Putting a halt to my dressmaking

What really –  stopping making clothes? No, of course not – I’m far too addicted. Well, I say addicted, but really it is a constant desire to refine, adapt and challenge myself. I get an idea and I want to see if it works. And so, with a summer holiday to plan for, it was inevitably that I turned once again to my favourite dress pattern.

I decided to combine the pattern with the halter-neck waistcoat pattern that I’ve also used  before. As for my choice of fabric I had a bed sheet (still crispy so never used) bought for just £2 from Emmaus. This would serve as a test in many respects to see if I could make the idea work, rather than using expensive fabric and getting it wrong. All I needed to do was buy a zip.

The waistcoat pattern needed adapting in that I wanted the front section in a single piece, not two halves. The lower edges of the waistcoat had to be shortened to attach it at the waist of the skirt section of my dress pattern (effectively replacing the bodice). I also needed to extend the neck piece by adding ties rather than it be in a closed loop.

This was all fairly straightforward enough, though I also decided that I wanted to line the dress. This would give the bodice more structure, as well as dispensing with the need to edge it with bias binding. And by lining the skirt too it made the outer fabric less transparent. Luckily I already had some pale lemon coloured fabric which co-ordinated perfectly.


I pinned and adjusted the halter-neck bodice as I went along until I was happy with the fit. I did the lining side seams first and checked the fit there, before sewing the outer fabric. Sewing the skirt section was now as easy as pie  (and it has the two pockets that I usually put in). The lining and outer dress are attached around the top of the bodice, and again at the zipper. I have caught the two together at the waist side seam for a few stitches on the inside. Both are hemmed separately. I’m very happy with the results. I will certainly be making this style of dress again, another holiday version and quite possibly an ‘evening out’ version too.

You may remember a while ago that I posted about the bargain  tablecloth I’d found at IKEA. This has now been made into a skirt and a top. The top is so simple, adapted from the bodice section of my usual dress pattern. Instead of adding a peplum (as with the Underground top) I  lengthened the pieces at the waist, slightly flaring them to give a better shape. I used a zip rather than buttons as a closure. The zipper is fitted so that it undoes from the hem to the neckline of the top. Both top and skirt have been finished off with white bias binding (cutting up an old cotton sheet to provide the strips).


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