Tag Archives: girl charlee fabric

My Pattern: Easy Tie-Dye Smock Dress

One thing I love about summer (probably the only thing as I prefer the cold) is festivals and Festival fashion.  I had one to go to at the end of August, and I wanted to attempt to take mostly hand made Items.

I had bought a beautiful terry knit from Girl Charlee a while back.  I had bought it for a sweater, but soon discovered it was thin enough to become something better.  Unfortunately it had fallen into that trap of getting fabric that I love, and fearing I would ruin it ended up putting off actually using it.

I had been looking for a decent oversized smock dress pattern.  I had tried to draw some plans out, but in the end I just went with the fabric and jumped in.

So How Did It Sew?

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I only had 2 metres of fabric, but I used every scrap of it just by making it from a series of rectangles.  The top was folded over, and a head hole cut in.  I didn’t finish it with binding, I just pulled the jersey and it held.  I did the same with the hem. The skirt was just a length of the fabric cut in two and sewn together.  The arms again, due to the oversized square nature were just sewn on.  To give it a more casual look, I rolled up the hem and did an invisible stitch to hold it down.  I think it really adds to the casual look of the piece.

I absolutely love this dress, and I wear it constantly.  its ridiculously comfy, but that it due to its size and the softness of the fabric.

I ended up taking this, my long coloured Kimono and a couple of other key hand made pieces to the festival with me.  To be fair, by the end of the weekend, no one really cares what you look like.  Plus all the people there dressed like it was the 90’s and not in a good way!  I saw some shell suit jackets, loads of bumbags and some questionable patterned shirts. But if it weren’t for everyone holding a smartphone I would have been convinced I had travelled through time!

Even though I have described how I made it, and it was a quick sew, it took a bit of planning and thinking.  Once you cut the fabric that is it, so I had to have some idea of where its going.  Most of the time I felt I didn’t, and worried about my fabric, but it turned out perfect in the end.

I highly recommend a visit to Girl Charlee, for someone who struggle with pattern, most of the good pattern I have bought and actually wear is from there.   But with saying that I do need to give some of their basic colours a try.

Pattern Hack: Cross Swing Dress

I had been lusting over 90’s button front swing dresses for a while now.  Maybe because i remember them the first time around, so I want in on that trend again!

This dress had a few incarnations on paper, until I eventually settled on hacking a Luisa from Wear Lemonade.  I dropped the separate yoke by tracing it into the dress front, I then slightly exaggerated the trapeze shape.  The front had a V neck and button front, I simple added a few cementers to the front seam and added a strip of interfacing.

The fabric I used was from Girl Charlee, I bought it a while back and was being far to precious with using it ( I have several patterns to use still in the stash)  It is still available to buy, you can check it out here. It is a lovely light jersey, and the Gothic cross pattern is so me.  I am glad I used it for this dress as I know I will get a lot of wear out of it.

So how did it sew?

Completed:  15th December 2016

Its refreshing when making your own pattern, or hacking a previous pattern, you have the luxury of going rouge and not having to read a pattern.  You kind of just do it as you go, and love every minute of it. The dress is very light, but I think this works with the exaggerated skirt part, it has a beautiful drape.  I got so carried away with the make, i forgot i wanted to do double buttons all the way down and just done singles.  It still turned out fine, a minor detail.  I could have made this even easier on myself and made a faux button front, but I am glad it opens, as I might experiment with wearing it open… although i am lazy and just pull it on over my head rather than deal with buttons.

I am keeping the pattern, I am thinking about doing a floral version, with more tea dress like sleeves, definitely a summer wear.