Do you hoard fabric for years because you get scared to cut it? Or talk yourself out of using it because your idea won’t do it justice? Well then, how about impulsively cutting it after years because you’re mad how long it’s been in your stash and mad at yourself for past indecision?
This brings me to today’s dress. In hot weather I want to waft around in viscose dresses. Preferably loose fit with wide armholes. After finishing a version of McCall’s 8090 (to be shared very soon) I decided the skirt was perfection. And I could add a different bodice to create an equally lovely dress.
I rooted about my stash and found Kwik Sew 4111. I liked that it was a blousey bodice that they had gathered in to the waist. I decided to use it without the gathers.
I also shortened the bodice by 7cm, drew a v neckline and swapped the zip for a keyhole back. I’m sharing my altered pattern pieces for reference. The tie belt is a simple pair of long rectangles sewn all around with a turning gap. I added belt loops at the side seams to stop it wiggling around!
The keyhole is mostly for show because I can get the dress on over my head in one swift motion. Let’s dive onto the construction so you can make your own keyhole back dress.
Sew the shoulder seams of your bodice, then the shoulder seams of your all in one facings. Place everything right sides together and sew around the necklines and armholes. Clip, notch and trim the seam allowance.
Turn everything out to the rs through the shoulders. That’s the fun bit right?
NB: Start here if you only have a neckline facing! Fold over the centre back facing over again so it’s RST with your fabric. A thin piece of binding acts as a rouleau loop and is sandwiched between the layers facing inwards. Sew the seam down the centre back stopping at the end of the facing.
Clip the corners to reduce bulk. You then finish by making the centre back seam and stop sewing about 20cm from the top. Then continue as normal with your pattern instructions.
One of the best bits of a new dress is hanging it up before you wear it to soak it in. Do you do this? It is good when you can finally wear something for the first time though.
The pattern is the Tilly and The Buttons Zadie dress which I’ve made before and this stunning fabric is Abstract Birds on mustard cotton interlock from Roo-tid. It’s a GOTs certified organic interlock with a lovely rich colour. I was kindly gifted 2m by Carly who designs all the fabric in her shop and even turns them into cute homewear items too!
Whenever I’m sewing stretch fabric my topstitching can either be twin needle stitched and zigzag stitched. I honestly like both styles. This time I chose a 2 x 2.5 zigzag.
As per my other versions I made the straight size 4 with 1″ added to the length. In interlock the fit is looser than ponte but I quite like it. Gotta love those triangular insets and pockets!
Mustard is such a great colour to wear all year round. It’ll pair well with navy tights and brogues in cooler months. And sandals right now! Today I wore it out for ice cream on our little high street. The sun was shining and a jazz band were playing in the bandstand. Not too shabby right?
Hello everyone! Here’s a cheer to the weekend!! I actually had a nice short week as I took Monday and Tuesday off work to have a super long weekend. With my in laws staying Saturday and Sunday, it was nice to have the extra two days so myself. On Monday I pottered around sewing and doing jobs at home. Then Tuesday I went to Parcevall Hall Gardens for a walk and a photoshoot. It’s about half an hour drive away, down the end of a winding country road. It’s a private house and stunning garden featuring woodland with special hybrid rhododendrons and a waterfall plus formal gardens at the peak of the hill.
If you didn’t realise I LOVE FLOWERS. The rhododendrons were beautiful colours and there were peonies, roses, poppies, alliums and much more in bloom. Plus plenty of shoots waiting to pop later in summer. The climbing roses in the garden seemed like the perfect backdrop for photographing my new rose print shirtdress.
The print on my fabric reminds me of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty, because of the hand drawn quality and colours that are similar to the roses that feature in both films. It’s an Art Gallery Fabrics poplin print called Pruning Roses from the Woodland collection – sku FUS-W-605. You can’t go wrong with AGF cottons. They consistently display a quality of fabric and print.
I used McCall’s 6891 to make a cool crisp summer shirtdress. This pattern goes up to a 50.5″ bust. I used the view A sleeveless bodice and view D length. I’ve made this pattern once before but had to size up this time. I made a size 10 in the upper body, 12 at the bust and a 16 at the waist/hip. It’s intentionally a little looser but still looks fitted which is just what I wanted. This is the DREAM SKIRT but it is fabric hungry, the dress took 3m.
I know the collar construction has confused a few people in the past. There are lots of different ways to make a notch collar, but the most common is making a collar then using a back and front facing on top. This adds extra bulk to the back collar you don’t need. Instead the facing and upper collar are attached and then sewn in place so the upper collar acts like the back neck facing.
