Summery Frocks & Sweet Surrender Update

Most often I seem to wear clothes with rounded necks, and I wanted to switch up and sew some v-necks. I find that many RTW (ready to wear) v-necks styles are cut too low for my taste, so I decided that it was time to try a pattern with a v-neck. This is a 2003 Vogue pattern (7724) designed by Koko Beall. A "very easy" at that. Since I have not used a Vogue pattern in years and since I needed to grade between sizes I had planned to make a muslin of the pattern.
I am a fan of soft Indian cottons and last April I ordered 5 yards of a border print from an EBay vendor. I decided to use some of that fabric to make what I hoped would become a 'wearable muslin'. Hoping, I suppose, that my first try would work, and it did, but not without a few ups and downs.
I graded between sizes in several areas and, thankfully, it worked outfairly well. The finished dress fit well enough, but I felt that a summer dress would benefit by being a bit looser. After 'sleeping on it' I decided that if I made this dress a bit looser I would probably wear it more frequently than I would leaving it the way it was. So yes, I did end up un-sewing almost all of it. Since I had used French seams throughout and the fabric is quite lightweight, the process of un-sewing caused the fabric to become frayed. I needed to straighten the grain a bit and trim the seams down. To simplify the re-sewing and account for the reduced seam allowances I decided to remove the inseam pockets. I added a patch pocket to the finished dress just because I wanted some sort of pocket ...for my next version of this dress the inseam pockets will be a useful feature. It is not an ideal, the inseam pockets would have been better on this dress, but it works and it is a very comfortable dress now!
I enjoyed the process of lining up the border print at the seams and matching the pattern to the added pocket. The buttons are vintage and were culled from my stash. I added an extra button because of a slight miscalculation...but at least I had four buttons!
I bought this lovely, somewhat unusual, double gauze from Emma One Sock a month or two ago. It was the last of the bolt. I have learned that if you find a fabric you like it is advisable to buy it right away. I have lost the opportunity to buy several beautiful fabrics just by taking too long 'to think about it'. With this fabric I waited until I got a sample of it in the mail...and just those few days made the difference in my being able to buy as much as I wanted and being happy that I was able to buy any at all.
This was my first time working with double gauze. It seems that there are a variety of fabrics called double gauze....some are more gauzy than others, and some are softer than others? I think that buying double gauze fabric is one fabric that proves the "you get what you pay for adage. This fabric was like sewing two pieces of cheesecloth together, but it feels like wearing a cloud amazingly soft and cool for a hot summer day. I cannot think of any material that is better for warm weather casual clothes.
Many double gauze fabrics seem to be two patterns. I actually preferred the bolder pattern (in the photo below the bolder pattern is the one on the bottom), but I did not have enough yardage to be able to match the pattern and it would have looks more obviously mis-matched - so I used the smaller pattern for the "right" side.
The two layers are obvious in the photo below.
They do resemble cheesecloth!
Thanks to nature of double gauze the neckline proved to be a bit too low so a bit of big stitch and beading solved that problem by slightly pulling in the neck
As luck would have it a recent issue of Threads magazine had an excellent article i it about sewing with double gauze.
  • Simple pattern. Check
  • Iron fabric. Check (but I preferred the soft puckers so I wear it un-ironed)
  • Stay stitch or tape seam lines. Check
  • Stabilize when needed. Check
  • Finish seam allowances. Check. French seams are a dream
I finally discovered the magic of Wonder Tape! It's brilliant
and made sewing this simple dress so much easier!
This dress was a great introduction to sewing with double gauze for me. I have some other yardage that will soon be used in a similar way. Wearing double gauze is unbelievably comfortable and will make my aversion to heat that much more bearable this summer.
My other recent sewing adventures have included finishing the last few half floral appliqu├ęs and the last of the English Paper Pieced half triangles. I also have some embroidery to add to some of the blocks, but I am close to whipping out the border and I say "whipping out" with tongue in check! I am thoroughly enjoying taking my time with this quilt designed by Sue Cody.
Below are the full sized English Paper Pieced triangle units.
I have only four more half units to make

So that's been my sewing summer this far.

What's been on your agenda? Have you tried any "new-to-you" techniques or patterns?

Do you sew year-round? I know some folks sail, go on vacations, garden, tackle big projects or just plain relax in the summer, but for me the luxury is being able to enjoy sewing on the deck sometimes!

Until next time...



  1. I so want to get out the serger and learn how to try it and make some tops. But I don't have the room I want to 'spread' out, so delaying it for a bit. Love your adventures in sewing clothes. It inspires me.

    I have to laugh though. My mother was an excellent seamstress. And she would use Vogue for "Sunday" outfits or a really special outfit.


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