In the recent hot weather I’ve found the outfits I feel most comfortable in are my long cotton dresses, especially the teal one I made in February for our holiday and a Liberty one I made last year, both just simple sleeveless dresses. I decided I needed another one…
A couple of years ago on a trip to Goldhawk Road in London I bought 3m of a beautiful blue Liberty tana lawn. Tana lawn is so soft and smooth it almost feels like wearing silk, it’s lovely to wear, perfect for a summer dress. This one is a gorgeous shade of blue (cobalt??) with a very delicate design on it, I love it!
I looked through my dress patterns, that’s when I realised how many of them take nearer 4m! Eventually I found Simplicity 2917 which reckoned with 60″ wide fabric you only need 2.70m. It’s a princess line dress with a full-ish skirt, a nice shaped neck-line and a sleeveless option. Bingo, I thought! Only tana lawn is only 54″ wide and sometimes 6″ makes all the difference!I wasn’t anywhere near being able to get it out of 3m.
Then I had a brainwave! I cut the side back and the side front pattern pieces along the ‘cut here for the top’ line, I left the front and back full length, reasoning that I’m sure I’ve got patterns with such a design feature! Without the full length of the two side pieces there was now plenty of fabric, in fact I even cut the skirt an extra 4″ long as I do like my skirts pretty long! I even remembered to add extra seam allowances (most of the time!)
The first thing I did was to stitch the side front and backs to their respective skirts and then just made the dress up as usual. As it’s such a busy print the seams don’t show anyway, but even if they did it I think would look fine.
I also removed the centre front seam from the pattern, cutting it on the fold instead. The neckline and arms have facings on the pattern, I stitched a neckline facing as per pattern, but I didn’t fancy an armhole one, so I bound it like a quilt instead with a strip of bias-cut lawn. The zipper was hand-stitched in as I find that easier and neater than fiddling round with the machine and the hem was stitched on the machine with the blind hemming stitch. The only thing I would add with hind-sight, is pockets.
I wore my dress to work today, it was cool and comfortable and I think it looks really pretty. I love the way it twirls!