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  • Writer's pictureCraft Cotton Co

Ladies Dress Fitted Bodice, Unpressed Pleated Skirt Simplicity New Look K6391

Project by Stephanie Marsh

The Cotton Craft Company sent me this gorgeous fabric from their new range by Sarah Payne called 'British Waterways’. I decided I would love a dress for myself, a one with not too many pieces so the design could be shown off. I have seen quite a few dresses in this style in chic boutiques. Adding a net petticoat could transform it to summer night out in an instance.

After taking my measurements and comparing them to the pattern, I cut out the pattern in the relevant size and pinned it together, then tried it against me. I find that the bodices on this style dress can be short for me. I also find that the armholes can be a bit too small so I lengthened the front and back bodice pieces by cutting a straight line in the a place, i.e. 5 inches down from top of armhole and inserting a piece of paper the width that I wanted to lengthen it by, i.e. 1.5 inches and graded the armhole itself. This lengthened the bodice and armhole in one-step. When adjusting pattern always check the position of any darts, they may need moving, depending on where you have shortened/lengthened/adjusted.

The pattern says to use an invisible zip, but I could not find one in the colour to match so I used a standard zip. I like to have the teeth showing so I inserted the zip as follows. To do this I sewed the back seam up to the notch where the zip is inserted. I neatened the raw edges all the way up and pressed the seam open. I pressed onto the wrong side the seam allowance where the zip is to be place. When sewing the zip in place I folded over the top tab of the zip and placed the teeth next to the folded back seam edge and tacked the zip in place on both sides. Starting from the top, on both sides I used a zipper foot and sewed closes to the folded edge. I used a reverse stitch when I got close to the base of the zip to hold it firmly. Make sure that the waist seam matches up.

I found the instructions very clear to follow; I did not neaten the seam allowances on the bodice as it was lined.

When marking up the pleats for the skirt I used one colour thread to show the fold line and another to show the placement line.

In addition, when making up the pleats I use many pins and use about three rows of tacking across all the pleats on that section to allow them to lie flat and not fold back on themselves when sewing up.

For the hem, I pressed ½ an inch onto the wrong side then and inch and machine sewed it in place, the pressing gave it a nice crisp edge.

I love this dress, I cannot wait for another sunny day to go out and show it off.

To see more from Stephanie, follow her on Instagram @stephanie_j_marsh.

Made by Stephanie Marsh for The Craft Cotton Co 2022.

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