I love the Butterick B6318, I adore the simple style, the loose fit bodice and also the fact that there are no tricky sleeves to set as they are part of the bodice construction, yay to that.
And then there is that sash! A super wide sash like that will add a fantastic waist line to any shape or size.
What fabric to use?
I love Emma Bridgewater, and I'm lucky enough to live 10 minutes away from their factory shop in Stoke on Trent. They often have sales which includes items that you cannot ordinarily buy very easily, I've even got Emma Bridgewater wellies!
A couple of years back I purchased a lovely bed duvet set, it has swallows on one side and stripes on the other, it's 100% quality cotton which is the perfect weight for a dress.
So, I decided to go for it and cut it up to use for my first attempt at the Butterick B6318, (and I guess that it's the perfect excuse to get new bedding and a change of colour scheme in the bedroom).
Planning it out
Many of time I've got really frustrated with myself as half way through a project I find that I am missing some of the supplies required, so I have recently decided to plan out my sewing projects by doing a sketch of the final design, and also checking that I have the supplies in stock.
I use the By Hand London sewing planner, which I love as the croquis are realistic (rather than the totally skinny, elongated limb versions out there), and it has lots of different features such as fabric planning.
I'm not a great artist (well actually I got an A in GCSE back in 1994 but haven't really practised art since) but I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed this process, I even treated myself to a new sketch pad and ink blocks, although I must admit that I had a little help from my daughter drawing the swallows as I just couldn't get them right.
I'm so pleased that I did sketch it out as this is what made me realise that something was missing, the skirt just didn't look right, it was too pale and the detail of the swallows got lost. I decided to sketch on a striped border and wow what a change, it looked perfect!
How was the pattern?
I am not a huge commercial pattern fan (as I've mentioned before) as I like to support small businesses) this is a simple dress to make, but you will need to be familiar with some of the basic sewing techniques as commercial patterns don't "teach as you sew" (another reason why I love indie patterns as they often do) for example it will instruct you to understitch the facing, if you don't know what understitching is, or how to do it, it could leave you a little stuck and frustrated ( I say through gritted teeth based on experience).
The techniques that you need to know (or research) for this dress are as follows
- Sewing darts
- Applying interfacing
- Gathering a skirt
- Inserting a zip
How did I make the skirt border?
My favourite detail on this dress is the skirt border. It was so easy to do, I simply reduced the length of the main skirt by the measurement of the length of the border, added seam allowance, I then cut out the missing length from the border fabric (again adding seam allowance), stitched them together, pressed and Overlocker the seam allowance. Tah Dah!
And the fact that the border is horizontal stripes made it super easy to sew a straight and even hem.
How was the fit?
I normally fit into a set pattern size (bust, waist and hip all the same size) but on this pattern it wasn't exactly matched, my measurements are bust 33", waist 26" and hips 35".
I decided to use pattern size 10 and chose to not make any adjustments (check me out taking a risk) as the style of dress is quite forgiving in the fitting department with the loose bodice, wide sash to clench the waist and a gathered skirt, I had also read that this pattern has quite generous ease built into it. The measurements guide for the size 10 is 32.5" bust, 25" waist, 34.5"hip.
The fit turned out to be fine, I'm glad I didn't waste time making adjustments or size up, the only change that I did make was to shorten the length, being only 5ft 3 I often need to do this.
This pattern was a very happy sew indeed, there was nothing overly complicated and it all fitted together very well. All in all it probably took about 5 hours to make (although I wasn't clock watching so I might be a little out) and I think that it would work very well with a variety of different fabrics.
I love how this dress turned out, I know that it will be one of those dresses that I get compliments on, and questions about where I got it from, now do I say that I made it from an old duvet cover, I don't think that I'll be able to resist!
I even recycled the Emma Bridgewater care tag and sewed that into the dress.
I did drive past Emma Bridgewater at the weekend and saw that they had a sale on, I think I'll call in and see what duvet sets they have on offer, or do I make an Orla Kiely next?
I love to read your comments about what you think of my projects (it makes my day) so please leave a comment below and do also share any blog posts that you written about a recycled fabric project.
I am slowly adding ready to buy ladies wear to the shop, feel free to take a peek.
Thanks for taking the time to read and happy sewing!