I live in this dress. It’s comfortable enough to throw on and chase the kids all day, but it’s nice enough for a date night out.
I originally bought this fabric (Mood!) like 3 years ago on a girls’ weekend to L.A. fabric district. We each bought a yard of this gorgeous fabric to see what we would do with it. I was so nervous to cut into the fabric, I ended up tying it around my waist and joking with a “no sew” tutorial. To see what everyone else did with the fabric, click here.
Just before leaving for Hawaii back in May, I decided it was time to do something about that yard. I didn’t have enough yardage to make a dress knee length, so I got creative and color blocked the top to give me a little extra room at the hem. I didn’t want it to look like I just pieced a top and a bottom there. I sliced and diced Megan Nielsen’s Briar tee pattern. I raised the neckline a touch and pieced the front and back. Piecing isn’t as hard as you might think. Especially if it’s in straight lines. It’s easiest if you have some tracing paper. I like to use large sheets of tracing paper from a roll (you can get them in 24″, 36″ and 48″ widths). See below for the full tutorial.
We had so fun at the photo shoot that I forgot to get a straight on back shot of the dress so here’s one flat from my studio.
Sewing the ‘v’ together was a little tricky since I didn’t want any puckering to occur (go slow!), but I tell you, using two knit fabrics for piecing like this is a lot easier than piecing two woven fabrics together. There’s a lot more wiggle room. Literally.
First things first, you’ll need:
- Wide roll of tracing paper
- pencil or marker
- sewing and paper scissors
- sewing machine
- pattern piece to color block
For this, I used a pattern piece from the Briar Sweater pattern. This technique works on any pattern piece.
Draw a line where you want your color blocking to happen. Drawing directly on the flat pattern how you want the pattern piece to look and where you want the seam to fall.
Then slip the pattern piece under the tracing paper and trace each section carefully. Transfer markings and information.
THEN ADD SEAM ALLOWANCE. You’ll add the same seam allowance to your color blocking lines as the pattern calls for. Write those seam allowances on the pattern pieces.
Cut your fabric pieces out and align right sides together from the top corner to the middle. Pin at the pivot point.
Sew up to the pivot point and release your presser foot while keeping the needle in the fabric. Align the remaining fabric pieces and pin. Continue your line.
Here’s the key: press your seam and top stitch the seam allowance to that side. I chose to stitch the seam allowance pointing upwards because of the fabric choices it just looked better.
Now sew your pieces together as directed in the sewing pattern. DONE!
- hat and bracelets: c/o Tai Pan Trading
- necklace: handmade (tutorial)
- dress: handmade by me! using Briar tee pattern
- shoes: Toms