Posted on Friday the 3rd July 2020 by The Unfinished Seamstress
If I have one thing to say as a sewing blogger, it is this: you do not need industrial equipment, or couture-level skills, or even tremendous blocks of time, to sew some of your everyday wardrobe.
I had earmarked this beautiful Lady McElroy viscose crepe
fabric a while ago as an idea for a future blog, but with this big beautiful print, and luscious drape, I thought, as I often do, that something simple would work best. I’ve sewn the bejeezus out of Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses
, and this is a mash-up of the Chemise Dress and the Popover Dress. I used the Chemise Dress pattern pieces, with more width in the skirt and a belt like the Popover dress. It has 4 pattern pieces (including facings), and two darts. The sweetheart neckline requires precisely three pivots, and that’s it. Simple sewing at it’s finest.
As you can see, it looks smart though! I originally planned it as a work dress for summer, which I think works well with a little more coverage on top than a casual sundress, but in this beautiful breezy fabric it’s still nice and cool. The fabric is doing the heavy lifting here. It’s just long enough not to float away, Marilyn-style, and the self-fabric belt keeps it looking professional. I think for the weekend I would use a funky white vintage 80’s belt I have instead.
By the way, I’m all about the self-fabric belts right now! They are so much easier than I would have thought. I bought this buckle
separately, so thought I would use that. So I measured the width, and cut a couple long rectangles with that measurement in mind, one of fabric and one of a fairly beefy fusible interfacing. Fuse the interfacing, sew together (closing one end), flip, and then sew the buckle on to the open end like you would with bra finding. Ridiculously easy. I do find it loosens up after a while, so I may have to fix it up, but for now it works.
Did I mention that I love the fabric? It is so light, with such gorgeous drape. I sometimes feel like I'm the only person who doesn’t mind slippery fabrics, but hear me out: if it’s shifty and difficult to cut, it will often be very forgiving of errors once sewn. I’m quite good at fudging cutting errors when I sew, and sewing errors when I press, but I also think nothing beats rayon and viscose for easy wearability.
As for the sewing, it couldn’t be simpler. A few seams, a facing, two darts. I hand-finished the hem, because that is my preference lately, but it still only took 2 evenings after the kids went to bed. To put that in context, it took me about the same amount of time to make precisely 6 face masks for the school craft club.
I don’t always sew simple or beginner-level patterns, but I don’t think there is any shame in them! To me, this is a perfect work dress, and a valuable addition to the wardrobe. No one need ever know that it was easy. Except all of you now, I suppose.
Thanks for reading.