The first ‘wearable toile’ of the Shelby needed quite a lot of ‘finessing’ to get it to fit.
Original Shelby dress line drawing
For this version I decided to ‘hack’ it! I copied my TNT basic darted bodice and converted to a shoulder princess style. I placed that over the original Shelby panels and then just to make sure it was nothing like the original, hacked on the collar and front button placket from the Pattern Emporium Easy Fit shirt/Take the Chance dress.
My hacked version Side Front panel
Side Back Panel
I used 3 metres of a ditsy floral printed viscose from Rainbow Fabrics. This fabric has a fantastic drape and will be lovely to wear in late Spring and Summer – provided the alterations work!
I placed the yoke and back bodice over the appropriate Shelby pattern pieces and cut around them.
Back neckline adapted ready for the collar
Front yoke adaptation for collar
I cut the centre front panel ‘around about’ the waist line so that the button placket only goes to that point. The remainder of the centre panel could have been cut on the fold but I did not think of that until later!
Centre Front Panel cut for new waistline seam – space for the seam allowances
My ‘Charlotte‘ dress design
With fabric this fine I would normally prefer to use French seams but as this is very much a toile, I made full use of the overlocker.
I started the construction with the sleeves, the hems were overlocked, double turned and top stitched in place with White thread. I constructed the tie belts on the overlocker and used my ‘wonder turning tool’ to get them right sides out.
Turn It All – wonder gadget for narrow ties
The ties were basted to the centre back panel. Then I moved on to the collar. I had to add the centre back panel and side back panels to the front at the shoulders so that I could complete the collar and placket construction. The shoulder seam was neatened with overlocking but only part sewn as I need to check the width of the shoulders before finishing the panel seams.
Having completed the collar and placket I then had my first fitting. All looking good except that the shoulders were going to be about 2 inches too wide. I took in the excess on the panel seams, grading back to the original seamline at the ‘bust’ notch.
I made 5 buttonholes and by way of a change from shell buttons, this time I used some self-covered buttons in White that look just like Mint Imperial sweets!
Now I finished sewing together the side front, side back panels and side seams so that I could insert the sleeves. Once that was done I finished off the hem with overlocking before double turn and top stitching in place. A quick final press and the dress was complete.
My new ‘Charlotte’ dress
Conclusion: I am delighted with the completed dress and will now copy out a ‘perfect’ pattern onto clean white paper. I can’t wait to make another dress in this style and will call it the ‘Charlotte’ as by now it has very little similarity to the Shelby!
Project no 25 completed 15th April 2023