I call this The Shingle Dress because sewing the layers is similar to laying shingles on a roof. Designed for knits, it consists of a base sheath dress with fabric panels placed on top from hem to neck, so the entire body of the dress is a double layer. You can adapt the fit to your figure. It can be cut slightly smaller than the body so it fits snugly, OR, you can cut it with a wider seam allowance, allowing for 2-4" of ease at the bust and hip so it skims the figure rather than hugs it. ...this was my choice and I was amazed at how flattering and slimming this dress is.
Be sure to flat pattern measure to compare the pattern measurements with your figure and do a final fitting before sewing the side seams. I cut my first prototype with an extra 2" at all the side seams, thinking this was a lot, but I needed every bit because the knit fabric stretched a bit, and I wanted the fit to be easy.
The floating panels are VERY flattering, they skim over imperfections.
If you fit the dress snugly, it can showcase a fit figure.
Hems and edges of the diagonal panels are designed to be a raw edge. When cutting a stripe, cut each panel singly so the hem edge runs straight along a stripe. On the striped versions, the bottom (hem) layer is cut with the stripes running vertically. This helps stabilize the hem and if your fabric has an attractive selvedge you can use the option of using the selvedge at the hem edge of the dress and/or at the edge of the sleeve.
Stable knits with lycra/spandex, striped jersey, stable single knits, ponte. You could use different knits for the base dress and top layers, using an opaque knit for the body and a sheer mesh, stretch lace or net for the layers.
Transfer markings for the stitching lines to the right side of both back and front.
I used a fine line chalk marker.
This is essential!
Begin sewing with the bottom panel.
Note the direction of the pins.
Baste at the side seams, changing the stitch length to a short stitch when sewing across the body.
|Line up the front and back side by side, RIGHT sides up side by side and stitch the layers on the front and back at the same time...this way you can check at each stage to be sure the layers will match when you sew the side seams.|
|Striped versions looks like this....the base dress is cut on the lengthwise grain, the bottom panel on the crosswise grain.|
|I trim the dress hem layer to be about 1/2" shorter than the bottom panel so it does not peek out.|
|Position pins so you can pull them out as you sew.|
My version of this fabulous dress uses our popular gray and black Rocket Man Stripe.
Another gray/black stripe that would be a good choice is our Elton Stripe.
We have an extensive collection of different knit stripes to choose from!
|Worn here, in Taos last September on my way to the studio, worn with leggings and Diane Ericson's NEST Scarf.|
|Worn here with a purchased scarf/shawl and a small bag made by Diane Ericson.|
|On my own dress, I used a single layer with the selvedge edge for the neck edge.|
|Marcy's version of Vogue 8904|
For my Paris trip, I made Vogue 8904 dress as a shirt, tweaking the pattern to eliminate the bottom layer and using our Vaughn stripe.
I changed the neck shape, lowering it at center front by about 2"
Happy Spring from Paris....more blogs to follow!