Summer dresses in Autumn

Well, its been a very wet and windy week here, but I’ve been busy sewing sun dresses! My mum jets off to the beautiful Cook islands at the end of the month, and she asked me to whip her up some dresses to take with her based on one she got in H&M last year. Its a really simple dress, just a long tank top with some elastic sewn into the waist, but I still managed to make nearly everything quite complicated. Its a talent!

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This is the dress I started off with…

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…and these are the copies I made. I fudged a lot of the ‘pattern making’ (I lay the dress out on some paper and drew around it, not sure if that counts as pattern making), and had to change quite a lot of the construction techniques to suit the tools at hand, but I think I managed ok.

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On the blue striped dress I made a neck binding, which is my preferred technique, but the black and white fabric is a really stretchy jersey knit, and I just couldn’t get the binding to sit flat! In the end I had to trim it off and sew a neck band on, the first one I’ve ever done. I think it turned out ok, though I made it a bit wider than average to compensate for the overlocking I cut off when I cut the binding off. Yay for new skills, even if they are borne out of desperation! For the arm hole and hem finishing on both I just overlocked the raw edges, turned them under and stitched with my twin needle.

I haven’t given them to mum to try on yet, so I hope the elastic hits at her waist! I really struggled with how to attach the elastic without adding the bulk of a casing, and in the end I just sewed it on with a long straight stitch, stretching the elastic out as I went. At least this will be easy to undo/redo if its too low! The other thing I noticed when I tried them on to check length was how low the armscye dips, though its like that on the original so hopefully she doesn’t mind…Mum is a good 4 inches taller than me, so maybe it isn’t so bad on her.

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This is a photo I took when I was visiting the Cook Islands, it really is paradise! I’m very jealous…

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