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2011 June 21
by elizabeth_admin

I think I’m on the right track, but if I make another version of this dress, further changes will be made.

Here’s where I stand with NL 6022 at 1:18am ET.



I’d show you the back view, but that photo was crap and I am too tired to set up the camera again.


Things I like:

  • I like this dress in a drapey fabric like silk
  • The underlining feels absolutely luxurious
  • I love the french seams for the shoulders and side seams
  • I think I did pretty well with the pattern placement, no fig leaves or pasties in sight!


Things I don’t like:

  • While I got a pretty good fit on this version as well, I am not sure it’s the most flattering look for me.
  • I had to take in the side seams after I finished the french seams, so now the french seams are like a double wide.
  • I don’t like the elastic on the silk twill, it looks too casual.  Not sure how I am going to deal with the sleeves yet.
  • I tried the “press under the seam allowances and stitch them” method for the CB seam and I think it looks becky homecky.  I should have just used a french seam there too.  Live and learn.


Things I will do different next time (if there is a next time):

  • Use a small half belt where the elastic goes on the back to pull it in or maybe put some pleats there
  • Use a tab on the sleeves instead of the elastic again


I wanted to get this dress to a point where I could try it on tonight.  I still have the sleeves and the hem to do.  But that will have to wait till tomorrow.

Two questions:

  1. Should I redo the french seams for the side seams?
  2. What do you think of this version?


21 Responses leave one →
  1. Shams permalink
    June 21, 2011

    I haven’t been reading your blog long enough to know your silhouette, so I had to go back a number of posts to see a picture of you. In that pic, you are also wearing a sheath dress. 🙂 My first impression of this dress is positive. After studying it further (since you asked), it does seem like you might want to do a little more shaping in the side seams at the waist. I think your waist is smaller than it appears here.

    But, overall, I like the dress on you. The large scale motifs are beautifully placed – very balanced, at least on the front, since I can’t see the back. 😉

  2. June 21, 2011

    Agree about bringing the waist in a smidge. But really liking it! How deep are you going to make the hem? As for redoing the French seams, personally I wouldn’t bother – would worry about shredding the fabric.

  3. Marie-Christine permalink
    June 21, 2011

    Ooooh! Aaaah!
    That’s what I think of it :-).
    Don’t flog yourself over a seam, really. And I don’t agree with ‘bringing the waist in’. Not the style. And this print is going to wear you anyway, so let it be. It’s gorgeous, don’t start shaping this or that too much or you’ll lose that feeling, not to mention drive yourself crazy. You did a super job of placement.

  4. June 21, 2011

    I’m with Marie-Christine on this one:
    -don’t need to shape the seams in more because the print is so strong its the focus, not your shapely waist
    -only change the french seams if they really really bother you (they wouldn’t bother me)
    -fabulous pattern placement
    I love this dress already!

  5. June 21, 2011

    I’d made a tie belt to cinch it in at the waist. I agree with other commenters that you shouldn’t adjust the seams.

  6. June 21, 2011

    The fabric is beautiful and I like the way you have placed the flowers. When french seams go wrong for me, I end up cutting and doing a mock-cover stitch.

  7. June 21, 2011

    I love it … That fabric is gorgeous on you. The big print makes it a completely different dress on you. I would like to see the hem just on the knee. Another beautiful job.

  8. June 21, 2011

    You’re doing a wonder job. Love that summery print.

  9. SusieR permalink*
    June 21, 2011

    I LOVE this fabric on that dress – it’s smashing!!! But I agree with many here that the waist needs to come in… I know you’re in there somewhere! xo

  10. elizabeth_admin permalink*
    June 21, 2011

    Thanks for all the feedback. I really appreciate it. I thought about bringing in the waist a smidge, but this is a pull on dress and I might not be able to pull it on again if I were to do that.


    The style of the dress is very straight in front and it hangs from the bust. Maybe if I was just a B cup it would be more flattering. Maybe this just isn’t the right dress for me. But how would I have really known without trying it?

    • visitor permalink
      June 21, 2011

      So much work to make these discoveries. *sigh* Where’s my sample maker? 🙂

      If you have any questions about the bias finish I described below (I think it’s fairly standard), feel free to email me.

  11. June 21, 2011

    I think it looks pretty awesome as-is. If you get it too tight, it will be hard to wear in the super hot & humid NYC summer.
    The fabric is *awesome*!

  12. June 21, 2011

    Your motif placement is perfection! And that is what everyone is going to look at when they see you in the dress. I agree about the seams…just do what’s best to get the result you want and don’t wear the dress inside out! 😉 *LOL*

  13. June 21, 2011

    Have you considered leaving it sleeveless and wearing it with a lightweight short sleeved cardigan? That might overcome the ‘shapeless’ problem. Love what you’ve done with the placement.

  14. June 21, 2011

    It looks really good! And no, I wouldn’t bother with redoing seams. I’m lazy enough that things like imperfect seams don’t bother me – what matters to me is the way the dress looks, not how it is finished. (Shocking, I know.)

  15. June 21, 2011

    The fabric is the star in this dress! The motif placement is perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  16. June 21, 2011

    I would just leave it be. I do agree that it maybe doesn’t give you as much shape since it doesn’t nip in at the waist, but then you could always wear it with a belt or under a fitted jacket and solve that problem. During the hot summer you probably don’t want something super tight anyway, so leave it loose (also, being able to get it on is a good thing….). I would just leave the seams as well unless it will drive you absolutely insane knowing how they look on the inside. I made a shirt once and I was really upset about how the collar turned out because there was a little bit of a pucker. However, once it got out of the sewing area and into the dresser drawer, it didn’t bother me as much and I always get compliments on it. Since this is a simple summery dress, I think it would probably be more satisfying to just finish the dress and wear it than nitpick all of the details.

  17. June 21, 2011

    I like the shape as is! It looks comfortable and modern. The print is phenomenal! I really like it sleeveless– it really looks fab just the way it is! I agree that you could raise the hem to the knee, though. It’s really cute!

  18. Sue Griffin permalink
    June 21, 2011

    I have been lurking for a while. But, with some hints from Carolyn & Debbie I have come out of the dark. I really enjoy your blog.

    Onto the dress. It is beautiful. You have done a wonderful job of placing the prints. If the back feels too casual you could cover the elastic with a fake 1/2 belt. But, I think you may be “overthinking.” Finish it and wear it with your beautiful smile.

  19. Meg permalink
    June 21, 2011

    I wouldn’t belt it. All the fashionable young things around the garment district are wearing little shift dresses just like this, no belts. Just airy and comfortable for the summer.

    Speaking of Milly fabrics, I was just at the Milly sample sale on W36th and saw many dresses out of Milly fabrics we’ve seen and bought at Elliott Berman. Sure wish I was a sample size…

  20. visitor permalink
    June 21, 2011

    The print and the colors aren’t my taste, but it looks good to me.

    Full disclosure: I’m about to finish a dress with a very similar silhouette in cotton. It’s my first dress and the cotton batiste underlining I used makes it look a bit bigger than I was expecting so I’ll scale down the next time, but the style isn’t intended to fit too closely.

    As an experiment for the next time, you might want to try the bias finish in which the strip is used as a facing that is not seen, not used as a ontrast. That also eliminates the issue of how to finish the joined tapes, because you can’t see them.

    To do that, I cut the seam finish on the neckline and armscyes (my dress is sleeveless) to 1/4″ and applied 3/4″ bias strips. I ironed a crease of 1/4″ into the strips, then applied the strips RS to RS, etc.

    Great dress for the summer.

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