Isn't this fabric amazing? The design is fresh and vibrant, exactly what we will be wanting to wear when we eventually leave isolation.

It's a cotton Jersey in a 92% cotton 8% Elastane mix which means that not only is it fabulous to look at its  fabulous to wear too. Being mostly cotton it will be cool to wear on the warmest of days yet the small amount of lycra turns it into a fabric which is crease resistant and which moves with you.

The pattern is a simple shirt dress from Vogue. I like this pattern because there are options to suit your taste and your fabric. For example if I was making this in a plain linen or denim I would go all out and add turn up sleeves and pockets and maybe metal buttons or poppers to fasten it.

My fabric needs no other embellishment, so I made the version without pockets and with plain sleeves.

Do wash, dry and iron your fabric in case of shrinkage and whilst that is going on there is time to choose the correct size and cut the pattern out.

Please ignore your commercial dress size and get your tape measure out.

Compare your actual body measurements to the measurements given on the back of the envelope and make a note of the corresponding pattern size.

Patterns have wearing ease built into them in order to make them comfortable to wear. The amount of ease depends on the type of garment and the style. For example a fitted pencil skirt will have far less wearing ease than a flowing wide skirt.

Somewhere either on the pattern envelope or inside the pattern or in this case printed on the main pattern pieces,  you will find actual measurements - which includes wearing ease , so you can consider these too when deciding what size to cut out.

Once you are happy with your chosen size and your fabric is dry you can go ahead and cut the pattern out referring to the layout on the pattern instructions. If you are still not sure then just increase your side seams to give you some extra wriggle room when fitting the garment.

The instructions are very easy to follow. The back yoke is lined but the instructions are very easy to follow.

One thing I discovered was that I needed to use a longer stitch length than usual. A walking foot would also be useful if you have one.

I also found that as the fabric does stretch it is far easier to sew when the front button band and hems are interfaced with narrow strips of lightweight stretch  iron on interfacing.

This stabilised the fabric stopping it from stretching out of shape.

The facing on the back yoke needs a small amount of hand sewing to attach it to the shoulders.

Here I am checking that the front is even before I make up and attach the collar. We are told to top stitch the front band's here, which I did but I left the hem until later.

The collar and collar band have been attached. Again the instructions are very easy to follow. There is some hand stitching involved to finish the collar band.

Your machine will come with a buttonhole attachment. Do read your machine instructions to find out how to use it and always do a practice buttonhole first.

I used slightly larger buttons, 3/4" and so I needed less of them. My machine does a buttonhole for stretch fabric so I used that. You may need to alter the stitch length or width to get a neat finish.

Match the button position to the buttonhole exactly, mark the position with tailors chalk and stitch the buttons on using waxed thread for strength.

If you have not finished the hem do so now. And finally a last trip to the ironing board will add the final bit of perfection.

Stand back and admire your work. What I like about this pattern is that it is slightly more fitted than the envelope implies and so it can be worn with or without a belt.

The photographs are all without a belt and I would wear it like this during the day, adding a nice belt for going out in the evening. 

I am aware that this fabric is fairly expensive, but honestly it to is worth every penny. My dress only needed a couple of metres so it makes it extremely affordable - you would pay a lot more for a dress of this quality in the shops. Actually it wouldn't fit as well and other people would be wearing it, so handmade bespoke is always best.

This is a great time to learn to sew by the way and this dress would be perfect, it can quite literally take you anywhere.

Angela

Sewangelicthreads