Following the successful make for her birthday, I wanted to make a dress for my sister for Christmas, she has a very different style from me but when I saw the Overture Set which came with Issue 20 of Simply Sewing Mag a few months a go, I knew that would be the one.
I bought this amazing silk feel fabric from the sale at Abakhan and I thought it would be perfect for this as the dress looks nice and floaty. I read through the instructions before I cut the pattern out and was very quickly overwhelmed, I had never done a collar before… I was in two minds, one said, try it or else you’ll never learn, the other said, you’ll never be able to do that. I went with the latter I’m afraid folks and decided to leave the collar out. I might have tried it if it hadn’t been for a gift but I want it to be lovely.
The fabric, whilst beautiful, was an absolute PAIN to sew. I haven’t done much work with slippery fabrics like this and what a nightmare! I had to use about a million pins and even then I couldn’t be sure that another piece of fabric was slipping in from somewhere… It also slipped off my desk constantly too.
It was my first time working with a yoke and that was even more difficult because of the fabric. I don’t think I did this right because the seam allowance looked a mess… so I used a bit of bias binding to hem the seam allowance on the yoke. It looks quite neat now but I need to learn how to do this properly. I have since watched this video on how to sew a yoke by Sew Over It and I think I’ll be able to do this next time! I used it more successfully in this shirt for my brother.
I was tempted to also ignore the pockets but as I blatantly cast aside the collar, I felt I best try these at least. I did have to unpick two of them completely though because I lined the wrong notches up but I was determined by this point. The pattern comes with really good instructions on how to insert the pockets whilst maintaining the French seam, which was really useful to learn.My next challenge was the arm hole binding and the hem. I wanted a neat finish that would not look bulky or ruin the flow of the dress, this is really tricky on silky fabric so I used a black ribbon as I thought any other binding would be too restrictive. The neckline doesn’t sit as perfectly as I would like, I maybe need to consider using facings next time.
I also used a thicker black ribbon to bind the hem, which is longer at the back than the front. I thought it would make a neater finish and I was right because I do feel it is neat and quite modern looking.
Overall, it’s got a lovely shape, thanks to the pleat in the back, which is a great feature, and I was pleased with it. My sister loved it and says she can’t wait to wear it on her holidays, but for now I had her pose in front of Mum’s Christmas tree for me! (last of the Christmas pics now, I promise!)