Sewing Indie Month - Guest Tutorial by Kat from Muse Patterns

Saturday, September 19, 2015
Hey Everyone!

With Sewing Indie Month in full swing, I'm honoured to have Kat from Muse Patterns (a fellow Kiwi) here today with a great wee tutorial using the Cressida Skirt and Dalloway bodice. Combined, they make such a sweet little dress and with summer just around the corner here in little old NZ, I'm definitely going to be giving this a go.

So, over to you Kat...!

Hi everyone! My name’s Kat, from indie label Muse Patterns. I’m really excited to be here today, showing you a pattern “hack” I’ve done with two of Jennifer’s patterns - the Dalloway dress and the Cressida skirt.

Jennifer and I have a few things in common - we both design patterns with vintage inspiration, we both have very young children, and she lives in the town I grew up in! So it seemed rather perfect to be paired up with her for Sewing Indie Month. :-)

Since Jennifer’s Cressida skirt was part of the first of the pattern bundles for Sewing Indie Month, I wanted to do a tutorial using that pattern, and hopefully giving you all inspiration for how else you can make it up. So, I’ve turned it into a dress, by pairing it with the bodice of the Dalloway dress!

Combining these two patterns is super easy, and results in a pretty dress in a classic fit-and-flare style. Here’s how to go about it....

Cutting your fabric

To make the Cressida-Dalloway dress, you’ll need the following pattern pieces:
  • From the Dalloway dress: front and back bodice pieces.
  • From the Cressida skirt: front and back skirt pieces, and the pocket.

Cut the Dalloway bodice pieces out of your main fabric and your lining fabric, as per the Dalloway instructions.

Before you cut out the Cressida skirt, we’ll need to make some simple adjustments to both the front and back skirt pattern pieces. The Cressida skirt is designed to button up the front. However, we need to switch this around to be a back lapped-zip opening, so that it fits well with the fastening for the Dalloway bodice. This means that we need to remove the overlap from the centre front of the skirt, and convert it to be cut on the fold. We’re also going to add a centre back seam to the skirt for attaching the zipper.

First up, the skirt front. Near the centre front, on the waist curve of the skirt you’ll see a notch marked ‘Centre Front Notch’. Draw a line from this notch all the way to the skirt hem, running parallel with the centre front seam. This line is your new centre front seam, and we’ll be placing it on the fold of the fabric to cut out the skirt. You can see it marked in red in the image below.


And here’s where we cut out the skirt front - that new red line is now placed on the fold of the fabric, so the skirt front is cut in one piece.


The alteration to the back skirt is just as easy - to convert it to have a centre back seam, all we need to do is add 1.5cm / 5/8” to the centre back as seam allowance. We can easily do this while cutting out the fabric - place your skirt back piece on your fabric, and draw a line in tailors chalk 1.5cm / 5/8” away from the centre back seam, running parallel to that seam. This is our new cut line - you can see it marked in blue chalk below. (Important: because we’re adding a centre back seam, do not cut the skirt back on the fold.)


And here’s what the skirt back looks like when it’s cut out, with the extra width added for seam allowance.


Sewing up your dress

First, sew up the skirt by following the Cressida skirt instructions for stitching together the pockets and skirt front and back and finishing the seams. Leave the centre back seam open.

Now switch to the instructions for the Dalloway dress - you’ll be following these from now on.

Follow the Dalloway instructions until you reach the section on attaching the skirt to the bodice. To do this, pin the skirt to the bodice, right sides together, and lining up the skirt side seams with the bodice side seams. Stitch together, and press seam allowance up towards the bodice.

Now go back to following the Dalloway instructions, until your dress is finished.

Yay! You now have a pretty and classic fit-and-flare dress! (With pockets. ;-)

Thanks so much Kat!

Do you guys think you'll give this a go? We'd both love to see it if you do :)

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