Gingham Dress

One of the main reasons why I sew my own clothes is so that I can achieve a good, hopefully great, fit. Shop bought ready to wear is made for the average sizes and lets face it but very few of us are a perfect average and few of us would ever want to be!

I know we are all too aware of where our own fitting problem areas are and mine has always been the fact that I am tall and that the extra height is not in my legs where I would want it to be but in the length of my torso. For example, it is impossible to get a one piece swimsuit to fits me, I always have to get those two piece tankini combinations. So with clothes shopping I’m alway looking out for longer length tops and shirts and I know from experience that the waist on dresses always sits in the wrong place, about two inches north of where it should be. Commercial paper patterns are no different and over the years I have drafted my own patterns from my measurements.

I’m fortunate though that my standard pattern alteration is a fairly simple one as I know that some of you have to work quite a bit with a pattern to get it to work right. But once you have spent the time, trial and erroring with a toille and keep a note of the changes you made it becomes easier to transfer those alterations to all your favorite patterns. I have created a simple measurement chart so you can keep a note of your size.

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This is the first of my black Gingham dresses, there are going to be two. Both are sleeveless but different styles. I think that sleeveless dresses will be really practical for me going forward into spring/summer now as I will team them with a colourful cardigan. Everywhere I look at the moment I am seeing this black gingham fabric. Ive seen it on the catwalks recently particularly in Diane Von Furstenberg’s 2015 Ready to wear collection. It is used for not only dresses but shirts and blouses, little vest tops and accessories too.

Follow Sewing Avenue’s board Gingham Fabrics on Pinterest.

It (gingham) seems to be in both high fashion stores as well as vintage designers shops at the moment, which means its right on trend whether you are a fashionista or a vintage chick.

Sewing with a basic cotton fabric like gingham is a straightforward sew, no stretch to consider, however gingham is even easier as there is no right or wrong side to the fabric. The fabric I was using was quite a light weight so I used a heavier lining fabric to give it more body so that it would hang better.

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Here’s a little bit of history,

Gingham fabric was first manufactured in Malaysia which was controlled by the Dutch in the 17th century. It was originally called genggang, meaning stripped, and imported by the Dutch into Europe. If your interested in more history then this is a great site for the full historical low down visforvintage.net/2012/09/11/gingham-fabric/

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Happy Sewing

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Free Summer Top Pattern

balloon_animation_450I couldn’t resist making this cute little summer top from my FREE summer top pattern.

As you know April is my Gingham makes month this year, so I just had to sew my Camellia top using this gorgeous pink check, cotton gingham fabric. The pattern is still available for you to download completely free so that you can enjoy creating this simple style for yourself and your friends and family. It is available in size options from US 4/ UK 8 up to US 20/ UK 24. You’ll find it on my pattern store page.

The Camellia Top is such a versatile and basic pattern that is is ideal for the beginner sewer yet also useful for the more experienced seamstress who can have fun playing around with the shape and fit of a garment.

I am going to be making a few more of these for the summer from different colours and different fabric weights. When I made this one I made a slight alteration to the pattern by lowering the front neckline about an inch to open it up a little bit more. I also added an inch to lengthen at the hem. I am 5’7″ and always add an inch/s at just above the waist mark, to all patterns as my standard pattern alteration.

I know you will love this PDF download, so Happy Sewing for now and let me know in the comments how you get on. What pattern alterations do you always make as standard?

Please leave any comments below. Also subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on google+facebooktwitterand bloglovin to keep in touch.

Happy Sewing