First up is "The Side to Side Border Print Dress"
I've always admired border print dresses that have a side to side border print happening. It's unexpected and not something most home sewists can emulate. Mostly because it's hard to get our hands on those amazing fabrics. So when I lucked onto this Milly print from Elliott Berman....
I knew I wasn't going to use it in a traditional fashion. I also knew that I was going to use my TNT pattern to make it. Hey like the old saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" *LOL*
Pattern Matching ~
However, when it comes to cutting the fabric out so that the pattern matched all the way around my body in a continuous fashion...I'm a spacial idiot. Seriously, I know why I bought so much fabric because I ended up cutting out my fronts twice to make it match the back...
This is the discarded front
I placed a seam in the front of the dress to get the border to run all the way around the dress. Then after some rooting around in the zipper box, I found a silver tooth zipper with a nice pull. So I added that to the front of the dress.
As an aside, can I say that I used my seam ripper on this dress more than I have in years! It's definitely been awhile since I sewed for myself because I made the dumbest mistakes evah that had to be ripped out and sewn again and again. I don't know if it was because I wasn't paying attention or what? But the seam ripper was my bestest friend during the making of this dress...*sigh*
Exposed Zipper Technique ~
Because I wanted an exposed zipper in the front of the dress, I started with this exposed zipper technique that I found on Pinterest. Although when I went to sew the insert, I ended up going my own way because my zipper is heavy. I thought if I didn't sew it directly to the fabric that the weight of it would cause the fabric to buckle unattractively.
Zipper pinned in
Zipper basted in and then stitched down - picture is before basting was removed!
Bias Binding for Armhole Edges ~
I like making bias binding especially when it really adds to the inside view of my dress. Since I had loads of large pieces of the fashion fabric leftover, I decided to make bias binding to finish the dress' armholes using it. I cut 2" bias strips making sure to use fabric from both sections of the border print. Here's a few pics of the bias binding construction...
...and a YouTube video that I found in case you need the steps...
More Construction Information ~
- After that the dress' construction was pretty straightforward...it is my TNT dress pattern after all.
- Besides adding the zipper to the neckline of the dress front, I also moved the slit from the dress back to the center front.
- The dress is lined with white bemberg rayon. I did go back and forth over whether or not to use a cotton batiste or the rayon. The cotton batiste offers more comfort but the rayon will be easier to wear. So I went with ease of wear.
- The armholes are finished with the self-made bias binding.
- The dress' hemline has a rayon seam tape added to it. It is hand stitched down using a single strand of thread that I ran through Thread Heaven to give it a little strength. I didn't want the hand stitches to show through at the hemline that's why I used a single strand of thread to hem.
- The dress is lightweight - great for the summer - even with the lining added. However, it is a cotton dress and I don't wear a lot of cotton. It will be interesting to see how it lasts through one of my long work days.
Hem: The lining turned under and stitched flat
Dress with Hug Snug Rayon Binding and hand stitched
Close up of the bias binding on the armholes
Dress hanging - front view
Inside of the dress
A Few More Pics of the Dress on Me ~
This was a satisfying sew and a great garment to make to dive back into the sewing pool. I'm glad that I've ended up with a pretty summer dress. Finally, I'm going to save the scraps and see if I can't make a dress for one of the grandbabies!
...as always more later!