Monday, 29 December 2014

How to make a lined Simplicity shift dress

How to make a shift dress,

I have already made one version of this dress in 1960s style. I think that this style is so easy to wear on holiday that I wanted to make a couple more of them.
This is the previous version in silk fabric

I have some fine cotton lawn and I thought that it would be perfect for this style. It is however quite sheer so I decided to line it.

The pattern is the same as the 1960s style dress  Simplicity K1609. I am however going to make some alterations to the pattern
Firstly I want to lose the back zip and put a zipper in the side seam instead. Now you cannot just swop zip placements as you please without thinking about it carefully.  Because I have made this dress before, and because I made a muslin first I know without any doubt that moving the zip will work.
You also must consider if by moving the zip to the side willmit go over your head? What I did was to lower the neckline by about an inch to make sure it did!

Cut out the fabric and tailor-tack the darts.
Instead of using the facing pieces cut out the front and back again in lining fabric.
I omitted the front and back seams, but again do this wisely and do not forget to remove the seam allowances! 

once you have done all that,Tailor tack the darts this time in the lining fabric

At this point it is worth taking a piece of spare fabric and experimenting with various needles, stitch length and sewing machine feet. Because my fabric is fine and fairly sheer I used ball point needles and eventually decided on using a walking foot as this gave me a smooth pucker free finish to the seams.
Stitch all the darts and press.
Stitch the front to the front lining right sides together along the neck line and armhole edges, do the same with the back.
Clip the edges and press. Turn right sides out and press again.

Join the shoulder seams on the main fabric and slip stitch the lining closed. 

Pin and stitch the right side seams from the bottom of the lining to the bottom of the main fabric all in one, making sure that the underarm seam matches,
Measure your zip and stitch the left side seam and lining   seam seperately from the bottom upwards to where the zip will end.
Stitch the zip in place to the main fabric only
Slip stitch the lining to the zip on the inside

Overstitch all seams if you have not already done so, I do it as I go along.
Overlock the hems seperately
Measure the hem on the main fabric, press and either machine or hand sew in place
Measure the lining hem, on this dress it looked nicer an inch shorter than the main fabric

Thats it, same dress as before but fully lined and it is very easy to do as you have seen.
Do have a go at altering patterns, but do it wisely and always try on as you go.

Happy sewing,