I am flexing those self-sabotage skills again. I have had notice of my daughters wedding for almost a year and with only a month away, have I begun making my mother of the bride dress? Don’t be daft. But I did make another Sew La Di Da French Gypsy dress. And I must say, I’m not even a little bit sorry!
I totally blame that upstairs bit at Misan Fabrics, in the Goldhawk Road, where they have the most desirable remnants on sale, way cheaper than the fabrics they have downstairs. There was this 3.5m bolt of bright red panel fabric that was signalling from the top shelf. I didn’t have a clue what I’d do with it at that point. Cutting it up for headscarves was an option. But not a very exciting or fulfilling one. Maybe posh napkins or a gathered skirt? Seriously, I’m so uninspired sometimes. I spread it out on the table and looked to the assistant for a suggestion. A shrug of the shoulders translated that she wasn’t the least bit interested and was I going to buy it or not? The reason I was stalling was that the label said £10. I didn’t imagine for one minute that meant for the whole lot. So when the penny dropped, so did the idea that I could indeed make a gathered skirt but with a French Gypsy dress bodice attached to the top of it… for a tenner!
It’s great to revisit a recently-made sewing pattern: It’s already been traced; the fit is established – though I had to keep in mind that the fabric I used last time had a bit of stretch – plus having rehearsed it already, it’s a more confident sew and the process is therefore quicker.
There was an issue of placement though. There were not going to be any happy accidents here, oh no! The skirt was dead easy to work out. I just used the width of the fabric for front and back and then halved the back for the seam allowance and zip. But I did think to make sure the panels aligned from the same point at the top/bottom… just before I cut, lol
The midriff – which I must have told you a hundred times before, is my favourite section of a dress – deserved a small floral border that came from the centre of the larger panel. I like how it kind of looks like a giant buckle from a distance. The little floral bits at the side were a bonus.
That same little patterned square worked for the sleeves just as well.
Back bodice pieces always give the most placement jip when there’s a zip to factor in. So annoying. Even more annoying when I’d already cut the back skirt pieces apart and could have made life easier for myself if I’d have thought it out properly and allowed for a side closure instead. But then I had a little brainwave and made sure that the placement didn’t need any matching up. I just needed to make sure the design was the same distance away from the zip on either side. Which it is. Kind of!
The only section I’m not crazy about is the front gathered bust section. There wasn’t enough plain red and I didn’t want to repeat too much the ‘lacy’ edging of the panel section. I can live with it though!
I still had enough duchesse satin left over from the last time to make the black binding which is lucky because I love how it outlines the dress at the top.
My new dress had it’s first outing today and proved to be very picnic-worthy and received lots of lovely comments. It also attracted some attention on our little shoot in the neighbourhood earlier this evening. One passing stranger couldn’t resist joining in and worked it so well it would be rude not to include him. Thinking of you, Karen (didyoumakethat). I didn’t even have to tell him what it was for!
Thanks as always to the lovely Mr O for these lovely photos. x
17 Replies to “Gypsy dress and panel placement”
Oh my goodness that is just the PRETTIEST dress ever! Like you’re about to break out into Habanera! I absolutely love every single pattern placement decision too, they are all so much fun. I get such a kick out of such things. Aren’t we just the biggest sewing nerds! <3
Thanks so much Mrs C. I really do love it! And I must research that dance. I do think it’s more Spanish than French too! xxx
It’s the saucy aria Carmen sings about love being like a gypsy child -Minx!
Now I need to make one…
Pattern placement is amazing!
Thanks Pal! I love this pattern. Nothing too taxing about it but lots of gathering!
Ooh lovely. I think the back view is even better than the front!
Thanks Catherine. Yes I think so too! I was surprised to find the midriff section is just at the front but I suppose it saves having a baggy back!
What a Beautiful frock!!!
Thank you, Tee 🙂
Your dress is amazing!! And what a bargain on the fabric, it would have been rude not to buy it. I remember your last version, and loved it too, so really must have a look at the pattern.
Thank you, Lynne. I know, right?! It’s a fab vintage look to get with a modern indie pattern!
You did a great job with the pattern placement, looks fabulous. Can’t wait to see what you make for your MoB dress ;o)
Thank you Collette. I don’t know why I’m dragging my heels. One of the most important dresses I’ll have to make this year…. eeek!
Gasp! That is AH-DOR-AH-BLE!!!
Awww… thanks so much Beth xxx
It’s gorgeous! Perfect for the summer!
This has worked so well, you are justly pleased with the result… Note to self, next time I am in London, visiting the younglings, must go back to Goldhawk road!
fab fabric, fab dress!