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Sheath dresses, everywhere

I'm taking a break from my planned sewing to sew shift cotton dresses. Yes, you heard me. I took some sewing lessons with Beth from Sunny Gal Studio last time I was in California (already 6 weeks ago !). We spent almost all the time covering tailoring for a coat I'll be making throughout the summer - nope, still haven't started on it, 6 weeks later - but we also looked at sheath dresses, very quickly before we were done..

I left the lessons with an initial muslin, which had a bunch of things altered, and promised I'd transfer everything and try again on my own. Which I did, although it's much harder to perfect fit on your own.

This is the second version of the dress, and fitting wise it's getting closer. The first version hasn't been photographed yet.

The front looks decent, or almost decent.

There's still some gaping in the neckline, I have to take out maybe 6/8" out of it. I also want to move the shoulders in a bit. But otherwise it's fine.

The back however, is not so fine, and you can see it in this side picture.

There's still a LOT of extra height in the back, and that's after I already took out 1" with Beth and a further 1.5" on my own. Somehow it keeps coming back... I think what I'm doing is right, but in any case, it's strange there's so much extra. You can also see it in the pure back photos, despite the super busy print:

All right, now leaving aside short back length issues, may I say how much I LOVE this fabric. It's pure cotton that my mother brought back from Thailand. It came in a tube (ends sewed together), and I'm told that that's the typical sarong fabric. It's very very pretty, and you can see how I used the print in the front. I was very careful with cutting.

For this dress, I used an all-in-one facing which I drafted myself. Let me tell you - lessons with Beth are great! I learnt so much, and I certainly have a better handle on sewing together different types of curves. I mean most of what I learnt I'll apply when I make the coat, but even now, I can tell I'm sewing better.

For the hem, I wanted to keep the border print, but since this isn't a drindl I had to turn in part of the hem. There's still enough left of the border, and it more or less matches so that's pretty good.

What do you think? I think I'm getting closer with this pattern, but I still need to tinker with it a bit. I'm in the process of ordering tracing paper so I can play with it a bit more.


  1. That dress is so cute! what a great use of the fabric. and thanks for the nice words. The neckline fit looks perfect from here. and I think it looks really good, perfect summer sheath dress.

    1. Thanks Beth! I really like it, and plan to make a few more :)

  2. I think your dress looks great! It fits well and the fabric is so pretty.


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