Honeysuckle Dress

Very often I find a great pattern online, although many of the independent designers are now expanding their sizes, but am sometimes disappointed to see the designer has not drafted up to my size . I am fortunate that having drafted my own Basic bodice block from there I can often draft a new design that is similar to the one I have seen online.

The style lines for this dress are based on a Shoulder Princess seamed bodice. I had already drafted this style when I made the Frilled blouse – project #46 completed at the beginning of August.

I shall call the dress ‘Honeysuckle’ as it was inspired by the Honeycomb dress by Cocowawa patterns. My version differs as I have added a small, rounded collar with lapels, there is no back yoke, no sleeves and the skirt is full gathered, midi length.

For the first ‘wearable toile’ I used 3m x 56ins wide of this pretty, silky viscose bought through eBay from jjtextiles, Manchester for a total price of £12.07. I cut all the pattern pieces before the skirt panels which are the full width of the fabric x 30 inches length.

I cut the panels quite long as I wanted to wear this dress both in the Summer with bare legs and sandals then in colder seasons with tights and boots.

As I have previously tested out the Shoulder Princess seaming and collar/lapels combination on the cotton blouse, this dress was a reasonably quick sew.

The viscose fabric behaved very well. There were no problems with excessive fraying of seams which were all overlocked and the buttonholes stitched like a dream on my Brother 4000D machine. I used 5 Burgundy-coloured buttons from my stash and the armholes were bound with a self binding.

The binding was cut 1¾ inches wide, folded in half with wrong sides together and the cut edges basted together. The binding was stitched Right sides together around the armholes before flipping inside and top-stitching in place.

There are my usual concealed side seam pockets and the hem of the skirt was overlocked before a double-folded narrow hem was also machined in place.

I am pleased with how the dress has turned out although due to the ‘busyness’ of the print it is difficult to see the detail of the ties at the waistline. I think that I will be making this style again but perhaps in a less busy print or even a plain colour.

After a brief browse through my wardrobe I found several cardigans and jackets that will co-ordinate. When the weather is very cold I could even wear the dress over a thin polo neck sweater, with thick tights and boots.

Project #49 completed 25th August 2020