Wednesday, 19 February 2014

This week I have been sewing ... the summer dress from The Great British Sewing Bee Series 1 book


Source: Amazon

Inspired by the new series of the Great British Sewing Bee, I had a look through the book that accompanied series 1 and decided to make the summer dress. I also thought that it would encourage the rain to stop and spring to appear!



The book from series 1 has patterns available to print off online from Quadrille Crafts. This does mean that you have to print off many pages, cut out the pieces and stick them together correctly first! Fortunately the book to accompany series 2 will come with many of the patterns.



I decided for this dress I would use some lovely cotton fabric I got in the January sales from Guthie&Ghani, which is owned by Lauren who was a finalist from series 1. The fabric has great retro mod circles in white and mustard on a peachy-coral background. 



I measured myself against the sizing chart in the book but came out a couple of sizes larger, so I just cut out a pattern for size 10, which is my usual size and it only needed a very slight adjustment to fit in the bodice area.





The bodice is lined, so I began sewing these elements to my fabric first. I reinforced the v-shaped neck line by stitching it twice.




To make it more simple to fold the pleats, I snipped into the fabric by a few millimetres at the folds and cut small notches where the folds should be pinned. This stopped me getting confused about what I was folding where!




I also sewed the bust pleats in position with a long straight machine stitch before pinning and sewing to complete the bodice.






For the pockets, I marked the the circles with tailor's chalk on the fabric so that I would know where to place the pocket elements at a later stage.

One of my favourite things about this dress is the big deep pockets, they sit flat against your body when you're not using them but have plenty of space to carry bits and pieces about.


I decided that I wanted to make the dress fully lined, so I cut additional pieces for lining the skirt, but resized the pattern pieces so as not to include the pleats before attaching them to the bodice lining. 



I finished the dress by hand stitching an invisible hem, this way I avoided any visible stitching on the dress.



I'm really happy with the results and I finally have a co-ordinating dress for my favourite winter coat!




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