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Birds dress

Just another sheath dress from me today, from my TNT pattern. This one is all about the fabric:

I got this bird fabric from Plush Addict, and it seems to have been the last fabric purchase pre-baby (Cosmo - Nihonkai - Budgies On Oxford Cloth if you are interested), so didn't cut into it for a long time. In May, after finishing my coat, I finally took the plunge.

The pattern, as I said, was my TNT sheath pattern, pretty simple. The biggest challenge with this dress was fabric placement, I didn't want any weird bird cuts at seams, nor did I want any other sort of weird placement. 

As i had 2 meters of this fabric, I thought I should be able to get all that, so I spent a lot of time moving fabric pieces around, until I got it. I'm pretty happy with myself, the seams meld as much as possible, I'm particularly proud of the center back:

Construction wise, this dress has 6 darts and 5 seams, so it is all relatively straightforward. I stabilized the neckline and armholes with stay tape instead of stay stitching - I prefer this because there is less fabric handling involved, although truth be told I don't think it mattered much for this fabric. The print is everything, the fabric itself is somewhat sack like, super stable but wrinkles like crazy.

The only thing I did differently was a special finish for the open seams (inside seams are all serged): I originally was going to do a bias binding that is turned inside, but this fabric is so well behaved that I could do something fancier. Instead of completely turning the binding to the inside, I left a narrow part of it visible, a bit like flat piping if you'd like. I did this for the neckline, the armholes and the hem:

On the inside, I used tiny hand stitching to hold everything down:

The one thing is that I'm not all that happy with the way this dress fits. I took a bunch of unused sewing supplies and patterns to my storage room when I was on maternity leave, and I think the pattern I left outside might be an older one, which combined with body changes require some alterations. I have this lovely pink silk noile from that I'd like to make into another one of these, so I'm writing thoughts here for later perusal:
- I think I need to take a fairly large oblique dead dart out of the front right arm area (hidden by hair above).
- bust darts need lowering a tiny bit (maybe 1/4")
- fish eye dart top ends need similar lowering
- the widest point of the fish eye dart needs to be lowered, maybe about 1/2"
- need to put the hem tapering into the master pattern, I forgot to taper the hem on this one; connected, there's something funny with the hip curve when not tapering but I can't see this in pictures so I won't change initially

Finally, here are dress form photos:

I really like this silhouette, what do you think?


  1. Beautiful! I wish I had your patience; the finishing is so lovely.

    1. Thank you! I find that I enjoy taking the time (when I can find it!)

  2. looking at your photos it seems to fit quite well. very cool summer dress, which looks great on you. I love the piping detail, I'm going to have to copy that :)

    1. Thank you! Yes, these charges are pretty small, except for the strap one, which is not very visible in these photos. I have another dress that I will blog where I made some changes and it's more visible.

      The piping detail is nice and actually pretty easy to do. Much less fussing than with normal piping!


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