Tag Archives: gingham

Black Gingham Dress

This is the much awaited second black gingham dress that I have made from my black gingham fabric. The first one was last week’ s blog post. I have made it from the same pattern that I used for the Burgundy Cocktail dress with the cowl neck back at the beginning of February this year.

Black Gingham Dress Long front image
Black Gingham Dress Long front

The pattern is Vogue V8787 option F on the packet envelope.

I had some fitting issues with this pattern as the shape of the back bodice pieces was all wrong for my body shape. The pattern allows for a lot of space in the upper back, I know that there should be room allowed for ease of movement, however in this instance there was enough room for me to be able to wear it backwards! As usual for me, the waist was too high and therefore I decided in the end to redraft the whole bodice pattern, using the Vogue pieces as a starting point.

Now I think it works and fits properly. I know from past experience that It is always worth getting the pattern fit correct at the beginning of the process rather than facing the disappointment of wasted time and expense later on.

Black Gingham Dress Pattern image
Black Gingham Dress Pattern

The length of the finished dress is the length given in the paper pattern. I am not sure if I will shorten it, its all about proportion and I think the balance is right at this length, however my gut instinct is to finish it above the knee. So I may well play around with the hem a bit more at a later date. I’ve just turned it under in the photo to get an idea of how it would look. What do you think? should I leave it longer or shorten it? I an more than happy to go with the group consensus on this.

Please let me know your point of view in the comments.

Black Gingham Dress Side image
Black Gingham Dress Side
Black Gingham Dress Short Front image
Black Gingham Dress Short Front
Black Gingham Dress Short Front image
Black Gingham Dress Short Front
Black Gingham Dress Short Back
Black Gingham Dress Short Back

I actually ran out of my stash of dress zips this week, black and white ones anyway. I usually make sure that I have a selection of regular and concealed dress length zips in my stock so that I don’t have to stop half way through a project to go and buy supplies. However this time I had to make a special trip to stock up so that I could complete the dress. This meant that I lost my flow and things ended up taking a few days longer than usual.

Black Gingham Dress Back Zipper image
Black Gingham Dress Back Zipper

I’ve used a lapped zip insertion down the centre back seam. I find that I can achieve a neat finish at the upper neck edge using this method and it is not necessary to add a hidden button or a hook and eye to fasten the top together. I insert the zip carefully by basting it all into place first before sewing machining. I find that a little more time spent here on this stage of the process saves a lot of unpicking and correction time later on. I keep going on about preparation and I believe that it is key to a successful piece of sewing or craft work, like so many things in life.

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Happy Sewing

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.


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.



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