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Self Drafted Tartan Dress

Hi Minerva Makers, today I am happy to share with you my most recent make for Minerva!
The beautiful Tartan Check Fabric I used for this dress is just a dream. It is medium weight, soft to the touch and is made from a blend of polyester and viscose fibres that makes it perfect for skirts, dresses, trousers and jackets. The fabric is too much beautiful to cut in pieces and normally the logic should say “Use simple patterns for it” or be ready for hours of matching checks. I like challenges so I chose the second way :)
I pre-washed the fabric before cutting and didn’t notice any shrinkage, it is also easy washable.
Details on the Pattern and Fabric used?
Material: Tartan Suiting Fabric
Pattern: Self drafted. I took the collar piece from the Burda magazine, issue 2/2014, model 126 and adjusted it to fit my bodice. I also use old-school darts on sleeves when working with non-stretch fabrics.??
If you need a ready pattern for this dress you can use the bodice from patterns similar to these for example; Burda 7034New Look 6723Butterick 6284 or Burda 6833 and I will explain how to make a gathered skirt.
This simple dress pattern is perfect for beginners. The gathered skirt is a perfect solution when 1) you need a dress to wear tomorrow 2) you have a beautiful fabric with a border or scallop hem 3) the fabric is too much beautiful to cut it :)
How to make a Gathered Skirt
Decide how full you want your skirt: a really pouffy skirt will require a width of fabric at least three times the measurement of your waistline, and for a minimally pouffy look, cut twice the measurement of your waist. This beautiful fabric is 58 inches wide and I used only one width for my skirt so there is one seam on the back. 
Decide how long you would like the skirt to be. Measure from your waist to the point where you would like the skirt to end. Add hem allowance. This will be your skirt height.  I am very inspired by 60s fashion and just love midi length, I think it is very feminine and perfect for all seasons.
Sew the skirt pieces together down the sides. Leave one side open for the zip.
Gather the top of your skirt: sew two rows of gathering stitches (long stitch length with low tension) around the top of the skirt. I usually use a thread of contrast colour that doesn’t match the fabric – that makes it easy to know which thread to pull to gather the skirt, and it makes it easy to pull these threads out once the waistband is attached.
Use safety pins to mark the centre front (to attach then easier to the bodice), then start pulling on those threads to gather up the skirt, moving the gathers along as you pull the threads. You need to gather the top of the skirt until it is the same size as your waistband.
Once your skirt is gathered up, take your bodice. Use pins to mark the centre front. Line those pins up with the pins on your skirt, then even out the gathers in between each pin. Pin the bodice to the skirt, with the bodice on the outside.
When you sew the waistband to the skirt, you really want your line of stitches to run right in between your two gathering stitch lines, if possible. This will give you the cleanest looking gathers.
Once the bodice is attached, carefully trim the excess seam allowance to minimise bulk at the waistline. I used a ready satin bias tape to hide the seam at the waistline.
Continue with inserting the zip and then finishing the dress.
I spent more time on matching checks when inserting the invisible zipper.
I absolutely love how this dress turned out with this gorgeous fabric and it is definitely my favourite dress now for the autumn!
Thanks for reading,
Olga @olgatailor

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