A ‘Very Royal’ Dress

The other week I finally managed to conquer a fear of mine – well, I say fear but it’s more like a distaste. I actually managed to sew and finish a jersey dress using my overlocker!! Ok, so I’ve had the overlocker for a while but I’m not great at using it and my one attempt at making a jersey dress remains a UFO. It languishes in my bedroom unfinished and unloved… Understandably, that disaster really put me off doing any more…

Enter Sew Weekly – I bravely (or foolishly – not sure yet!) decided to sign up to contribute to Sew Weekly. My aim; to diminish the fabric stash, use patterns I already have and be more productive!

So far not so great – Week 1 saw me taking my overlocker to the repair shop and myself up to my eyeballs in writing essays. Week 2, I made the Kasia skirt from Burdastyle – a little on the small size if I do say so myself! Or perhaps it’s those pesky mince pies that linger on my waistline…

Week 3 was ‘Make this Look’ – and again more problems! My inspiration for this week was the gorgeous Issa dress that Kate Middleton wore for her engagement photographs. I’ve always loved the dress but I definitely don’t have the income to afford it! I came across the fabric about a year ago in my local fabric shop, it was a pale blue viscose jersey. Not the right colour but it had the drape and the sheen, so I bought 2 metres of it. I originally tried to dye it with some Dylon blue dye but it didn’t dye very well. So a few weeks ago I purchased some more Dylon dye on eBay, only for the seller to tell me he couldn’t find it! Plan B, I bought some different dye (Procion MX) and it has dyed up a treat!! Just the right gorgeous dark blue colour!

I then lay my gorgeous piece of fabric out and lay out all the pattern pieces, only to find that they didn’t flipping fit! Isn’t that typical? (I used McCalls 5752) A bit of pattern manipulation here and there and I could finally cut the dress out, however there really wasn’t enough for the belt – which in my opinion makes the original dress. Not to be undone, in true ‘Blue Peter’ style I fashioned a belt from the left over pieces of fabric instead!


After that it was fairly plain sailing, I overlocked all the seams, used a twin needle for hems and reinforced the arm hole with cotton twill tape. The pattern is really straightforward to make and the instructions are pretty good but they are written for somebody with a sewing machine not an overlocker. The crossover bodice part is really low cut and I have had to put in a reinforcing stitch to preserve my modesty. The only downside, this is definitely a dress to be worn with Spanx at all times!

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