Image: My floral autumn dress
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My mix-and-match autumn dress with some piping fun

The schools have started and that means it is officially autumn here in Finland. I have been looking for a perfect dress pattern for the dress I have held in my imagination but for vain. In my mind, I had an image of a floral dress with a gathered skirt and a fitted bodice, long sleeves and a peter pan collar. I found this amazing floral viscose fabric from the factory remnant section of Eurokangas.

Finally I decided to use the patterns I already owned. Cami dress by Pauline Alice (my version is here) has a perfect bodice and the Rosie dress by Sew Over It a perfect skirt for my dress (My version). The sleeves I took from the Vintage Shirt dress of Sew Over It (My version) after checking that the armholes matched closely enough. I needed to make the neck opening larger to fit the Peter Pan collar and draft the collar but I at first I wanted to sew up the rest of the dress.

How I did the piping details

I found this lovely pink piping as I went through my stash of trimmings and it fitted the colours so well that I decided to use it for the button bands and the collar. The Cami dress bodice doesn’t have a separate button band. What I did was that I sewed the piping on to the bodice front and then folded the button band over the piping. I sewed through the button band to make a pleat that hid the edge of the piping. Then I folded the button band in half (the folded side had interfacing) and hid the raw edge of the button band under the pleat I had just made. I slip-stitched the wrong side of the button band to the pleat to make a neat-looking finish you can see below.

Image: Sewing the piping to the button band of the autumn dress.

Autumn dress button band detail

The collar was a little trickier. I lowered the neckline for about 3 cm in the front and 1 cm in the back to make it more comfortable. I traced the new neckline to a tracing paper and drew a Peter Pan collar in two parts.  My first attempt was a disaster since the piping stretched the collar edge. After some research online I found out a way to pipe a perfect collar.

I used the same method of sewing the piping as in my tutorial here. However, this time my edge was curved which meant I had to notch up the edge of the piping to make it sit nicely and go around the tight corners. I also had a tight grip on the piping and gave it a little stretch to prevent it from stretching the fabric.

Image: Sewing piping to the collar of the autumn dress.

After attaching the piping I laid the un-interfaced lower collar the right sides facing on top of the piped upper collar and sewed the collars together through the lower collar. I took just a little bit off the lower collar seam allowance to make sure that the collar laid flat. Then I turned the collar the right way up, ironed it and stitched it on the neckline. I finished the raw edges by trimming them and using bias tape I cut from the same fabric. I am really happy with this collar and cannot wait to add piping details to my future collars, too!

Image: The finished Peter Pan collar of the autumn dress.

There wasn’t really anything special about the rest of the dress as far as the sewing was concerned. I did add a waist stay because in viscose dresses the waist seems to stretch and look uneven without it. I used an invisible zipper in the side seam and buttons all of which I found in my recent haul at Marimekko factory outlet.

The finished autumn dress

The dress is just like I wanted it. For a really vintage look I can wear a petticoat underneath like in the two pictures below:

My autumn dress, side view.

The back picture shows the split Peter Pan collar.

Image: My autumn dress, back view.

For a more relaxed and contemporary look I can wear the dress with a cardigan:

Image: My autumn dress with a cardigan.

Image: My autumn dress with a cardigan.

Here is all for today. Thank you for visiting my blog and see you soon! Happy Sewing!

I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.


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