This week I have a sewing project to share. I’m very excited about this garment because it’s the first proper dress I’ve made by myself. I bought the fabric and pattern on a slight whim at the Knitting and Stitching Show.

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I wish I’d looked more closely at the pattern before starting as it clearly states that the pattern isn’t suitable for strongly directional prints, which this is. Fortunately I have my personal sewing consultant at hand to help me make the necessary adjustments.

Cutting

Of course, the first step was to cut out the pattern pieces. This probably took me about two to three hours in total due to the complexity of the pattern matching. The circle skirt of the Betty dress is meant to be cut in three pieces; the front half cut on a fold and then two back pieces to accommodate the zip. To match the pattern, it was necessary to cut the front in two pieces, ensuring the pattern matched across the new front centre seam, both horizontally and vertically. Here’s a little diagram indicating how you do this. You’ll need to flip the pattern piece when cutting the right-hand side of the skirt.

 

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Throughout the cutting, I lined my pattern pieces up with the pattern rather than the selvedges as they were slightly misaligned.

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I also had to cut my back bodice pieces separately to try and match the pattern.
The first step after cutting out all of the pattern pieces is to shape the bodice with waist and bust darts in the front

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And a waist dart in each of the back pieces, which are then joined to the front bodice.

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It’s worth pinning the shoulders at this stage to try on the bodice. Don’t worry if it seems short at this stage; the skirt is very heavy and will pull the bodice down.
I also overlocked the seams on the skirt pieces and pinned and basted the front seam of my skirt.
The next steps will be to join the skirt to the bodice and then instal the zip. One of my mods will be to add pockets, so I’ll start thinking about the best way to do this.

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