Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Cute Summer Dress

I think the multi-colored fabric was meant to be for quilting or home decor. It is a cotton batik with rayon embroidery. Its texture and drape are not very pleasant. But I loved the colors so much, I decided to buy it for this dress, Kwik Sew 3492. I somehow managed to lose the instructions. Probably put them into another pattern envelope. WHEN am I going to learn not to take out more than one pattern at a time? Or if I must take out more than one at a time, I should at least color code each piece so I'll know exactly which envelope it goes into when it's time to put it away.

Luckily, this dress was so easy to put together that I didn't need instructions. And it actually came out well enough to wear in public. I'm going to make a loose fitting jacket to go with it, made from the same cotton poplin I used for the triangular bit in the middle of the bodice. 

Here are a couple of things I learned from making this dress:

1. If you don't press the coils of invisible zippers flat enough before sewing them in, the seam can end up running into the coils, which prevents the zipper from closing. I did this and had the rip out the zipper and reinstall it.

2. Zippers are probably not the most suitable closures for embroidered fabric. I left the zipper in this dress, but if I had it to do over again, I'd probably widen the seam allowances at the center back and put in buttons. Or maybe leave the seam allowances as they are and put in button with loops. I may yet do the buttons and loops if the zipper gets caught on the embroidery threads too often.


  1. It's a beautiful dress! Is it uncomfortable to you because of the materials, or is it easy to tolerate?

  2. Thank you, Dina! I don't think this fabric would be comfortable for pants or a bodice with sleeves, because there is not much sretch, even across the bias. but it works well for this dress. I underlined the bodice with cotton poplin, which is smooth against the skin, and the gathered skirt doesn't make much skin contact. Both the poplin and the batik "breathe" nicely, so it's quite comfortable.

  3. This dress is super cute!
    With embroidered or sequinned (or both!) fabric, it is worth unpicking any embroidery and sequins from the seam allowance of the zip area, and an extra few millimetres in from the stitching line. Then you should have no trouble inserting your invisible zip. Leave the unpicked threads long so they can be stitched back in afterwards... this prevents any more embroidery from coming unravelled.

  4. Thank you for the tip, Carolyn. That's a great idea!