Sunday, 26 April 2015

Handprinted Southport dress

My last post was about this handprinted fabric and I cut into it as soon as it was washed and ready! I bought this Southport dress pattern from True Bias not long after it's release as it's currently on offer until the sewalong starts and I think it's a good staple pattern to add to my collection.


I did have to make some changes from the off because I knew the skirt would not work on my shape. I only printed as far as the shorter length skirt to save paper and ink (the file is quite large due to the maxi length). The shorter skirt is quite short and very straight and this does my thighs no favours, so I added 18cm to the length and opened it out to make a slight (but not too full) A-line on the front and back. I have a feeling that I may have saved myself a job by printing the maxi skirt and shortening it, as this looks to have a slight flare, but oh well!!!


Since making the dress I have noted some amendments for future versions. Nothing that bothers me too much, but the front bodice is a touch too short which makes the skirt hem rise up. This is not a modification that I normally have to make, so it's probably worth checking that this is long enough for you.

FYI - I made a size 8.


Also the armholes and neckline were a touch too deep, so once I had started adding the bias facing I tried it on and decided to make it a binding instead to retain the seam allowance. I feel more comfortable with this extra coverage and think the straps would have been too narrow for me otherwise. Unfortunately I had added ease into the bias to fold it back as a facing, so it does gape a bit. When I add bias as a binding I make it a bit tighter, so that it pulls it in and sits flat.


I decided to omit the front button band on this version and instead cut on the fold using the centre front guide. I guess I'm rebelling against the fact that I've had to wear front opening garments for the last two and a half years for nursing, but it's a cute feature and I'll definitely try it at some point. I also added a closed casing with inserted elastic instead of a fabric tie at the waist. The main reason being that I was feeling lazy and I like to just pull things on without thinking about little fastenings.


So, those are my thoughts and changes, but overall I think that this is a great little pattern that I can see being very versatile. I am thinking of making a black silk jersey version with a t-shirt top using either my Maya pattern or the Grainline Scout tee. I have seen some really cute dresses that I have pinned to my pinterest board for Maya top/Ilsley skirt combinations, but may use this pattern instead. This dress below is from People tree.


The other great thing about this pattern is that I now have a base for a cute woven tank. I have been wavering between the Grainline tiny pocket and the Wiksten tank for ages, but with a few mods, this one could be 'the one'.


Oh god, here is a good shot of how much the bodice rides up at the front! It looks a bit maternity here, but it may be how I'm standing.


So hopefully this a helpful account of my experience with this pattern and I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of this one around this summer. I love having something new to add to the stash!

I was hoping for glorious sunshine and summery shots, but instead donned tights with sandals. Here's a goofy shot to finish!!! Roll on summer!

15 comments:

JustSewJenna said...

I love this dress so much, the printing is amazing! X

helen siddon said...

Such a fabulous dress and the print is so effective on the chambray. I'm on a quest to find a basic tank too, I've been obsessing about pintucks though so think I'll have to do a but of tweaking along the way! x

Debbie Iles said...

Your fabric is amazing. Can't take my eyes off it :-)

Marilla Walker said...

Thanks Jenna! If you lived closer we could print together, sigh! ;-)

Marilla Walker said...

Thanks Helen, if you're looking for a good all rounder then this is it! I've got the sewing bee book which has a tank in, but this has a nicer shape, so I think is worth tweaking. You could have pin tucks and buttons. How's that? ;-)

Marilla Walker said...

Ha ha, thanks Debbie, that's so sweet! X

Elizabeth Made This said...

I saw your Instagram picture of the dress and was going to ask where you got the fabric. What a great handprint! It makes me want to dig out my carving tools and experiment. I'm glad to know about the neckline and armholes. I have this pattern on my cut table now, and I was thinking to double check those two depths before I cut out the dress from real fabric. Thanks for the Southport inspiration!

Sarah said...

It does not look maternity, silly! It's a smashing dress and I love the print. You are one clever lady!

Melissa said...

You've made a great showcase for your beautiful piece of fabric! You must smile a lot when you wear it!

Lisa said...

Love this dress! Well to be honest mostly how it's a great canvas to show off that print :) Looks like a perfect summer dress.

gingermakes.com said...

That print! You're so talented! It's good to know that this will slip on in case I get too lazy to make the button band. :)

Minnado said...

That is a lovely summer dress.your printed fabric goes so well with the pattern. I like to see side views in blog posts as I always wonder what the side view looks like.
It looks like a great basic dress shape you could use in a lot of ways. X

Marilla Walker said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments ladies, I sure will enjoy wearing this dress when the weather gets warmer again! X

Sara said...

Beautiful dress! I love you're handprinted fabrics. I said this before, but I really want to try this some day. I have a denim pencil skirt I made a while back that I never wear because I find it too plain. Maybe a good place to start? It's a very sleek kind of denim, so maybe I need to rough it up a bit.

Marilla Walker said...

Thanks Sara! Yes to getting printing. The hard part is knowing where to begin, but once you get the bug it's hard to stop! ;-)