Sewing Myself a New Wardrobe – The Kate Dress

Inspiration

Back in February when visiting the Malvern Creative Crafts Show I allowed myself one combined treat of a pattern & fabric from 2 of the stalls – this lovely dress (several months later) is the result! These shows are a great source of inspiration & new ideas, it’s also great to see samples made up, be able to touch the fabrics & talk to the business owners. You do have to give yourself a strict budget though!

pattern

Kate Dress – Sew Me Something

I went for version 1 for the sleeves & pockets adding the gathers at the neckline from version 2.

Sew Me Something is an independent sewing emporium based in Stratford-Upon-Avon. I had already discovered them online but it was lovely to meet Jules the owner who was on the stand & wearing a version of the Kate dress – that was all the inspiration I needed! She has a small range of patterns all with a relaxed style & named after characters in Shakespeare’s plays – an example of the quirky touches that make independent patterns a joy!

fabric

atelier brunette, bloom collection, twist Dark Blue (Cotton Lawn Batisite)  – Maud’s Fabric Finds

It’s a lovely fine cotton, perfect for dress making.

I was delighted to discover Maud’s Fabric Finds at the show, I could have spent hours looking through all her gorgeous dress making fabrics. Chatting to Maud I discovered that she sources a lot of her fabrics from Europe & specifically seeks out different fabrics that she couldn’t find when she moved to England. The shop is online only & specialises in organic cotton fabrics, eco-friendly fabrics & stretch fabrics. Having had chance to touch the fabrics on her stand I would have no hesitation in ordering any fabric from the website secure in the knowledge that it will be a lovely quality.

notions

Linen bias binding  – Sew & Sew, St Nicholas Market, Bristol

This shop has the best choice of bias binding in Bristol – every colour you can think of & some pretty floral prints too – my plain linen choice was perfect for this dress but probably doesn’t do their huge range enough justice!

sewing notes

The pattern booklet was well laid out & the instructions very easy to follow. It is suitable for beginners & as with many of these new independent patterns I think it would be a better introduction to dress making than a traditional pattern.

I am a shop size 16-18 but my measurements guided me towards the size 22 pattern. I went with this as it was my first time with a Sew Me Something pattern but I think I would go with a size 18 or 20 next time.

I was able to use my preferred french seams everywhere apart from attaching the sleeves & I top stitched with a contrasting thread to create a smart finish.

The pattern gives the option of making your own bias binding in matching fabric or using shop bought bias binding.  I opted for the contrast & this lead to my only mishap.

I cut the length of bias binding as instructed in the pattern & ended up gathering more of the dress fabric into the neckline to make it fit. This caused the whole bodice to pull in from the sleeves, which wasn’t right! I realised that there must have been less stretch in my bias binding than the pattern was expecting so I reworked the neckline with a longer piece of bias binding (using this technique for the join) & I am much happier with the result.

Conclusion

This is a simple pattern that enables a very neat finish. The style is a new shape for me, but I like it & would definitely make it again!

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