To make this make feel a little more special I created my own bias binding to finish the hem and armholes, and also used it to find the raw edge of the facing and collar. This is such a fancy touch, especially in matching fabric as it’s such a small detail that shows the effort I put into the dress. My buttons are vintage and although there isn’t an exact matching shade of red in the fabric, they do suit the print. I like to finish button front dresses with either a press stud or reverse button at the waist point to stop any gaping when you sit down.
It was kind of empowering to go out to the gardens on my own, set up the photoshoot and take these pictures. It was quiet enough that I could take the photos without disturbing anyone’s visit and I met some other amateur photographers capturing the beauty of the gardens. After a tough work week being around the flowers and blue skies my spirits were soaring, and then just as I was leaving the most beautiful eagle flew overhead. I really want to go back soon.
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Hello crazy cats and kittens! I’m in a 70s frame of mind haha. It is entirely because of my new dress made from a fun 1972 vintage pattern from my stash. With my love of floaty dresses increasing in line with the temperature I decided to dive into my patterns to find something cool to make.
This 70s wedding and bridesmaid pattern is a build your own dress approach. It has 3 bodice styles and 3 sleeve options plus tips for adding lace or chiffon overlays. It’s a single size pattern and I have the 38″ bust size. I think it was from a car boot sale in a big bundle of patterns.
At first I chose the sweetheart bodice with long billowing sleeves… you might notice I axed the sleeves though. It was simply overwhelming in this fabric but I’ll definitely add them if I make another version.
The skirt was hacked beyond recognition to make it gathered at the empire waist and with a gathered tier. The print is pretty busy so you probably can’t see the gathers. Unless you’re very eagle eyed!!
My fabric is an absolutely bonkers neon orange and violet floral georgette featuring daisies and poppies. It’s not too sheer but it’s pure polyester so frays when you look at it. I would have loved to do French seams but had to get it overlocked ASAP to avoid distorting any seams.
I bought the fabric from Leeds Market years ago and never got round to making it until now. It was something like £4 a metre. I’m trying to work through my stash and give some of the amazing fabrics I have a life outside my fabric boxes!! It’s pretty ridiculous how long some pieces have been in there and the recent house move made me think more about my “stock”.
It’s not my favourite dress I’ve ever made but lots of positives!! It’s floaty, cool in the heat, an undeniably fun print and it was nice to use a vintage pattern AND fabric from my stash. As I like to say… “winner winner, quorn roast dinner”.
Happy weekend everyone! It’s a Bank Holiday here and we’ve kicked things off by cleaning the house and prepping for guests! I bought the hugest bunch of peonies (my absolute faves) and Jimi bought a crazy amount of crisps for everyone to eat. Tonight we’re ordering Thai takeaway to enjoy in the garden. I can’t wait!
While we were out running errands I got some photos of my recent Deer and Doe patterns Myosotis dress by the river. I have lost my sunglasses so forgive the squinting. The ones I’m wearing in one shot are Jimi’s so are too big for my head hahah.
I used the most beautiful textured cotton jacquard from Simply Fabrics in the canary yellow colourway. They have other colours like blue, red and green also. It’s got flowers on a crosshatch pattern, very abstract but attractive. It’s light but not thin, similar to a double gauze weight. Perfect for this dress pattern.
I made view A. I used size 36 all in the upper body and 40 at the waist downwards. I only had to do a small narrow shoulder adjustment fitting wise. I liked the ruffled hem and although I enjoy wearing half stand collars like the pattern included, I went for the neckline hack (Marie’s tutorial here) which is cleaner and better for floppy soft fabric. It took exactly 2m of fabric… Great except I’d bought 3m!! So will HAVE to make a fun yellow top in the future. What a tough life I lead.
It’s quite a boxy style and forgiving on a hot day or after a full meal, I’m growing less interested I’m jeans cutting into my tummy right now. The colour is a scroll stopper too. It’s instant sunshine! Thankfully I had the perfect yellow vintage buttons in my stash.
There’s plenty of gathering to get stuck into which I don’t mind as I find it quite therapeutic even if it does waste a lot of thread. And with only three buttonholes this would be a nice project for a beginner wanting to learn more.
As always, I didn’t read the instructions and whipped it up very quickly as I’m a speedy sewist but you could enjoy slowly sewing this beauty if you like to take things steady.
This dress is flipping everywhere. I couldn’t actually believe how long ago the Myosotis was released! Thank goodness Marie egged me on to finally make it, what a smart cookie.