide for current fashion.
start the alteration I first removed the facing and re-cut a lower
neckline. I removed the sleeves and shoulder pads before restitching
the shoulder seam. Then I stitched new side seams, taking off
approximately 1 inch from each side seam. The sleeves were then
cut about 4 inches from the length of the dress and used some of that
to make a neckband. I re-hemmed the dress with a 1 inch turning.
dress is now much more flattering although it could still do with
some skimming down at the hips. I will wait and see if I lose any
more weight to make it worthwhile altering the dress further.
I plan to revisit this pattern in 2020 and try this different silhouette as a change from my numerous shirt dresses!
Sew Over It had just released their latest pattern, the Georgie dress and I bought the PDF version.
According to the description by Sew Over It, the Georgie Dress is a chic, everyday knit dress that is as comfy to wear as it is stylish. With a fit and flare style, it’s flattering on so many figures and makes a gorgeous outfit all year round. Whether you’re wearing it to the office, whilst out and about at the weekend, or simply having a cosy day at home, you’re guaranteed to look put-together in Georgie. It’s an outfit in one!
Unfortunately I had run out of ink and was unable to print the pattern immediately – but I was impatient to make this style of dress, what could I do?
have a great wrap front top pattern for jersey (the Dartmouth by
Cashmerette) and a half circle skirt pattern (Penny dress by Sew Over
It) and decided to combine the two to make my version of the Georgie.
I had some beautiful Ponte Roma print that I had bought from Abakhan
when visiting my sister in North Wales and knew that this would make
for a quick and easy sew.
a little over two hours I had produced a lovely new dress, ready to
wear and flaunt when joining friends for lunch the following day.
I have a great elasticated belt to wear with the dress and am now checking my stash for more jersey fabric to make yet another ‘faux Georgie’ dress.
love the Penny dress by Sew Over It and have made several versions
including a hack of the pattern into a blouse. However, there are a
couple of things that I wanted to change for my next iteration.
find that the extended yoke/bodice does not sit very well under
cardigans and the narrow button band has never had working
Rather than ‘play around’ with the original Sew Over It pattern I decided to adapt my TNT Bodice block into something similar. I wanted to have a bodice that gathered into a yoke and a fully functioning button band.
I cut a yoke section from the front and back bodices. I overlapped at
the shoulder seams to redraw a full yoke pattern. On the bodice front
I removed the bust dart and transferred the fullness into gathers
into the yoke. I did the same for the body darts on the back bodice.
checked the measurements of the bodice pieces at the waistline to
ensure that the half-circle skirt of the Penny dress would fit.
I had found the fabric, ready laundered, in my stash but it was only 42 inches wide which meant that I had to cut the Sew Over It skirt pattern in half, add seam allowance and then cut 4 panels. I was fortunate that the pattern is non-directional. By having side seams this also enabled me to include some concealed side seam pockets.
I stitched the dress using French seams (as inspired by Sian of Kittenish Behaviour) and used a self bias binding for the armholes. A little finessing was required as the underarms were gaping. I now have a perfect new dress that slips easily under cardigans and shrugs and with fully-functioning buttons and buttonholes.
The colour matches well with my little shrug cardigan and I am set to twirl in the half circle skirt!
I have set aside some fabric for a matching belt to be made by
the Sew Southampton meet up in 2018 I bought 4 metres of a cotton
printed fabric from Fabricland, Southampton branch and used it to
make a ‘hack’ of two Sew Over It patterns. The top was the Libby
blouse attached to the skirt of the Betty dress.
garment was beautifully made with all seams neatened and on this
occasion the collar on the Libby bodice went really well. However, I
never wore the dress as on the two times I planned to wear it I put
it on and then took it off again! I simply could not get over seeing
all that neutral (bland?) colour and print on me. What could I do to
rescue the garment?
Regular readers of my blog will know how I dislike alterations but this time I had to do something to rescue the garment.
I removed the skirt and from that cut two shaped pieces which I then gathered and re-attached to the waistline of the bodice as a peplum.
The re-fashioned garment looks fine over skinny jeans or leggings and a by-product is that re-visiting the dress has reignited my love of the Libby blouse pattern. I must make some more…..