I wanted to make a few things for going away on holiday. I had a week to do it all in and speed was the order of the day.
I had the Shannon collection pattern in my stash and thought it would be an excellent starting point for a couple of t-shirts and a dress. I was not wrong, this is a Winner in my book. I tried a T-shirt first to check the sizing and having established that it would work well I went ahead with a dress which has been in my mind for a little while.
I was using a gorgeous royal blue viscose Jersey from FC Fabric Studios. I knew it had a good stretch to it so I was able to use the largest pattern size (20), with no need for any adjustments. I did scoop the neck out to be a little lower because this dress is for my summer holidays after all.
The t-shirt/dress pattern is very straightforward as I would expect from Simple Sew. However I wanted to insert the neckline and armhole bands in the flat rather than in the round, so I changed the construction order as follows:
- I sewed one shoulder seam
- I attached the neck band
- I sewed the remaining shoulder seam, making sure I sewed the neckband so that the two edges would match
- I attached the two sleeve bands
- I sewed both side seams, again, making sure that the bands would match up.
The insertion of the neckline and sleeve bands is probably the most technically challenging part of this make. It depends enormously on the stretch in the jersey you’re using. What you’re trying to achieve is for the band to sit against your body smoothly rather than sticking out. This means you have to stretch the band as you’re sewing it into place and working out the amount of stretch needed is a matter of judgement and experience (which was why I wanted to try it out on the t-shirt first!).
Having got the basic construction done, I wanted to add a lace border to the hem. I found this lace at Tiger, of all places, a few months ago and it was too much for bargain not to buy. This was the perfect project to use it on.
It was a bit tricky because the lace is woven and has no stretch. Also the side seams of this dress are gently A-line so there’s a bit of taper. The lace was quite wide so I decided to stitch it in place along the top and bottom and also in the middle, so that wouldn’t flap away from the underlying jersey. The bottom set of stitches, at the hem is a herringbone. The top stitching follows the looping of the lace; again I didn’t want to have the lace pulling away from the jersey. The stitching in the middle is just a basic diagonal slip stitch. I’ve overlapped the joins at the sides and stitched them down. It’s not perfect but it’s secure enough that it won’t unravel.
I finished the whole thing off by topstitching down the neckline and sleeve bands using a twin needle. I used the mint coloured thread so that there was a tie in with the lace.
I’m really happy with this dress – it’s going to be perfect for my holiday!
Béa blogs at Béa’s Sewing Adventures.