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Sunday, 21 July 2013

Navy Upright Collar Dress

Before the weather turned very untypically English, I decided to try turning a summer tea dress pattern into a more sophisticated self-shaping dress, inspired a little bit by Emilia Wickstead's Coat Dress worn by Kate Middleton on St Paddy's Day.

I already had the McCall's M6503 pattern sitting in my room (which also makes lovely summer dresses, perfect for this time of year), so instead of searching for a different pattern, I thought i'd give an adaptation a try (View D). Making things difficult for myself.... again!


The first thing I did was measured myself and compared my measurements to the finished garment measurements. TIP: Summer dresses often have bigger pattern pieces, because a bit of extra material looks nice and drapey in a soft floaty material. However, I wanted each piece to lie flat and didn't want too many gathers, as in a thicker material it would look too bulky. It turned out the only thing I needed to adjust slightly was the front bodice pieces. I took a little bit off the centre and side seam edges, so that there were less gathers under the bust line.

Next, the fun part, choosing the fabric: I knew I wanted a material that would keep it's shape, but it couldn't be too thick or stiff. A medium weight corduroy would have the type of thing I was looking for, but at my local market I stumbled up on a navy felt/fleece, with a polyester backing - PERFECT! I was so excited to get going. I also chose a contrast chequered material for the waist and collar.

And so I got started :) I didn't have to change anything else, but I would always suggest TIP: to tack the bodice pieces together first to make sure all the sizing is correct, especially when you are adapting a pattern.

The only thing that was a little tricky, because of the thicker material, was the collar. I found that trying to sew that many layers of fabric is best done by hand. The collar on my dress isn't perfect even now, but I don't think it's too noticeable. I'm sure you'll have more luck!

Have you made a different type of look with a different fabric? Post your pictures!

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