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Monday Makes: A Summer Dress (part 1 of 2)

So this whole ‘Monday’ thing is becoming a bit of a running joke isn’t it? I don’t care, I’m stubborn and I’m sticking with it. At the time of writing this, it is still Monday, so it still counts… Having really enjoyed making and then wearing my own skirts, I decided I would move on and try a dress.

Without any tuition. Or a pattern. Or any tiny clue what I was doing. Hence this post is ‘to be continued’ and after many re-workings and revisions, I am clinging to the last few shreds of my sanity.

I began by using a black shift dress I like as a rough template. I drew round it and added a one-inch seam/hem allowance all round. 

I cut two dress shapes out and then used one of these as a template to cut two pieces of blue lining fabric.

TOP TIP: This is a terrible way to make a dress! I haven’t made the dress pieces big enough to make a dress that’s going to fit me, but thankfully I have only sewn one, and can simply make a larger front-piece to attach to it.

Measure yourself, around the bust, waist, hips, bum and legs, and make sure that the corresponding places in each of the fabric pieces follow this formula.

Fabric width = Half of your corresponding measurement + (Seam allowance x 2)

Anyway, on with the show. I attached a piece of lining fabric to the back piece of the dress using a zig zag stitch on the sewing machine at a medium width, length and tension. The zig zag stitch is useful as it prevents fraying but also gives a good strong attachment between these flimsy cottons I’m using.

Next, I pressed and sewed a half-inch hem along the bottom and pressed and sewed a quarter-inch hem along the neck-line and arm-holes. For neatness, I did a quarter-inch hem along the tops of the shoulders, even though they didn’t really need it for the finish, as they will be sewn to the front-piece of fabric and the seam will give the neat finish required.

And that, dear readers, is where I am leaving it for this ‘Monday’, otherwise it would probably be Wednesday before you saw this post. By that stage, I could well be dancing around my dress, laughing as it goes up in flames.

To be continued next Monday! (ish)

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