My usual MO for a sewing project is:-
Day 1 – Overlock raw ends and Launder fabric, Evening 1 – prepare pattern and cut out,
Day 2 – Stitch, Evening 2 or possibly Day 3 -Finish
Well that’s the plan!
After the mammoth fabric haul at the Festival of Quilts that plan went slightly awry. There were 3 loads of washing to be done to complete the preparation of over 20 metres of fabric purchases. I had fallen in love with this particular cotton poplin print (STOF Impressions of Nature by Louis) bought from Lilli Fabrics (3m x 150 cms wide at £7.95/m)
and decided that I would make this as a first project for the coming Autumn season.
Another blogger (can’t remember who) had mentioned about making her Summer/Autumn dresses without sleeves so that when it came to adding a cardigan,shrug or jacket they would be easier to wear. When cutting out the fabric I thought that I would try this approach. I had sufficient fabric to cut large pockets for the side seams and also a pair of cap sleeves – ‘just in case’.
I adapted my TNT bodice block to make a buttoned front closure. I then added a slightly extended revere together with my TNT collar which came originally from Style pattern 1441.
For the skirt, I cut 2 x width of fabric x 27 inches long. I made a centre back seam and turned back 3 inches on each side for the centre front buttons and buttonholes which matched the width of the bodice front facing.
I stitched the darts on bodice front and back. Then the shoulder seams and tacked the side seams before basting in a completed lined cap sleeve to see how it looked.
An easy decision – sleeveless was the way to go forward. I cut bias strips of a scrap of light tan/cream polka dot cotton to finish the armhole edges.
I made box pleats in the skirt and as luck would have it those pleats lined up beautifully with the side seams and darts of the bodice. As there were no side seams to the skirt panels, I cut an opening in line with the bodice side seams to insert the pocket bags before concealing them under the box pleats. A very neat solution.
Now – buttons. I have an extensive stash of buttons that are stored according to colour and size but however hard I looked I could not find just the right ones. I completed the construction of the dress and took a scrap of the fabric to C&H fabrics in Winchester where I found two styles of buttons that would be ideal for the project. Decisions, decisions – I bought 16 of each style! Well, buttons are relatively inexpensive, you cannot have too many buttons and of course they don’t eat anything – just sit in the button box awaiting the right project! I made 10 buttonholes and attached the buttons so I still have 6 of that particular set in my stash.
The hem of the skirt is machined in place as are the facings. The collar and front edges of the button placket are also top-stitched.
The construction took quite a bit longer than my usual projects but I am delighted with this dress which will co-ordinate well with a variety of my cardigans and shrugs.
It should see me through the coming cooler months. With a long-sleeved cardigan, opaque tights and boots I believe that I will be able to wear the dress right through the Winter and into Spring 2019.
We still have a few days of August left and I will be sewing just a few more garments in lighter fabrics and prints in the hope that I will be able to wear them in an ‘Indian Summer’ in September and October.