Montana #5 with Mistakes!

I really enjoy this dress style from Style Arc patterns and version #5 is a repeat of #3 and #4 with the single deep frill at the hem and full lining.

Montana by Style Arc patterns

The fabric used has a Cream background with Purple flowers and paisley print on 100% viscose. I bought on 29th June 2020 from jjtextiles of Manchester for a total of £12.07 for the 3 metres x 142 cms wide.

Cream with Purple Flowers Viscose

Once it arrived the fabric was laundered and during one of the hottest days of the year I started to cut out the dress.

I had cut the main pattern pieces for the skirt, front and back bodice and self-fabric bodice front lining before I set fabric and pattern pieces to one side as it was just too hot to continue.

I would return when it was cooler and cut the self-fabric back bodice lining, ties and pocket bags.

However, I had forgotten that I needed to cut the back bodice from a long strip of fabric and then stitch a centre back seam. Unfortunately I had already used that piece of fabric for the ties and pocket bags before I realised! By now I did not have sufficient to cut the back bodice lining in the printed viscose. What to do? I spent some time considering how to proceed before cutting the back bodice in the cream viscose voile that I have been using for lining my other Montana dresses, plus a back neck ‘facing’ piece and bias strips in the printed viscose. I applied the back neck facing piece and bias strips to the neckline and armholes. In this way on completion the fact that the back bodice was made in a different fabric would not be too obvious.

All this ‘finessing’ has added considerably to the time taken to make the dress.

Having recovered from the ‘faux pas’ I proceeded in the usual way by stitching the darts in the bodice and lining before joining at the shoulder seams. With right sides together I stitched the necklines together using a 5/8ths seam allowance as I wanted the neckline to be a shade wider and deeper than the pattern (usually a ¼ inch seam allowance for this seam) dictates.

I under-stitched all the seam allowances before trimming, turning right side out and giving a good press. I am very pleased with the neckline. Next was to ‘Burrito’ the cap sleeve hems. I love this method. It is quick and simple providing a very good finish whilst avoiding a bias binding finish. Next was to stitch the ties which were basted into the side seams of the outer bodice.

Now that I had the neckline and sleeves sewn, I stitched the side seams of both the outer and lining in one pass taking care not to catch the free end of the ties into the seam. I overlocked these seams as they would be wrong sides together.

The pocket bags were attached and the side seams of the main skirt panels were completed with French seams. Likewise the seams for the deep hem frill. I kept the frill as a long length and gathered using my ruffler foot to gauge the length required to match the width of the main skirt panels. I used the 1-in-6 pleating ratio with a stitch length of 4.5. The frill was attached and the final seam made using a French seam. The hem on the frill was overlocked before turning in and top stitching in place.

Now I worked on the lining for the skirt. I used two widths of the Viscose voile and stitched with French seams. The hem was turned up as a double fold and machined in place before attaching to the waistline of the bodice lining. Rather than gather, this time I made some small pleats which seems to have worked well.

For the top of the main panel I made the gathering using two rows of long machine stitches before attaching to the outer bodice. The seams for the lining skirt to bodice and main skirt to outer bodice were overlocked.

The dress was now complete and when I put onto the mannequin ready for photography I realised that the colours went very well with my recently purchased from J D Williams, Western-style jacket in Baked Pink denim.

Completed project #47 15th August 2020