My Drop Waisted Xmas Dress

Before we sign off for 2009, I thought it best to post my Xmas frock, made initially for Tessuti Melbourne’s Christmas party and also worn on Christmas Day for the family festivities. This dress has become a bit of a favourite….it’s just so darn comfortable! The style is an easy drop waisted dress – a style I haven’t worn since the 80’s! I still love this style for my shape and I’ve noticed that this style dress is making a bit of a comeback.

I decided to make the dress in Floral Snowflakes a printed silk crepe de chine piece I found on the remnant tables at Chatswood. No pattern was required – I traced out a favourite razor back tank top I’d bought – which is 61cm finished length (from base of neck) – cut the gathered part of the dress to measure double the width of the base of the top – 2 x rectangles 122.5cm wide and 38cm long.

The remnant piece wasn’t long enough to cut self bias binding, so I used a 15mm satin rayon bias binding in black. I did however have just enough to cut out a 20cm wide strip the length of the fabric 140cm – folded it in half (right sides together) stitched it around the edges leaving a small gap to bag it out…. Note: you want to end up with a finished piece that is approx 135cm x 9cm. After ironing it out flat , I made sure to press the seam back approx 1cm – I wanted a lovely folded edge particularly on the top of the frill. Then I box pleated the whole strip (making 4cm wide pleats with 1.5cm return on each side of pleat) and stitched the pleats down 1.5cm in from the edge.

I added the pleated strip around the neckline, starting it 10cm down from my shoulder seam – also lining it up to sit out 1.5cm past my finished neckline (when positioning the stitch line on the pleated frill should line up with the bottom edge of the neck binding). I pinned the pleated strip around the neckline until I come to the end of my frill piece and stitched it into place (over the first seam line). My frill finishes two-thirds around the back neck. I really like the effect and it adds a nice touch to an otherwise very simple style dress.

I hope that all made sense!!?! If I’ve confused you terribly with my instructions, feel free to let me know if you would like me to do a step by step tutorial (with pics) of the frill detail -just leave me a comment. Come to think of it I wouldn’t mind making a new top with the same neckline detail or this dress in a linen….hmmm the possibilities are endless!

Thankyou again for stopping by to check out the latest news at Tessuti and for leaving your encouraging comments throughout the last year.

Happy Sewing and Happy New Year 2010 everyone!

Colette and Lisa xxx