Fabulous Fishy Frock
Posted on Tuesday the 5th November 2019 by Sewing Angela
I fell in love with this beautiful fabric as soon as I saw it. The more I look at it the more detail I can see.
I was intending to make a shirt but the fabric was screaming full skirt dress at me. I looked through all of my patterns and couldn't find one I liked. So I ordered some new ones.
When my new dress patterns arrived I kept looking at them and still couldn't find a way of maximising the design by having as few seams as possible. The new patterns all had too many seams and even careful pattern matching wasn't what I wanted. I didn't want to have a centre front seam or a two part sleeve as one of my new patterns has for example
Sometimes I wonder at myself! I went through my pattern boxes again and found one which I thought would be perfect. Simple bodice, sleeves, full knee length skirt (which I lengthened by just an inch)
So I duly cut the pattern out, all the time thinking that the pattern looked familiar….
And yes, I have made this design before for my Christmas dress. Well not exactly the same pattern, but the only difference between the two is that one has princess seams in the bodice and one has darts!
And here is the evidence. Both dresses are beautiful and different from each other but honestly, I could have saved myself the bother of cutting a new pattern out.
To be fair the patterns have different neckline choices too - the V neckline on the first pattern is lovely, as is the draped bodice on the second. So take your pick! It depends a lot on your own personal preference and if you want darts or princess seaming on the bodice.
I have very narrow shoulders and back and I find that this sort of neckline, a boat neckline, sits better on my frame with only a little adjustment at the shoulders. I do not suit a high round neckline and a V neckline on me requires a lot of adjustment to get it to sit properly without gaping. So that's how I ended up choosing the same style (more or less) again. Not that it matters , I'm hardly going to wear both to one event on the same day!
Now to the sewing:
I love the feeling and the look of a lined bodice, and it is easy to do. Simply cut out the bodice fabric as usual but cut out another set in a fine cotton lawn (or silk )
You will need to add interfacing as detailed in your pattern instructions, attach these to the lining fabric carefully if needed. Mine required the back only to be interfaced and I used a lightweight iron on interfacing.
Make up both bodices and press the seams. Take care to get this right as once the fabrics are sewn together you will not have chance to press each piece individually again. Similarly the bodice needs to be fitted and adjusted at this stage too. I use my lining as a toile and transfer any alterations to my main fabric.
When you are totally happy stitch the two bodices together just around the neckline. Clip the seam allowance right up to the stitches, this will enable you to turn the bodice right sides out easily.
Turn the bodice right sides out and press ensuring that the neckline is neat and the facing does not show. I tack the neckline to keep it in shape.
Stitch the fabric and lining together at armholes and at the back and around the bottom within the seam allowance.
Then continue making the rest of the dress up as normal.
I find that no matter if I am stitching a regular or invisible zip the best results are when the zip tape is secured in place by pinning and then tacking. Nothing looks more obvious than a mis-aligned zip up the back of a dress so whatever zipper you choose take time to match up the seams and to make sure that it is straight and very even. It is worth taking this part seriously and being prepared to unpick and start again if necessary.
It will scream "home-made" if your zip is wonky!
This is my dress and isn't it lovely? I love the different expressions on the faces of each fish. This fabric is so much fun but from a distance it is difficult to determin the pattern,it is only when you look closely that you realise that the design is made up entirely of fish.
I like to wear a belt and there is just about enough fabric left to make one to match , so that is a mini project for another day. Meanwhile this one coordinates well and matches my shoes.
This is a very easy pattern - no matter which one you choose, and it is definitely worth adding one or the other to your pattern collection.
Thank you Minerva for this stunning fabric,not fishing for compliments but I can't wait to hear people's comments about my fishy frock.
And PS I tidied my sewing room and that's why I am posing in it - I couldn't do it before I got these storage boxes because it was far too messy with piles of fabric everywhere. I have my son to thank for it.