Monthly Archives: November 2020

Jules Woven Tunic > Dress

And now for something completely different! I have had the Jules tunic pattern by Style Arc in my stash for some time. Jules is a button through ‘V’ neck tunic featuring a shaped under-bust seam and a 7/8 th length of sleeve.

I thought it would look good in my latest purchase from Rainbow Fabrics of Khaki Green Palm Leaves printed viscose.

As I did not want to ‘waste’ the fabric in case the pattern did not turn out well, I decided to make a ‘wearable toile’ using this abstract geometric jacquard crepe de chine that has been in my stash since the year dot.

I cut out the size 22 pattern with just a couple of minor adjustments. I made my usual forward shoulder adjustment of ½ inch, reduced the sleeve length by 2 inches and added 3 ½ inches to the length of the ‘skirt’ panels. If the tunic turned out OK I still have over 1 ½ metres x 115cms of the fabric left so could add a deep frill and turn the tunic into a dress.

The overlocker and sewing machine are threaded up with Sage Green, fresh needles in place so let’s get to it!

First thing to do was fuse interfacing to the neckline facings. I had made mine a little wider (3 inches) and cut the front button/buttonhole facing level with the bottom of the bodice. If this tunic was eventually turned into a dress I did not want to have to split the frill and put buttonholes all the way through the skirt.

Having got to the stage of first fitting I found that I needed to reduce the shoulder width by 1 inch and there was sufficient ease to put the top on over my head without undoing the buttons. Next was to set in the sleeves. As is often the way – the first went in beautifully, the second was a pain! After a couple of un-pickings I finally managed to set in the sleeve. It was acceptable but only just. I finished the sleeves with a deep hem which was top-stitched to match the top stitching on the facings.

Next was to gather the ‘skirt’ panels onto the bodice. I machine basted them in place and tried on the tunic. Yet another potential ‘Galleon in Full Sail’ look! The front looked fine but the back bodice finished just at the top of my hips and with the gathers the skirt looked a little like a bustle. It is just as well that the Crepe drapes so well as otherwise the volume of the skirt would look even worse. The length of the ‘skirt’ finished just above my knees, level with the ‘podgy’ part of my leg so even with dark leggings the possibility of leaving the tunic at that length was a definite ‘no-no’. The height/width ratio was such that I looked like a large Green Box!

I cut 4 widths of the fabric x 13 inches deep to make a frill. I mean to finish the dress but have a feeling that its final destination may well be the charity shop. So much unrelieved plain Dark Sage Green is not a good look on me. However, I had noticed that the mustard viscose scarf at the neckline did look good.

I pleated the frill using my ‘ruffler’ foot with settings of stitch length 4.5 and a pleat every 6 stitches. I then attached the frill to the ‘skirt’ of the tunic and hey presto! A dress!

There were some adjustments to be made: As I had made a sway back adjustment, the back of the skirt was falling a good 2+ inches lower than the front. A simple ‘two birds with one stone’ adjustment. I took up the back skirt and reduced the length of the back bodice by 2 inches at centre back grading back to the original seam at the sides. Now the hem was level and although the back bodice was still a little too long and ‘roomy’ for my taste is was acceptable.

I completed the dress by finishing all seam allowances with the overlocker and took up a narrow double folded hem on the bottom frill which was machine top-stitched in place.

My husband is not sure about the overall look of the dress but does like the neckline and the shaping of the bodice front so I will be ‘hacking’ those features onto another dress to be made in viscose.

Project #66 completed 21st November 2020

Moira #5 Autumnal Print Viscose

Hot on the heels of the semi-failure of the Anaconda Antithesis Moira #4 I quickly cut another dress using this pretty Autumnal-coloured floral printed viscose. In August this year, I had bought 3metres for a total cost of £14.97 from ‘lethalsoul’ a seller on eBay.

I thought the print design and colours would make an ideal dress for the Autumn and having been distracted by other makes, I very nearly missed the boat!

‘Moira’ has short sleeves, a scoop neckline, bodice with side bust and under bust darts, no buttons or fastenings, a raised waistline with self-fabric ties set into the side seams of the bodice, gathered skirt with deep hem frill and concealed side seam pockets.

The fact that the predominant floral motif continues through from bodice to skirt is a pure fluke. The bodice is lined with viscose voile that has facings cut from the fashion fabric. This is just in case the lining accidentally flips out. I also ran a line of top-stitching around the neckline ¼ inch away from the edge. I attached a skirt lining of viscose voile to the bodice lining using a French seam

For the fashion fabric skirt I cut two panels 40 ins wide x 21 inches long. The frill was cut 3 x the full width of the fabric x 12 inches deep. Pleating for the frill was completed using my ruffler foot with settings at stitch length 4.00 and pleat every 6 stitches. The seams, including the pockets are French seamed. The sleeve hems and the hem on the frill are double turned and top-stitched in place.

I am especially pleased with how this dress has turned out as the previous make using cotton lawn was such a disappointment.

Project #65 completed 15th November 2020

Moira #4 in cotton lawn

I love the print design ‘Anaconda Antithesis’ and already have a dress in the cotton lawn substrate. The first dress is my TNT sleeveless shirt dress with a collar, lapels, button through bodice and skirt, gathered skirt and concealed side seam pockets.

For my new dress in this print I wanted a change of style so this one is the Moira #4. Moira has sleeves, a scoop neckline, no buttons, a raised waistline with back ties, full gathered skirt and concealed side seam pockets.

I did not want to break up the print design, this version of Moira does not have the deep hem frill. I attached a skirt lining of viscose voile to the bodice lining using a French seam and added a beautiful lace trim to the hem. This fashion fabric was quite expensive at £15.99/metre and I had wanted to add a few special details to this simply-styled dress.

For the fashion fabric skirt I simply cut two widths each 34 inches long which were then gathered onto the bodice. I added my usual concealed side seam pockets. The seams, including the pockets are French seamed. When I tried on the dress to check the gathers etc I found that had a startling resemblance to a Galleon in full sail – not the look I was after!

I removed the skirt panels from the bodice and reduced the volume by cutting out a panel from the back skirt so that there was a centre back seam. For the front skirt panel I did not want to lose the print at centre front so I cut two smaller pieces either side of the centre front panel so this is now a 3-panel front skirt. Unfortunately I was over zealous in removing volume and now the skirt is narrower than I really wanted but ‘hey-ho’ that’s how it is going to stay. The hem of the skirt is hand stitched in place.

The bodice is lined with viscose voile and has facings in the fashion fabric. The sleeves have French seams and a double folded hem that is hand stitched. Once again I have added a self-fabric tie belt that has been set into the side seams.

I have to say that I feel this dress is mostly a ‘fail’, typical that it should happen with one of the more expensive lengths of fabric – the cotton lawn. Now I am wondering if the pattern is not really suitable for this substrate and I would be better served by sticking to viscose for ‘Moira’. The next version will be made from a pretty Autumnal print viscose that I bought from an eBay seller for just £4.99/metre.

project #64 completed 9th November 2020