Ah! Lady in Red Montana Dress #4

I think that the Montana Dress by Style Arc must be counted as one of my favourite TNT patterns. After the disaster that was the un-birthday dress I wanted to make a dress where I was sure of a positive outcome and this certainly fit the bill.

Montana by Style Arc

The sewing machine was still threaded with a Deep Cerise Pink thread and I really wanted a new Red Dress so I chose this beautiful Red Paisley printed viscose that I bought recently from The Fabric Room. I purchased 3 metres at a base price of £10.80 before the addition of Post, packaging and VAT.


I decided to repeat the previous iteration of the skirt with a deep frill at the hem. This time I also added a self-tie belt at the side seams so that I could draw in the dress and ‘improve’ the silhouette.

I used my standard gathering technique for attaching the main skirt panels to the raised waistline seam of the bodice. However, for the deep frill at the hem, I used the Brother Ruffler (pleating) foot. This foot looks complicated as there are many parts to the ‘contraption’.

Brother Ruffler 7mm Foot

The foot will make a small pleat every single, six or twelve stitches and secure them. You can also feed a separate layer of fabric through the foot at the same time and thus attach a pleated trim to a flat fabric in one pass through the foot. For my frill I used the six stitch spacing and it was a dream to have all those little pleats accurately made – and so quick!

‘Turn it All’ tube turner

For the ties I cut two lengths of fabric 4 inches wide. I made a narrow seam with right sides together and stitched closed at one end. I used the ‘Turn it All’ tube turner to turn the ties right side out – in a flash! I love this piece of sewing kit. I set the ties into the fashion fabric side seams and stay stitched the ends inside to the front seam allowance to ensure that they automatically turned to the back of the dress.

Back ties

I used my self-drafted pocket pattern to make concealed side seam pockets that are tacked to the waist seam to prevent them flapping about inside the skirt. To ensure that I did not repeat the error of having the pockets facing the wrong way and showing a contrast fabric, this time I cut all pocket pieces from the fashion fabric.

Once again the bodice was lined with plain ivory viscose voile (also purchased from The Fabric Room). I added a skirt lining that was attached to the bodice lining. The lining was only stitched to the fashion fabric at the neckline and armholes. The hem of the skirt lining was finished with some pretty lace from my stash and a row of wavy line decorative stitching.

Lace trim and decorative stitching to the hem of the lining

I am really pleased with the outcome of this dress. It fits well with the addition of the self ties and is so comfortable – secret pyjamas – whilst looking very stylish. This is most definitely a hit and counts as my ‘birthday dress’

Lady in Red Montana #4

Project #43 completed 11th July 2020