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.
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.
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!
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:
The back picture shows the split Peter Pan collar.
For a more relaxed and contemporary look I can wear the dress with a cardigan:
Here is all for today. Thank you for visiting my blog and see you soon! Happy Sewing!