I have been wanting to make up something from this indy pattern maker for a long time and decided to make up this pattern when my favorite summer lounging dress, a loose translation of KwikSew 2645 needed mending
I also wanted to learn:
…several pattern making secrets in this design which give you an hourglass shape. The waistline tucks are subtle, and there is still plenty of ease with 6″ of extra room in the waist.
from the pattern description
That cinched it. I must try this pattern! I found the instructions to be great for a beginner with more advanced dressmaking techniques well explained than is usually included in a pattern from the big pattern companies. Indeed the designer urges you to call her if you have any questions or need to size up or down beyond the pattern’s sizing.
The only anomaly I found in this pattern was that I saw no reason to line the lower band, not big deal in my book. You’ll be in good hands following this designer’s directions.
Click the images below for a readable version of the front and back of the pattern envelope. If you need an even bigger version, click on “all sizes” on the Flikr page and then choose the largest size.
I cut size 18 throughout this first version, using linens from my
stash in-house store.
This is a classic Victorian “Gibson Girl” shape with extended front yokes and very full sleeves with stiffened, interfaced sleeve heads. The yoke extends beyond the scye line, an example of which is shown below.
I hard pressed the armscye seams in toward the sleeve as per pattern instructions and was able to turn the sleeves into more width than height. If this pressing had not been done the sleeves would be standing straight up off the shoulders (not a good look for a grown woman…)!
The tucks at the waistline in front and back are a fun way to shape the dress. The back tucks are further held in by the belt
The skirt is not excessively full
And the lower vee cut band and double flounces add some sewing interest to the project
I have written a review of this pattern at PatternReview.com, giving a few more details slanted towards the construction of this dress.
As I was gathering the yards of fabric needed for the sleeves and flounces I realized I had a few tips I could pass along.
Make long basting stitches at 1/2″ and just under 5/8″ per the pattern instructions and pull the bobbin threads at one end of your segment to be gathered. Wind them in a figure 8 around the pin holding the piece to be gathered to the straight piece
Couture Caveat: I am showing you gathers worked in linen but for tinier gathers in fabrics made of finer threads shorten the gathering stitches!
This will allow you to pull the bobbin threads at the other end of the segment taunt enough to fit the two pieces together
On longer segments pin the two ends in place and place a pin in the middle of the piece to be gathered
don’t gather where there are seams that need to be matched
Wind off both ends and at the pin in the center, gently lift up the two bobbin threads
pull the threads taunt
and after you have shortened the gathered segment, wind off the pulled threads on the center pin. Make the gathered segment a bit shorter than the straight segment. This will make spacing the gathers much easier and the wound off threads will “give” a little as you work the gathers into evenly spaced waves of beauty.
Give gentle tugs downward on the fabric as you work for equal spacing of the gathers along the threads.
The dynamic you want to maintain is the gathered fabric suspended on the basting threads, like sheets hung on the clothes line. Then pin in place as needed and hand baste before machine stitching.
The continued gentle downward tug of the fabric as you machine stitch will help keep the gathers from bunching under the machine foot.