Sewing sewing sewing!
I don’t know about you but I’ve found a profound joy in sewing. Not just the fact that I can make many things that I like and never find on the store shelves, but also because sewing is a real skill. Therapeutic skill. It’s a craft, an art. And it’s a hobby that anyone interested in fashion or design can learn.
What can you sew as a beginner?
If you’re interested in sewing you can begin with easy projects such as the linen dress I will share with you today. It’s a design made of two pieces of fabric and it is very simple, yet sophisticated and classy! Although I purchased a pattern for this project, most times I don’t completely stick to it anyway. There is something exciting about adding your own twist, just using the pattern to give you a rough guide! The pattern is intended for a tank top but I extended the length to make it into a dress, adding a wide matching linen belt!
The pattern is by one of my most favourite ‘shop small’ pattern companies – Republique du chiffon! French pattern makers which I discovered on Instagram and who sell paper and PDF patterns in both French and English, allowing us aspiring seamstresses to make trendy fashion pieces at home. This particular pattern is in French, however it is so easy to follow that if you’re not a super beginner, you won’t have a problem!
Making your dress, practicing your sewing skills!
For this dress I used:
- two basic polyester threads in ivory
- 2m of 100% linen fabric of 180g/m2 weight and 140cm width
- 90cm of elastic band in nude beige
- tailor’s chalk
- transparent pattern paper
- pins and measuring tape
- Camille top sewing pattern
- download it and print it out.
- once it’s printed, simply stick the pieces together and transfer the desired size onto a transparent paper placed over your printed pattern.
- cut out your size pattern out of the transparent paper and place onto your fabric. Remember the grain line of your fabric to go vertically.
- draw a line around your pattern pieces onto the fabric using washable tailor’s chalk.
- cut the fabric, minding approx. 1 1/2 inch seam allowance around the drawn line.
- put the pieces together and sew as per the sewing pattern guideline.
The addjustments I made!
As already mentioned, I usually don’t stick to the pattern exactly. I like to use it as a guide for the initial project that I created in my head. My intention was to make white linen dress which could be styled in a casual way as well as more formal one. White fabric always brings in a sense of formality and when you choose a pattern which seems too formal, it’s likely to give an impression that such dress is for wedding days only! Not to mention that white fabric can be tricky to maintain, for the obvious reasons.
However, whites also carry a sense of sophistication and minimalism. Which essentially is what I love! That feminine style of classy, tastefully revealing fashion. With this in mind, I was looking for a tank top which I could extend into a dress, and which was designed allowing braless wear.
Camille top was the perfect match! The clever overlay at the top provides extra layer to minimize any transparency of rustic, off white fabric. It also gives extra texture so that the piece can be worn freely. Tie straps look best on their own, without bra straps underneath. The elasticated hem also allows for this dress to be worn strapless, just hide the straps inside the garment! Also, if leaving the layer to simply hang over freely is not what you like, you can always tie it at waist with a matching wide linen belt!
So! Adjustments recap for you:
- adding extra length, turning the top into a midi/maxi style dress.
- extending the overlayer by approx. 10cm to give enough length for it to be tied with the belt at waist.
- wide style matching belt made of the same linen fabric. Feel free to use a bright colour fabric to make the belt a standing out accessory!
- adjustable straps – to create tie straps simply don’t create two straps attached on each side, but four individual ones.
- optional: inside pockets!
I was really happy with the result! The dress sold instantly, If you are also interested in purchasing our handmade pieces, please visit our Instagram Shop. To find out more about custom orders please visit the Handmade Fashion section here.