Sewing: Sew Different Everyday Chic Dress

Hello again! Goodness the weeks just keep whizzing past don’t they, I can hardly believe we’re at the end of November already!

Anyway, that aside, here’s another closer look at one of my relatively recent personal craft projects. I say relatively recent, but I think I actually finished this one back in September!

 
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As well as knitting, I love to sew my own clothes and am always keeping an eye out for new pattern releases and different styles that I like. I’m quite particular about what I make though, from years of experience I know what suits me and works for my body shape as well as my lifestyle, so when I do find a pattern I love I’ll often end up making multiples.

This dress pattern is one of those that I can definitely see myself making more of in different fabrics and colours because it ticks the boxes for style as well as comfort, ease of wear, and versatility.

Similarly to my rainbow jumper, this project began with the pattern - the Everyday Chic Dress from Sew Different, bought at the Knitting & Stitching Show, but very quickly followed by the fabric on the same day - the most fabulous Liberty needlecord bought from Sewbox.

I really liked the shape of the dress, plus the undeniable practicality of wonderfully deep pockets, and there were samples made up in a few different fabrics that gave me an idea of different possibilities, so once I found the needlecord I had a pretty good idea that it would work well, having sewn another dress with it (in a different colour and print) last year.

Sew Different’s patterns are all aimed at being reasonably easy projects - there are no complicated fastenings to deal with, in fact I think all the dresses just slip on over your head. The patterns are also printed in good quality thicker paper, not the flimsy tissue of many big brand patterns, so they’re easy to work with and will last to be used again and again.

Once I’d got the pattern prepared, there was a bit of jigsaw puzzling involved to get all the pieces cut out of the fabric, bearing in mind keeping the print the right way up on all the pieces, but I didn’t worry too much about matching the pattern across seams as it’s so busy it doesn’t really notice. I got the dress all cut out of 2 metres of the fabric, with only a very few scraps to spare!

Construction was nice and straightforward, and I’m at the point with my sewing now that I can work out where I can batch similar tasks and where I need to follow the steps in order, and I did most of the sewing with my overlocker which creates beautifully neat finished seams. I added in a couple of extra steps such as understitching the pocket lining to keep it from flipping out, and topstitching around the neckline to keep the facings lying flat.

There are optional instructions for adding shirring elastic to create gathered sections on the front and back of the dress - and videos to support this on the Sew Different website - but I decided on a slightly different method and sewed a strip of normal elastic onto the back waist seam to create the gathers there and give the dress a bit more of a nipped in silhouette. This also means there’s still the stretch needed to get in and out of the dress, and although I didn’t put the gathered sections on the front of this dress I might on any future versions as I quite like how it pulls in the slightly empire line waist.

I went with the notch detail version for the neckline as I know this works better for my figure than a higher round neck, and I like how the softness of the fabric lets the sides of the neckline flap down into more of a V shape. I like the elbow length sleeves too, it’s a flattering length and means you don’t end up dangling your cuffs in your dinner!

I also added a little bit of extra length to the skirt as I like dresses to cover my knees, and it means I’ll probably get more wear out of it all year round as I can wear it with tights and boots and a top layered underneath during the winter, or on its own with bare legs in the summer.

Of course I have to mention the colours in this fabric - isn’t it just fantastic?! When I spotted it on Sewbox’s display it was instantly the one I had to have, Liberty have created some absolutely stunning prints in their recent collections.

So there we have it - a new addition to my wardrobe that I’m looking forward to wearing a lot, and also planning other versions for different seasons and situations. I think a loose chambray or linen version would be wonderful for warmer weather, and maybe even a velvet one for dressier occasions…time to keep my eye out for new fabrics!