Exciting news ... I made a dress

Obviously I've made lots of dresses before, but this one is a first ... the first to be made in my newly done up sewing room! I've been out of my sewing room since March, when we had to move out for building works, so it is a pretty exciting development for me to be able to get back in and sew.

The pattern is one I have used before, Simplicity Project Runway 2444. I first used this pattern nearly two years ago, and I'm surprised it has taken me this look to go back to it as I love it. In fact, I have used the pattern in between times, when I moved out of my sewing room earlier in the year I was working on a winter version of this dress in a blue and black checked fabric. I didn't get it finished before I had to pack up my sewing machine, and I didn't want to go back to sewing a winter dress in July. 

The fabric is this dress is an African Wax fabric my friend gave to me earlier in the year - I love the peacock feathers and the blue background. As with the previous versions of this dress, I didn't have to make any changes to the sizing, but I have made some construction changes. I added red bias binding to the sleeves as an added detail.

I also added a lining to the bodice of the dress, partly as the fabric is quite lightweight and also because In January I bought Connie Long's Easy Guide to Sewing Linings. Its a great book, providing very clear instructions on how to lining any garment, and how to alter the pattern pieces to add lining. In the introduction the author talks about why to add linings;
A lined garment does not cling, is more comfortable to wear, is easier to slide on and off, and looks just as good on the inside as it does on the outside. Adding a lining to a dress or skirt eliminates the need to wear a slip. Lining even the simplest style improves the garment's finished effect and is an important ingredient in sewing clothing that rivals high-quality ready-to-wear.
I've never really bothered with linings before, and I bought the book because I had some tweed fabric I wanted to make trousers from, and felt they would need lining. The did, the book told me how, and I was delighted with the results. Since then I've  been added linings to all my projects. 

The pictures above also give a sneaky peak of my new sewing room - well the purple/grey walls anyway, I'm not going to show the full room just yet, as I'm still working on a couple of elements in the room, but hopeful it will be ready soon. And, as I'm back in my sewing room again, I'm hoping to have more completed sewing projects to blog about soon too.


  1. V glad to see my fabric has found a home! - and such a lovely one too. Amazing that you could envisage such an end product, when I was tearing my hair out about it! xx

    1. Thanks Lucie, I read a blog post a few years ago which suggested 1950s style dresses (with fitted a fitted bodice and full skirt) worked for bold African prints so i thought I'd give it a go!

    2. That is The Most Gorgeous Dress!! It looks wonderful on you and the fabric is amazing. I can see that Lucie might have had trouble finding the right project for it - it is a sort of stand alone design, but your style works perfectly and I particularly like the red sash and the bias (the first time I wrote that it came out as bisa!) on the sleeves. Currant


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