A D.I.Y Sundress for “Fall”

While my entire Instagram feed seems to embracing fall and talking about “sweater weather,” we here in Charleston are enjoying one last beach day, sweating through 90 degree temperatures in September, and living it up in tanks and sundresses. So I decided it was only appropriate to make one last “summer dress” to have in my handmade collection. Somedays I put on a sundress and stroll through the farmers market or attend a dinner party. On this day I put on my sundress just to go sit in the front yard and watch Liam dump dirt back and forth between his dump trucks. A sundress for even the most glamorous days.

If you follow my blog than you will recognize this pattern. It’s another Jorna Dress made in a rayon. I know, I know, I JUST made one in solid black rayon less than a month ago. But when you know what you like, you know what you like. I modified again but adding an extra inch to the shoulder height and this time an extra inch and a half to the side seam. Like the rest of the sewing community, I seem to be in love with all the Cotton + Steel Rifle Paper Co prints and this one is my favorite yet. I love the way all their rayons drape and feel like butter on your skin and I am determined to try one of their cotton lawn fabrics next to see how that compares.I want to talk about one other thing:  hemming your garments with bias tape. Let me preface by saying that there are a few things in sewing that make me want to scream and pull my hair out. 1- when my machine eats up by fabric, 2- re-threading my serger, and 3- hemming a skirt or dress on a curve. Ughhhh that last one. I end up folding and pressing and folding and pressing and yet I always end up with this wonky pointy hem that can really make a garment look “home-made.” But I recently decided, if I can finish off my tank top arm holes with bias tape, why not do the same for the hem of a skirt, or in this case, a dress. In a perfect world I would of made my own bias tape out of the same rayon fabric. But it’s not a perfect world and mama is tired, so I used some solid black bias tape I had in my stash. Here are a few tutorials on how you can hem a dress using bias tape:

The Fabric:  Paint Roses Black in rayon by Rifle Paper Co for Cotton and Steel

The Patternthe Jorna by Jenna Brand.

My Alterations:  Modified the pattern to account for the lack of stretch in the rayon fabric by adding 1 extra inch to the shoulder height and 1.5 extra inches to the sides of the bodice (and the same for the lining pieces). Plus added 1 inch to the length.

Final Thoughts:  I love the way the inside hem looks on this dress. And although the method of using bias tape to hem a dress adds another notion to your project and will therefore be an added cost, it will look so professional and give you that great curved bottom without the headache.

We are headed into some cooler weather this week so as soon as I can get this kid to take a sufficient nap during the day I am going to get started on some cardigans and leggings. Until next time, xxoo Priscilla

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