Sew Liberated patterns are my absolute favorite. The instructions are, without a doubt, amazing! I have learned so many good tips from her fabulous instructions. Her patterns make me feel like I am mentally slowing down, while still moving forward in the pattern and making headway. I spent a week making this dress. It really allowed me to truly enjoy the process of sewing, even though it seemed like an eternity! Usually I like to finish a garment in a day or two. I had a busy work week and the contemplative sewing soothed my soul. I really appreciate the nice finishes and at the end of this make, I feel I have a garment that will last.
This pattern of her's was no different, I feel that the bias finishes and the sleeve binding was a nice touch on the 3/4 sleeve. I altered the pattern as I explain below. I also hit a couple of issues with this dress when a little 2-year-old boy got creative with the scissors and when I didn’t have matching buttons!!
The requirements can vary on many of her patterns. I have made the Arenite pants (another pattern of her's) with 3 yards of 45” wide fabric and you are supposed to have a lot more than that. I used 3 yards of 51” wide fabric for this pattern and it was a very tight squeeze. If I would have used store-bought bias tape, that would have helped a lot!
Type of Fabric:
I think she recommends silk noil and I think anything along those lines is perfect! I had a viscose linen noil rust from Hart’s fabric in rust. I believe the fabric is sold out, but they do have other colors. There are many good fabric stores that have silk noil in right now!!! Any silk noil would be perfect. I also think tencel twill would be nice or even flannel. It was absolutely perfect and feels like a dream. It's so comfortable and I feel I can wear it anywhere. Even just to sit at home to sew.
I decided to go for the bishop sleeve! There is an amazing tutorial by the Sara Project on the Bernina website. The bishop sleeve definitely is wider so it takes up a little more room for fabric requirements, but I still fit the pattern into 3 yards of 51” wide fabric! I sewed two basting stitches at the bottom to gather the sleeve.
I also snipped into the sleeve at the halfway points, dividing it into 2 sections as well as the cuff.
I gathered the bottom of the bishop sleeve before pinning it to the cuff as shown here. And that was it folks! It was that easy to change that.
LENGTHENING THE SKIRT:
I also added length to the skirt (3 inches) as Sara did. I feel as though this length was better for me! Especially for the fall!
SMALL BUST ADJUSTMENT (SBA):
I also had to do a small bust adjustment as well which completely removed my dart! Which was great! I am an A cup, because there is only an inch difference between my high bust measurement and my full bust measurement. This pattern was drafted for a C cup and it says so in the pattern instructions. Some patterns do not give you this information. I used Aneka Truman’s tutorial on youtube to learn what an SBA was. She has a channel called Made to Sew. There is a video explaining where the bust apex is and how to find it. Also, she explains the differences between patterns drafted for B and C cups versus your measurements. In another tutorial, she shows how to do the small bust adjustment, which works very well with this pattern.
A small bust adjustment, as she explains, removes width and length from your bust area, thereby making your waist seam rise up. I did not want to remove length as I have a long torso so I added back the length. I also used a French curve to get the waist seam back to the original width, as it brings this in as well. I didn't need to worry too much about matching the skirt to the new waist length (as it probably slightly changed) because the skirt is gathered. However, you do need to make sure your side seams match for your front and back bodice. This is easy to do and Aneka also has another video about truing your seams.
My cute little mischievous son took some scissors sitting around on the table and snipped a little hole in my sleeve. I went ahead and did a decorative stitch to close it up! The end…now it has more character.
I spent about an hour looking through my mom's bins of antique buttons. Of course, I couldn’t find 4 of the same button, so I thought…what the hey, I will just use 4 different buttons. Some of the buttons still had the original thread attached from who knows when and where. Some of the buttons were over 100 years old. It was a fun treasure hunt.
I was ok with the fact they would not be matching. Just matched general size, shape, and color. I sometimes add something to my project that makes me a tad bit uncomfortable to stretch my boundaries and add some excitement. I almost hope it causes controversy! (not really, but just love being different) I wanted to add my little touch to the dress. After all, my little one had already clipped a hole under the sleeve, I may as well add a little more character and call it a day!
Overall, this was a very enjoyable make and it think it will be awesome to style it in many ways. When it gets a little bit colder, I plan on wearing some tights along with the boots. I can easily wrap and large woolen scarf around my neck and pop on a large coat. This dress will also transition nicely in the Spring. I could also see this with large earrings and a hat. I plan on pairing it with a knitted sweater as well. I think that the dress can serve nicely as a pseudo skirt with a sweater over the top! I love all of the possibilities! Let me know if you have any questions! I am here to help. I used many resources to make this dress, all listed above!
Last but not least! This dress made me want to dance! I did ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary for 20+ years and sometimes my me-mades make me want to dance as you can see here!