Appleby Makes’ Utility Dress

Sam Pattern Review 2 Comments

After a little bit of a hiatus (a blogging one, not a sewing one), I’m back with my latest Simple Sew make. This is the utility dress – a relaxed dress with kimono sleeves, a bound v-neckline, a half-elasticated and half draw-string (draw-strung?) waistline and of course, pockets!

This dress has been on my radar for a while and I was always a little slow when it came to pick this for my Simple Sew makes, as other bloggers always got there before me! Finally, I nabbed it for March’s (ahem) sew!

I’m not really a girly-girl so the fit-and-flare and the baby-doll style dresses don’t really do much for me. However, I am getting more into wearing dresses and skirts and I’m finding that I reach for the simpler style garments. The utility dress fits perfectly into the kind of thing that I wear nowadays!

The fabric (and pattern for that matter) came from the swap table at #sewupnorth – a meetup with fellow sewists at Leeds. I feel very lucky to have got the checked fabric. Checks in my favourite blues and greens – what’s not to love?

This was an easy sew. The most challenging part was cutting out the pattern pieces to makes sure that the pattern matched throughout (it doesn’t but it mostly does). This is how I pattern matched the front bodice. I cut one bodice piece out and then used that piece as the pattern for the other bodice piece. Can you see one bodice half pinned to the fabric in the picture below? It worked perfectly. Can you spot the centre-front seam in the image above? I also managed to pattern match at the side seams on the skirt, but it wasn’t going to happen on the bodice side seams!

The other difficulty I had was with the self-made bias binding, which I made far too skinny! Because the fabric frays like mad, I did find that I was ‘losing’ parts of my bias tape. I’ve never been great at attaching bias binding (despite all the practice I’ve had) and I don’t seem to have improved any here! The good thing was that I made far too much bias binding, so I used the rest as a drawstring! I like the drawstring feature of this pattern. The drawstrings are sewn into the side seams and poke out at the front through two eyelets. You have the option to sew button holes but I like installing eyelets and I have lots of them lying around!

So, all in all, I’m pretty happy with my new dress. It’s been worn a couple of times already. Here I am wearing it on a day out in York.

I seem to only have one pose! These photos are identical except for the addition of the denim jacket! Until next time…

Comments 2

    1. Hi. There are channel pattern pieces for the front and back. You cut a top and bottom one for each. On the front the drawstrings are sewn in at the side seams and on the back elastic is sewn in at the side seams. You then join the front and back top channels together at the side seams and repeat for the bottom channels. You then attach to the bodice and then the skirt. It’s been a while since I did this but I don’t remember having any bother with it. The instructions were ok!

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