I have a confession to make. I love Lady McElroy Fabrics
. The designs are superb, they are always elegant and very wearable. This fabric is their top quality Cotton Lawn
which is a delight to wear as it is so gentle against the skin. The premium cotton doesn't fade, it is easy to sew and a delight to wear. I love it.
The fabric has lots of colours in it and I wanted to pick out one of them - orange - with Piping Cord
This fabric, named City Scape, comes in two colours. This is the navy which I am enhancing further by the addition of orange corded piping to not only add a pop of colour but to showcase of the clever seams on the pattern.
I mentioned that I have used this particular fabric design before in the Rouge colour. I am sure that you will agree that both colours are stunning. You can read all about this make here
The fabric is 54" wide so it does go a long way.
The pattern has shaped seams and so apart from the sleeves and the front facing everything needs to be cut out on a single layer of fabric.
You may have to be inventive where you cut out, I ended up moving my dining table and cutting out on the floor! Whatever you do there are some points you need to hear in mind
The fabric and lining as well as the piping needs a gentle wash and pressing.
You must follow the grainline marked on each pattern piece.
The pattern pieces must all be right sides up.
They must all face the same direction.
If you don't follow this and for example cut one piece out off grain then the garment will not hang correctly and if you cut a piece out the wrong way up then the pattern will not fit together. In other words you cannot scrimp with this pattern and there are no shortcuts.
I found that the easiest way to insert the piping was to take one piece at a time and stitch the piping along one edge with a normal zipper foot (you can get a piping foot but you don't need one) do this on the right side of the fabric.
Then pin the corresponding pattern piece on top, right sides together and carefully, feeling where the piping is, stitch as close to it as you can. The piping flange is a bit stiff and to enable it to lie flat in the seam snip it at intervals down to the stitching.
Press the seam. Do this for all the seams which need piping inserting.
Make the dress up as you normally would taking special care to match the piping at the seams. I tacked the seams to make doubly sure that the piping stayed in its correct place.
Fabric of this quality deserves a Lining
. It will help the fabric to resist creasing, it will prolong it's life and adds a luxurious feel every time you put it on.
To adapt the pattern for a lining pin all the front dress pattern pieces together and then you will be able to cut the front out as one whole piece. Do the same for the back. You only need one back.
Position the front along the fold of the lining at the centre front - the whole of the centre front is conveniently marked.
The back is positioned on the straight grain on a double layer of fabric. I needed to extend the dart slightly as shown and increase the skirt width to match the back bodice.
Use tailors tacks to mark the darts - I used them on my main fabric too. Then make up the lining leaving the back open above the mark for the end of the zipper.
You do not need to line the sleeves.
Press the seam allowance in along the back edge where it will be stitched to the zipper tape.
Tack the lining to the dress along the neckline (wrong sides together).
Then tack the lining to the armsyce making sure that you stitch it to the seam allowance only.
Overlock the seam allowance, again making sure that you do not catch the sleeve anywhere.
Make up the facing and stitch it to the neckline along the seam allowance. Clip the curve and press. Understitch the seam allowance to the facing. Press the facing to the wrong side of the dress.
Slip stitch the lining to the zipper tape.
Mark the hem and press it. You may want to overlock or zigzag the edge first.
Turn the lining up about an inch and a half shorter than the main dress.
I use my blind hem foot to sew hems as they give an almost invisible finish. Follow the instructions in you machine manual if you are not sure how to fold the fabric. Basically you are stitching on the hem and the needle wings out every few stitches to just catch the folded edge of the dress.
As you can see from the photograph it is almost invisible, you can just about make out tiny stitches on the green part of the hem.
This hem is my favourite, once you get used to it you will use it a lot I promise you. It looks very professional.
Yes it has a lining AND neatly sewn hems!
And that's it really. Give the garment a final press and stitch a hook and eye to the top of the zip if needed.
I think you will agree that this is a gorgeous dress, the piping adds even more interest to the very unusual seaming and picks out the orange in the fabric perfectly.
This fabric is so beautiful that you will want to wear your amazing dress time and time again. That's real value for money.