Floral chiffon Alex shirt dress from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break ebook

Floral chiffon Alex shirt dress from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break ebook


My second dress for this month's #wardrobebuilder took a lot longer to make than my first, but was definitely worth the effort. I've had this fabric sitting and waiting to be used for a while, not being able to decide on a project. Do you ever have a fabric that you love so much you can't bear to cut into it? This was one of those. All I needed was some inspiration which I found in ready to wear fashions.
I had seen floral chiffon dresses online and in stores that I liked the look of, and in typical dressmaker's style thought to myself 'I can make that!'. So, I've made myself a dress for a summer's evening - perhaps I'm wanderlusting for a holiday and some balmy evenings after a sunny day? As I was making this the Shirt Dress Challenge was also launched so this is my submission for that too!


Floral chiffon Alex shirt dress from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break ebook

The fabric

This fabric is from Sew Over It. I bought it a long time ago in a floral sale for 20% off and promptly washed it and packed it away again. I bought 2m for (I think) £12 per metre. It's a chiffon crepe and is very delicate. When I rolled it out to cut I found two holes in the fabric  - no idea where they came from. And then another one in the back skirt of my finished dress. Though it is meant to be able to be machine washed I think my finished dress will be hand wash only. This did mean that I couldn't be as exacting with pattern placement but luckily it's quite a busy design so I think I've got away with it.

When I cut this fabric and made the shirt dress I used all the techniques I wrote about in my previous post on working with sheer fabrics, plus a new one! I was very nervous about adding buttonholes in this fabric, and when I tested on left overs they didn't go very well. Luckily I came across a washaway stabiliser from Sew Essential which made a huge difference.

Floral chiffon Alex shirt dress from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break ebook

Pattern and Alterations

The fabric I had chosen drapes beautifully so I knew I had to find a pattern with little structure to it; something quite simple because it also frays and needs french seams. I find with french seams that the fewer construction elements I have to figure out the better! The Alex shirt dress from the Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break eBook fit those criteria. It's a loose fitting shirt or shirt dress that has a relaxed look and little structure. It's also been designed to be an easier pattern to make so suits french seaming a little more easily than other more fitted styles.

Alex shirt in dragonfly viscose crepe from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break ebook


When I eventually decided on the Alex shirt dress I did test out the pattern first with a shirt (details about the ebook, pattern and instructions here), and took some lessons learned into making this dress. I cut a size smaller than my measurements, making a size 8. This size is perfect. It has retained the loose fit whilst also removing some of the extra fabric to create a more flattering silhouette. I also shortened the sleeves by about 10 cm and raised the sleeve tabs so that when rolled up the sleeves are closer to the elbows. I also needed to move some of the button placement to take account of the slips that would be needed underneath and the flimsy nature of the material. Once I had finished the dress I also needed to take up the back hem by about 10 cm - I know it is meant to be a dipped back hem but it was a little too dipped for my short frame.

Floral chiffon Alex shirt dress from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break ebook pattern review


French seams - now these are straightforward enough at the side seams and under arm sleeve seams. They are also manageable at the sleeves too on this pattern. However, the yoke was a little more complicated. I came across an article (thought it was in Threads magazine but can't find it now, sorry) which mentioned using a double line of straight stitches instead. Essentially the seam is sewn as normal and followed with another line of straight stitches 5mm away within the seam allowance, and then the remaining seam allowance trimmed. I used this for the back yoke and for the folded over button plackets. I did manage to french seam the front yoke and collar (mostly). Where the collar and dress are joined with slip stitches I reinforced a line of straight stitches 1cm away from the edges first.

Floral chiffon Alex shirt dress from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break ebook

I used the technique for making the Brigitte scarf for the waist belt. The belt was cut on the fold, across the width of the fabric. I was aiming for a thicker belt and had forgotten to add on 3 cm depth for the two 1.5cm seam allowances - so what ever thickness of belt you are aiming for don't miss this!

Now all I need is some warmer weather (not necessarily the UK!) so that I can make the most of my floaty dress. We are travelling to New York soon and I'm hoping to take this to wear out for drinks one evening - it is from a City Break ebook after all!

Floral chiffon Alex shirt dress from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break ebook

Share

No comments:

Post a Comment


Hi, I'm Laura. Welcome to my journeys with modern, feminine dressmaking and delicious food.
Follow

Follow Me

This month's #wardrobebuilder giveaway

This month's #wardrobebuilder giveaway
Check out the feature post for details of how to claim pattern and fabric discounts

the #wardrobebuilder project

Powered by Blogger.

Instagram

PINTEREST

LIke on Facebook

Popular Posts

Search This Blog

Blog Button

Grab button for the petite passions
<div class="the-petite-passions-button" style="width: 240px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://www.thepetitepassions.com" rel="nofollow"> <img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Wro3h39_Yu0/VmSHBF6qQRI/AAAAAAAADd4/OQzjaZkbwBA/h120/blog%2Bbutton.png" alt="the petite passions" width="240" height="200" /> </a> </div>

Follow by Email

Legal stuff

Check out our disclaimer here