Saturday, May 21, 2011

My summer version of a little black dress

Ok so it is not entirely black, but hey it is a summer dress. A while ago I bought this fabric panel.

It was on clearance for $2.50 or something like that and they gave me a panel and a half really.

When I got it I had the idea to applique it to a simple black dress to sort of showcase the pretty flowers. However it took me a while to decide on which dress to make.

I finally decided on the Audrey Afternoon dress from Indygo Junction. It is a very simple dress to make and has a nice shape. I thought it would be a good way to show off the flowers and make a comfortable wearable dress. Plus anything with a peasant style neckline is popular these days so I thought it would also be a modern looking dress.

There were a few steps to getting the flowers onto the front of the dress. I used a  heavy black linen for the dress. My first step was to cut out the fabric for the dress. I added a side seam pocket from another pattern. I also went ahead and sewed the darts on the front of the dress so that the flowers would be on top of the darts and not disappear into them.

Then I ironed some heat and bond to the flower fabric.  Basically the Heat and Bond turns your fabric into a giant sticker. I like to iron on a big piece and then cut out my design. This way you have Heat and Bond all over your appliques piece and it really nicely stays put while you sew. But make sure you get the light, sew-able type if you plan to sew through it. They make heavier weights that are good for other types of craft projects but are too heavy for applique.

Leave the paper backing on while your cut out your design. It makes it easier to cut and keeps the fabric from stretching out of shape while you cut out your design.

Next you peel off the paper backing. The back of the fabric will be shiny and feel like it is plastic coated. Basically it is now covered with heat activated glue. 

Then you iron your applique piece onto your fabric. For example I ironed the cut out flowers onto the front piece of my dress. Once it is ironed in place and cooled you then sew around the edges to hold it in place permenantely.

I simply sewed all around the edges with a straight stitch about 1/8" away from the edge. The Heat and Bond also helps the fabric stop fraying allowing you to sew super close to the edge.

I wore the finished dress last night for the first time. It was super comfy. But may be a little big. If I make this pattern again I will go down a size in the body of the dress and keep the sleeve the same. I do like the side seam pockets. They are a lot more functional than the patch pockets the pattern provides.

We went out with my cousins last night to Cakes and Ale and it was SUPER FABULOUS! If you have not been you should go!

I hope you are having a great weekend! I am off to figure out my next project.

Peace Out - C

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