Today I’m happy to show off the first dress that I made in my Jungle Ave. voile fabric. The pattern I used is the Staple Dress, which is part of Perfect Pattern Parcel, which is a program that allows you to choose your price for 6 quality pdf sewing patterns. This is parcel #3, which is garments and summer fun. Here’s a graphic of the other patterns in the package (and there is also a bonus shorts pattern):
I had a lot of fun making the Staple Dress; it is quick and easy.
Materials Needed – For my dress, I used a voile because I thought that it would drape better. The pattern also suggests the use of light to medium weight cotton, linen, velveteen, rayon, double gauze, or cotton blends with little stretch. Besides your fabric, you’ll need elastic thread (which I already had in my stash from Joann’s). I used 40wt Aurifil thread for this one for the top thread.The seams are all finished using a French seam, so you will not need a serger for this one.
Pattern Pieces – There are 5 pattern pieces total; front, back, pocket, neckline facing, and arm facing. The facings need to be cut on the bias so you can ease them through the curves of the neckline and arms. I wanted a shorter dress for summer, so I trimmed 4″ off the bottom of mine.
Instructions/Illustrations – The pattern booklet has detailed instructions accompanied by black and white photographs of the steps. I found everything easy to understand, and I thought the notation that this was a basic/beginner pattern was appropriate.
The waistline, or underneath the bodice area in my case, are cinched with shirring (which is what the elastic thread is for). Now, I’m going to say right now that my old sewing machine had automatic tension on the bobbin, so I had no way to set the lower tension on my old machine, thus I could not shir on it (well, I *could* set the tension by adjusting the screws on the bobbin casing, but then I would have to adjust them back exactly as they were before; I did buy a separate bobbin casing years ago just so I could shir, but I never got around to it). My current machine allows me to adjust the bobbin tension, but honestly I didn’t need to do anything for this dress. It varies greatly on your sewing machine, so check out the elastic thread on a scrap of fabric first to see what you need to do to get the shirring going (you’ll know it’s working – the waist will shrink to about 10″ around, lol). I decided to do 5 rows of shirring, but you can do however many you want; I just liked this look. To decide where to start the shirring, I took a Serendipity Studio dress that I made that has a waistband right below the bust (because that’s where I wanted to start the shirring), and measured how far down that was from the shoulders of the dress. I used that measurement to mark on my Staple Dress, and I drew 4 more lines each 1/4″ apart.
Conclusion – I’m very happy with this dress. It is cool and comfortable to wear on a hot day. I cut out 2 more Staple Dresses in Bari J.’s new Emmy Grace voiles over the weekend. My sewing time for the first Staple Dress was approximately 2 hours, so I’m guessing I can make quick work of sewing 2 at the same time.
If you liked my dress and are interested in getting it as part of Perfect Pattern Parcel, I encourage you to check it out! Part of your purchase price goes to charity, and as I said before, you set your own purchase price, so it’s a win-win! If you want to see some of the other garments that are being sewn as part of the Parcel #3 blog tour, I have listed the schedule below. Happy sewing!