Monday 4 April 2016

Easy dressmaking again

 I've had lots of interest in the dress I made yesterday.

I kept the style really simple because the fabric is busy enough for me. I rarely wear pattern but this check seersucker jersey was a gorgeous find from the Rag Market in Birmingham. It was a gift from Laura who tells me she paid £2 for the piece! That might have you all rushing off there but I warn you there are times we go and find nothing we like. It's a bit of a lottery and you just have to be prepared for disappointment. There are compensations though - we usually combine market shopping with a visit to the art gallery and maybe Jamie Oliver's Italian for lunch!

I've had the fabric tucked away for a couple of months waiting for time to make it up. It rained yesterday morning and I fancied a job in the warm studio so it was the day!  I've showed you this pattern before as it's a favourite of mine. I used version A but made a few modifications - mainly to take it from a tunic to a dress length. I narrowed the side seams a bit too so there was less fullness at the hem. I know from experience that this top fits me well but it is important to get the neckband right. When you cut it out it looks way too short to fit around the neckline. That's where the 2 way stretch of the jersey comes in. The band is cut on the bias and you need to stretch it as you sew it to the main part of the garment. Make sure the notches and centre markings are transferred from the paper pattern to the fabric and all will be well.

The raglan sleeve is the easiest of all sleeves if you're new to dressmaking. There's no setting in involved and no shoulder seam to fit to your particular width of shoulder. As long as you use a nice stretchy fabric the top will fit where it touches and will be very comfortable to wear, just like a soft T Shirt!

If you intend to make a lot of your clothes I would recommend you start saving your pennies for an overlocker. It's one machine I wouldn't want to be without, especially for sewing stretch fabrics. It gives such a professional finish to seams. Before you ask, mine is made by Husqvarna and I love it!


  1. Thanks Linda, I shall see if it's still available. I do have an overlocker, can't begin to think how old it is, but like yours it's a Husqvarna and is really worth every penny.... until I have a broken thread that is, then it's fit for the trash bin!!! Of course it's never actually thrown out, I just have to walk away for a while!!

  2. Unfortunately this pattern is out of print, anyone out there prepared to make a copy on dot and cross pattern paper?

  3. Oh No! What a pity it's out of print. I don't buy many patterns - just a few basic shapes which I adapt and use over and over again. I'm not sure how long I've had this one but I'm sure there must be a similar raglan sleeve style out there!


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