Hello everyone!

I’m back this week at the MCBN with a … summer dress! Yes, you are reading this correctly. This is a very special dress for me, so let me tell you its story.

Back in the summer, when it was time to choose my next 3 Minerva Crafts projects, I was really tempted to try out the Fabrics Designed by Lisa Comfort. This cotton lawn with the white background and the big pink roses stole my heart since I saw the photos and I knew I wanted to make a dress out of it. So I chose it as part of my summer projects.

The months went by and I couldn’t decide what to make. I changed my mind about a million times, but nothing seemed good enough. One major reason why I couldn’t decide was the fact that the fabric was quite thin and transparent, so I would have to fully line it. Hence, it would have to be a special dress that I would love to wear and not something that I would make just to blog about it.

Until October came and while I was preparing for the release of a new pattern, it hit me! This fabric would be perfect to showcase the summer version of the Kimberly Dress and an absolute beauty to photograph. I had found my special project.

Making this dress was an involved process. One that required many hours and lots of handstitching. But I didn’t really mind. I’ve decided to fully line it on both the bodice and the skirt so it was like making two dresses instead of one. Let me explain to you what I did, in case you want to try it yourselves.

To fully line a dress is you have to cut out the exact same pieces out of both your main fabric and your lining fabric. Then you follow the same steps for both. This means marking and stitching the darts, constructing the bodice, assembling the skirt and attaching the bodice to the skirt. You are essentially creating 2 identical dresses, out of 2 different fabrics. The only difference in my case was that I decided not to line the sleeves, so my “lining dress” was sleeveless and I also didn’t cut out a panel out of my lining fabric. Then, what I did is I inserted the invisible zipper only on my “main dress”.

To join the lining to the main dress, I placed them right sides together and stitched around the neckline, just as I would do if I was attaching a facing. Then I flipped the lining back to its original place and pressed really well around the neckline. Everything else from that point on was stitched by hand. So, first of all, on my lining I clipped small notches around the armholes, approximately 1 cm deep (but not more than the 1,5 cm seam allowance). Then I turned the lining towards the inside by 1,5 cm, wrong sides together, to hide the raw edges, hid the seam allowance of the main dress’s sleeves towards the inside and slip stitched the lining to the edge of that seam allowance, essentially attaching it to the main dress.

The next step was to hand stitch the lining on the center back. I turned the lining towards the inside by 1,5 cm again and slipped stitched it to the zipper tape by hand.

To finish the hem, I initially thought it would be a good idea to hand stitch the lining to the seam where the skirt joins the panel, so I spent a few hours doing just that. The half circle skirt meant that the hem was massive and it truly was a labor of love. However, once I finished and tried the dress on, I realized that the lining was a bit shorter than my dress (maybe my cotton lawn had dropped a bit more when I left it hanging before attaching the panel) so it was pulling in places and made the garment look weird. As a result I unpicked everything and decided to just hem the lining using my sewing machine and leave it free.

And this was the process I followed to fully line the Kimberly dress. As you can imagine, it took me a couple of weeks to finish it (I was sewing it on and off in the evenings) and I won’t be able to wear it anytime soon, just because it’s pretty summery and I would freeze! But, it is such a great addition to my wardrobe and I can’t wait to wear it during the summer months, especially if we are invited to a wedding or a garden party!

I hope you enjoyed reading about this dress and that you like the end result.

Until the next time, happy sewing!

Athina