I have entered the Pattern Review Great British Sewing Bee competition this month*. The first challenge was to make a pair of shorts or capri pants. My polka dot capris will be blogged soon. Suffice to say, they got me through the first round. Challenge number two was a bias cut garment.
Bias cut? I never make bias cut garments. They have a habit of showing lumps and bumps I'd rather keep well hidden. This was a challenge indeed. After examining and rejecting every pattern in my arsenal I finally turned to my stack of Patrones magazines. I love those magazines, they have interesting and lovely designs. I flicked through the pattern layouts and looked at anything that was cut on the bias. Eventually I settled on this dress.
This is dress number 20 from the October 2013 issue of Patrones Extra Magazine (No 33). It is completely bias cut, but is not too clingy. The skirt is quite full and the ruffles add some extra interest.
I chose a lovely cotton voile with an abstract print that I had bought from a Morrison (Australian designer) sale a few months ago.
This light fabric required careful sewing and I used French seams throughout (inside picture above). This was tricky as the fabric wanted to gather along every stitching line. I also had big problems working out how to French seam the neckline flounce. It took me three goes before I got the right side showing!
The flounce follows the neckline and then extends past it down the front of the dress. The hem of the flounce and all the other hems of the dress are finished with a rolled hem on the overlocker. The flounce has a bit of hand beading on it too.
The skirt is made up of ten pieces, all different and asymmetrical. There are ruffles along four of the seam lines and the hem dips at the front and back.
The back has a slight racer back, which is nice with the ruffle falling over the shoulders.
This dress was quite involved to make, not least because the instructions were in Spanish so no use at all to me! It took quite some working out just to determine which pieces were meant to go where, let alone how to sew them together. It seemed to work in the end though and I didn't have any pieces left over, so something went right!