Sunshine Rosie Dress

Today’s dress is another Cotton and Chalk Rosie Dress. This will be the third time I have made this dress and I don’t want to bore anyone but I also want to show off the sunshiny loveliness of this dress. It’s a super flattering pattern as it has a V-neck and a middle panel, which adds shape.

This and the last one I made are a far cry from my first one and I feel it really showcases how far I have come in terms of the fit of my garments. My first did not fit at all, it was badly made and I didn’t know how to change it. Fast forward 18 months and I’m able to change the fit of my garments so much more to fit me.

I decided to leave this one sleeveless, both due to fabric restrictions and the fact that I have to accept that I needed some sleeveless dresses in the warm weather for my holidays! I used this lovely yellow block print cotton from Sew Me Sunshine and because of the wide skirt, two metres was just enough to make it.

I did not make my own binding because I did not have enough fabric so I used some plain yellow in my stash. I love binding my necklines so I love a pattern which actually plans for it even more! I also used it to finish the arm holes.

I used clear elastic to gather the skirt, which is my favourite way to get lovely, even gathers, I have written a tutorial for this over on Sew Me Sunshine and I use bias binding to finish the hem to give neat finish.

I don’t make much in yellow but it’s beautiful and bright and I absolutely love it. Sorry for the holiday pictures but I thought it might brighten autumn up a bit as I definitely wouldn’t be wearing this now! 😔

By the way, my amazing necklace in a Jazzy Lapin design for Sewalicious. It’s amazing!

Rosie Dress

Today’s make is one I have returned to… The Rosie Dress by Cotton and Chalk for Simply Sewing Mag was one of my first free patterns and one I tried pretty early in my sewing. The Cotton and Chalk patterns are massive on the ease and the dress I made was a little dodgy (with a very wonky zip) and it was definitely too big. I also didn’t use sleeves, which isn’t something I wouldn’t do anymore as if I make things for myself, I’m making them to hide the bits I don’t like!

Anyway, I got this lovely navy tie dyed style fabric, which reminds me of the Shibori style of dying from a shop I recently discovered called Fibers to Fabric over on Etsy. They sell some beautiful, bright, ethnic style fabrics! This fabric is a lovely light cotton and although I sewed this up on a rare snow day from school, it had my thoughts in spring. It presses and handles a treat and is beautiful and rich in colour. I decided it would be perfect for a remake of the Rosie dress.

I sized the whole pattern down by a size, even though the measurements say I should be an XL, I knew it would be too big, so I used the L. The pattern has subtle gathers at the shoulder and bust and a waist-band which is pretty flattering.

It comes with a bias binding neckline which you stitch in place before you join the front for a really neat finish. Anything that use bias binding it a winner in my eyes (I mentioned I hate facings, right?) The construction of the bodice was pretty easy but a little lengthier than usual as you have the extra features. I was lucky the the patterning on the fabric is pretty random so I didn’t have to worry too much about pattern matching.

The sleeves are interesting as they have a little gather in them also, this is created by a 2 inch piece of elastic which you pull as you sew.

Having seen that the fabric took pretty easily to the elastic, I decided to try a little trick… Because I was essentially too lazy to put a billion gathering stitches about the waistline and I know the dress needs A LOT of gathering, I decided to try the method for gathering that the Moneta uses, which is to use clear elastic to gather the waistline.

I measured the bottom of the bodice and cut elastic to that size and then I stretched it as I sewed it to the top of the skirt piece whilst stretching the elastic. It worked an absolute treat, it was so much easier and it has made for really neat gathering. All I had to do then was attach it to the bodice, no gathering required! (winner). I’m not sure this would work with all fabrics but because this is a light, soft cotton, it worked a treat!

I distinctly remember making my first Rosie dress and it’s meant that I have really felt how much my dress making capabilities have improved. I’m really happy with this gorgeous dress, it feels floaty and feminine and perfect for spring and summer.

The Rosie Dress

I gave you a sneak peek in to what I have been up to in this post and promised The Rosie Dress would be coming to you soon… so here it is.

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I’m very pleased with how this has turned out. It’s the perfect shape for me. I really love the colour and the pattern of the fabric too, which keeps it looking modern. I keep looking at it just because I’m so happy!! 😊

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This is another make that has allowed me to try some different techniques, it has rouching at the shoulder seam, under the bust and all round the top of the skirt. I played the rouching under the bust easy though as I need a bit more room, although I think maybe I could have taken it in a little more. I really enjoyed gathering the skirt part up too.

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As usual, I left out the facings and made my own bias binding out of the same fabric. I only just managed this though as I literally used every scrap of this fabric, I even had to create the waist band in pieces instead of on the fold but I don’t think you can tell because of the nature of the pattern.

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I used a red cotton to make a contrast binding for the arm holes as another cheat to make the fabric go further but I quite like it.

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I used three red buttons as decoration on the front middle seam; this was a triumph in itself because I never think to buy matching buttons!

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I then inserted the invisible zip, which I’m definitely improving on.

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See… invisible…

However, when I put my zip in, a strange wonky thing happened with my seams, I have no idea what happened there… but I think I’ve got away with it because of the fabric. Plus, I wasn’t about to undo it all because I don’t see how it was fixable even if I did.

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What on actual earth happened here??!

The hem was an easy peasy double fold hem and it was done. I’m so pleased with this, the pattern was super easy to use and I think it looks really modern and cool. I’m making the most of the weather whilst I can so here are my garden pictures…

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I’ve styled it with my trusty black belt, black tights and a black cardigan and I think this is probably how I will wear it.

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I also had to wear a black vest underneath, but this isn’t unusual for me with V-necks so I’m not too concerned but I will be trying to account for that next time.

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I’ll definitely try a sleeved version of this pattern, maybe in a block colour. I may even cut or grade a smaller size next time, as I think I’ve lost enough weight to warrant this now.

I’m wearing this to go to a concert ‘Night with Mike Sweeney’ tonight with my lovely hubby and in-laws so have a lovely evening everyone!

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