I have been very good recently, and resisted the lure of the Craft Cottons remnant bin in my local fabric shop. However I weakened when I spotted this.
|Peacock feather cotton from JoAnn|
Now I cannot lie, I do like a bold print. However even I had to admit that an entire dress made from this might be A Bit Much. Plus the length of the remnant meant that it would be a shorter dress than I'm comfortable with. So I reasoned that a plain section at the bottom, with some matching plain trim at the top to balance it out, would solve both problems. Over to the Plain Cottons remnant bin, where I found a teal piece which was ideal.
|Slightly toned down with a plain contrast|
I'm using New Look 6643. I've made view D (bottom right) a couple of years ago, and have worn it a lot, so decided to make view A (main picture) this time.
For the trim I made 18mm / ¾" wide bias strip, which I put round the neckline 25mm / 1" in from the finished edge.
|The completed neckline|
Normally when I make a dress with an invisible zip, the first thing I do is attach the zip to the back pieces and sew the centre back seam, so that I have a single back piece to work with. Fortunately this time I realised that I had to sew the shoulder seams and attach the trim before the zip went in, and was then quite unreasonable chuffed with myself for thinking of this. (Yes, I am easily pleased, why do you ask?!) I then used this top tip for aligning the sides, and they match perfectly.
|Trim matching happiness|
The neck is finished with a facing, but the arms are not. Instead bias binding is pressed flat, then folded in half lengthways and sewn round the armscye on the right side, raw edges matching, with a narrow hem. The binding is then turned to the inside and slip-stitched in place. This seems to give quite a stiff finish to me; the dress may need a couple of washes before it is fully comfortable to wear.
|Neck facing and bound armhole|
Now I just have the bottom piece to add and hem.