12 months 12 projects: Dress making

I started the dress making course in June. It was meant to be a 5 week course around sewing a skirt, but everyone in the class really wanted to make dresses. We were warned that it was unlikely that we’d get that far in ¬†weeks, but we were OK with that.

I chose a butterick pattern, and have, predictably, lost the packet with the image of the dress on it. However, I’ve just done a quick google, and here it is

Butterick B6016 dress

The pattern is Butterick B6016


I loved the class. It was so relaxing. It’s rare that I stop to concentrate on just one thing for any length of time. I like that you have to be quite accurate and patient, and have to take the time to measure and press things. And I was well aware of how much I’d have to unpick and re stitch things. All part of the process.

So, I had my 5 lessons, and by the end of this I had one fitted bodice with a lining complete. Whoop!

Then I did nothing…..until this weekend. 5 months later, and I very nearly have a whole dress!

I got it out last night and sewed the skirt panels together, skipping over pockets but making sure that the pleats were correct. I was very proud, and then this evening I attached the bodice to the dress. Oh it was coming on wonderfully.

And then I held it up in the bright lights of the kitchen. And I realised that I’d sewn half of my skirt on the wrong way round. Eek. It was going to happen. The fabric is dark navy and it’s quite hard to tell the front from the back. So I have spent this evening unpicking my wonderful evening’s work. And decided that I shouldn’t sew in the dark until I have a bright lamp to help me see what I am doing!

So, while it may not look like I’m much further on than I was 5 months ago, the fact that I was really really close to finishing (just the zip and hemming left to do!) means I am confident that I can finish this dress off next weekend and will be able to say that I’ve achieved my New Year’s resolution for 2014: make a dress. Yipee!!!

And then I can safely go out and purchase the amazing shirt dress pattern I desire (below), and get cracking in January. Whoop whoop!

MCcalls shirt dress

The dress is McCall’s pattern M6696


And I have just come across this lady’s fine blog in which she is sewing many shirt dresses this autumn. Yeay! I particularly love the brown polka dot one here. I had a lovely version of this from H&M for my graduation ball. Almost 10 years ago. Wow. I feel old.