Cotton Gauze Summer Dress
Posted on Tuesday the 5th May 2020 by Sewing Angela
This beautiful summer dress is made from a Double Cotton Gauze. If you have never sewn with it before then you really should try it. It is soft, lightweight and perfect for warm days. It is made from two very fine layers of pure cotton which are basted together every half inch or so in a grid pattern These stitches cannot be seen.
You cannot tell from the photographs but the leaves on the design are a shiny silver on blue. The overall effect of this beautiful fabric is one of elegance .
I like this dress pattern very much. It is actually a wrap dress but there is the option of having it button through or with a tie belt.
The pattern has pleats on the shoulders and on the sleeve head.
This is the shoulder pleat and the circles for your size need to be marked with tailors tacks.and then the marks folded towards each other to form a pleat.
On the left is the back of the pleat, the right side is shown next to it.
The facings all need interfacing to support the fronts. I used a lightweight iron on interfacing, pressed onto the back and front facings before they are sewn together and the outside edge neatened.
After sewing the facing onto the garment I understitched the facing to the seam allowance to prevent it from rolling to the outside.
The sleeve head needs pleating in a similar way to the fronts. I found it easier to have the pattern piece handy so that there was no confusion as to which say the pleats need to face. Stitch across the top inside the seam allowance to hold them all the pleats in place
I love the pattern matching , the lines formed by the yellowish stems of the plant give a lovely effect
The sleeves have a band which the bottom is gathered into, giving a puff sleeve. I am not usually a fan of wide sleeves but only because it's always cold where I live and I usually need a jacket or cardigan but I think that we should always try different things and get out of our comfort zone. In all honesty it is no risk because if I find that I do not enjoy the puff sleeves I can always take them out and re-cut them.
I marked the centre fronts because the wrap over is quite substantial and I needed a reference point to know where the buttons should go.
So after stitching the buttonholes I tried the garment on and pinned the centre fronts together to check where the buttons needed to go, and marked the position with a dab of tailors chalk. This is the nice thing about this dress, the position of the buttons can be altered slightly to fit your figure.
When sewing buttons on use double waxed thread and seal the stitches with a drop of Fray Check.
One thing I realised is that the buttons on the skirt part are not supported by any facing and there is a real danger of tearing the fabric if the button gets tugged. So, I cut out small circles of iron on interfacing and placed them underneath the buttons before stitching them on.
The inside needs a tie to hold the under-wrap in place. I used ribbon, sealing the ends with fray check before stitching one tie to the right seam allowance at the waist and the other tie to the left edge so that the waist is fully supported by the tie and the buttons.
I left the hem until the very end. This is for two reasons, firstly the buttons and buttonholes can affect the exact matching of the front wrap over. Secondly as this is a full skirt parts of it will be. On the grain, parts on the bias so it is important to let the dress hang overnight to let the hem settle into place.
I was right to do this because when I measured it with a chalk hem marker the hem was very uneven.
It is a full skirt and so I top stitched a narrow hem.
I hope that you like this dress. If you see a pattern with an element of it which you are not sure about think about how you could later it if necessary and then go ahead and make it up - you might be surprised.
I often wake up in the middle of the night with an idea of how to alter something in my wardrobe and I just HAVE to go and put it in the sewing room.
I know these are horrid times, but we have to do our very best to protect our own lives and the lives of others. This was made very real to me recently. My son is a doctor in intensive care and he caught the virus. He was very poorly and it was awful not being able to visit him. The worry was indescribable and it made me realise that there are many other worried families out there. I am fortunate that my son is now back working on the front line. Others are not so lucky. Sobering thought.
So stay safe, stay indoors and sew. There's no reason why we can't wear nice clothes for ourselves is there and this will pass in time.
Sending you all a virtual hug x