Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Peasant Dress

Well we are off for a very short break to the tropics to temporarily escape the cold winter and so last week I decided to make our 13 year old daughter a peasant dress from the Japanese Pattern Book called "Dress Style Book".  So good to sew something with a splash of colour while we are all rugged up in our dark wear for winter!
Needless to say I discovered how much fabric goes into a gathered, tiered dress!  We decided on light cotton fabric (almost a voile).  First job is to find and trace the correct pattern pieces from the pattern sheet in the back of the book.  They are quite easy to identify and you simply trace them.  I did find with this pattern that the facing wasn't included as a pattern piece.  But it was easy to create the facing pieces.  Simply trace the neckline profile and follow pattern piece down each side about 5-8cm and then cut it that wide and you have your facing, as shown in pics below.  Sorry that isn't explained well.

The neckline was to be gathered up so I figured the easiest way was to insert narrow elastic.  One I have joined and sewn on the facing around the neckline, I lay the elastic up inside near the join, or like on the sleeves, just fold over the hem edge and lay the elastic inside fold.  Stitch it across at the beginning, within the seam allowance so it won't be seen after seams sewn.  Don't cut the elastic to length.  Just lay it flat and sew as if creating the channel, or sewing down the hem edge, as shown.  Then draw the elastic out and let it gather up the fabric to the desired tightness, snip and stitch across, like the beginning.  This saves having to insert and thread elastic through the slow and tedious way after doing the channel or hem edge.
All finished!  Couldn't get the light in the shop to behave for this photo, so hope you can see it sufficiently.  The intended recipient wouldn't pose for me this time around so the trusty coat hanger did the job!  A tip with the pattern.  I actually narrowed the top bodice section pattern by about 8-10cm but it could do with more, as its quite full.  A couple of ties for sides or front and back will help this pinch in better when worn.  All the same, the pattern worked out beautifully and Ebony loves it!

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