Tag Archives: Jersey Fabric

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


Lillia T-Shirt Zipping it up

I am loving the flexibility of basic patterns at the moment which I can alter to create different styles and designs. I’m following on with the “ mini theme” of manipulating the basic Lillia T-Shirt pattern to get more look for your buck.

Lillia T-shirt with Zip Back image
Lillia T-shirt with Zip Back

The addition of an exposed zip gives a modern casual or sporty styling to the top.
Choose a zip which has either decorative tapes or is a contrasting colour to your fabric, or has chunky teeth and an attractive slider.

Lillia T-shirt Exposed Zip image
Lillia T-shirt Exposed Zip

I have added a back centre seam in order to have an attractive exposed zip detail. It is completely possible to put the exposed zip in without adding a seam but it is a bit simpler to do with one, so thats what I’ve done. I changed the basic back pattern piece by adding 1.5 cm/ ⅝ inch seam allowance at the centre back line and cutting it out of the fabric as two back sections instead of one on a fold.

The insertion of the exposed zipper means that the assembly of the T-Shirt varies slightly from the basic style. The shoulder seams are still sewn together first but then the neckband is attached. The neckband is left open and attached from the left back opening to the right back opening. Then topstitched around the neckline.

The jersey fabric recommended for this pattern really needs stabilising with iron on interfacing before sewing in the zip, to prevent the material from stretching and puckering out of shape. Add interfacing to both sides of the back seam about 4 cm/1 inch wide and as long as your zip.

Lillia Zip Back image
Lillia Zip Back


Lillia T-shirt with Surprise open Back image
Lillia T-shirt with Surprise open Back

I’m interested in the different looks you can get from the one pattern so here are some ideas;

As well as the surprise opening in the back and the exposed zipper, you could have side vents with it longer at the back than the front, a wide hem of a contrast fabric, either contrasting in colour or weight. Don’t forget that with the Lillia pattern you get the ¾ sleeve option as well so you could change that to be a contrasting jersey fabric on the sleeves. You could use a binding on the sleeve hem to match with the neckband. Play around with your use of fabrics, lace on the back, jersey on the front. Silk or cotton on the front and jersey on the back.

Lillia T-shirt with Surprise Back image
Lillia T-shirt with Surprise Back

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

Happy Sewing