FO: My Hemlock Dress

So I had a step by step all photographed for this make. Unfortunately someone, who shall rename nameless, managed to delete all the photos from our SD card. So when I came to write up this post….erm….no photos! Aaaargh! But, I’m sure you’ll get the gist. Let me explain….

This is yet another incarnation of the fabulously versatile and free Hemlock Tee pattern. The fabric is a lovely medium weight jersey with a fine fleecy underside from Minerva Crafts. It’s from their clearance section & priced at £5.99/m. In fact they have a whole heap of jersey on clearance at the moment from as little as £1.99/m. You may have also noticed from my sidebar ads that they are one of my new sponsors….which means if you use the code PORTIA10 at checkout, you’ll get a further 10% off. So if you wanted to recreate a jersey Hemlock dress of your own….hop over there if you fancy a bargain 😉 With a free pattern and discounted fabric, what’s not to love! I would recommend medium to heavy weight jersey for this make. Perhaps even a ponte?

On the subject of how this little number was created, clearly I made a few adjustments:

  • I used the back pattern piece to cut both the front and back pieces of this dress. It makes for a higher, slash neck effect at the front.
  • I lengthened my main pattern piece by several inches.
  • I shortened the sleeve pattern piece so the sleeves are elbow length (I always pull ’em up anyway so why not!)
  • I also shaped the dress so it followed the curve of my body. Not snugly, but it made for a subtly more flattering silhouette in this dress version.

Because of the way the Hemlock Tee is constructed, it is perfect for “pinning to shape”.  The shoulder seams are sewn first. Then the sleeves are attached whilst the fabric is flat (rather than inserted into an armhole). THEN, the sleeves and side seams are sewn in one continuous line. So at THIS stage, rather than stitching as per the instructions, I pinned it to fit me the way I wanted (yes I am a contortionist at weekends) then removed the dress (yes I did stab myself with pins in the process) and used the pins as a guide to draw in my new, more shapely, side seams. Does that make sense?! You could of course pin it so it was much more body con than I have done. Jersey’s great like that!

Man I’m so bummed I don’t have the step by step photos. I was all set to show you the difference between the original seam and the new curvier one AND how I managed to draw in the new seam lines symmetrically on both sides. Also how I achieve a finish similar to an overlocker on my standard machine! But alas, there is no use crying over spilt milk! I shall just have to make another, and next time, guard the SD card with my life!!

BTW, I don’t normally wear dresses. But I can officially confirm HOW comfy this is. I can definitely see a few more of these on the horizon. Quite liberating not having to match seperates! I feel as if I’ve been missing a trick all this time….

 

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18 Comments

  1. helen siddon September 27, 2013

    You’ve made a fantastic dress, love the tip about using the back as the front. Your Hemlocks have inspired me to have a go at sewing knits on my regular machine (overlocker is top of my Santa list!) I’ve invested in a walking foot and ballpoint twin needle, will find some time this weekend to have a play!

    Reply
    • Miss P September 27, 2013

      Yay! Go Helen! Do let me know how you get on?
      Santa has had my request for quite some time too…;)
      Px

      Reply
  2. johanna@projects by me September 27, 2013

    The dress looks great! Too bad about the step-by-step photos, maybe next time… 🙂
    I must tell you though, that I’m a bit mad at Minerva crafts at the moment. Made an order exactly a month ago and they’re shipping it TODAY! But your fabric looks great!

    Reply
    • Miss P September 27, 2013

      That’s about the time mine got sent out. There was a slight hiccup with my delivery too. I believe there were some system gremlins around then and as soon as I brought it to their attention they sent another straight out and it arrived the next day. So you should get it soon hopefully! The nosey cow in me wants to know what you’ve ordered now….

      Reply
  3. Tamsin September 27, 2013

    Lovely, I was looking at that fabric the other day….

    Reply
    • Miss P September 27, 2013

      The slightly fleecy underside was a nice surprise! It definately needs prewashing to get rid of that factory fresh crispness because it’s printed with the painterly effect rather than woven with it. But after a good dose of Lenor is absolutely lovely. So comfy!
      Px

      Reply
  4. flossiejamieson September 27, 2013

    I’m not much of a dress wearer – not the most practical when you have two small people to look after – but this looks so good and comfy that I am very tempted. Plus it’s a free pattern, which makes me feel less worried about spending money on something that doesn’t work. Could be good for work or for playing Lego at home. Good job!

    Reply
    • Miss P September 27, 2013

      I felt totally comfy all day, even messing about with little man on the sofa!
      Px

      Reply
  5. forwardmartha September 28, 2013

    I must admit I am a wee bit jealous. I had 7 more pages to print for the pattern and my printer decided to die. I really liked the pattern as a shirt, but you outdid yourself turning it into a dress. I’m going to bite the bullet and buy a printer this weekend. I’m going broke saving money by sewing my own clothes…

    Reply
  6. KellyLeaSews September 28, 2013

    This looks very cool, I may have to try it out!

    Reply
  7. Zoe September 28, 2013

    Oh that is SUCH a perfect Autumn dress/tunic! And your hair is so damn sexy these days lady! xxx

    Reply
  8. Scruffybadger September 30, 2013

    I’m loving it too Miss P! There is something wonderful about a simple jersey dress: both sewing ( cos it’s quick!) and then the long wearing…with leggings/ tights and boots is the business. Fab!

    Reply
  9. Frank Vinyl September 30, 2013

    lovely!

    francesca
    Frank Vinyl. A california personal style blog

    Reply
  10. rachelinred.com September 30, 2013

    that’s a lovely dress, great fabric find! Too bad bout your pictures, but I get the idea anyway. Now I must sew me some shirts and dresses. Thanks Portia, you’re a great inspiration.

    Reply
  11. I need to make one of these. It looks so comfortable!

    Reply
  12. Elisabeth October 1, 2013

    Dresses are nice, I love dresses. And this one is elegant and pretty! It suits you very well, not so sure how it would look with my body shape though…

    Reply
  13. Zoë October 2, 2013

    Love the dress! I can see why you extended the Hemlock pattern into a dress, so simple.

    Reply
  14. hilde October 18, 2013

    Nice dress! Just a tip (perhaps you’ve tried it already, but just in case): sometimes you can recover your deleted files using a special programme, as long as you haven’t taken any new photo’s after deleting. Just google for something like undelete (I think that’s the name of the software I once used, worked perfectly). Porbably way too late now, but should it happen again..

    Reply

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