The Inside Story: Cotton and Steel Dress

“Come March, we’re asking you to show us your guts, and make your inside as pretty as the outside!” The Monthly Stitch.

And I’d love to do just that! I take a lot of pride in my neat and tidy insides. IMG_0188

I am a bit of a perfectionist so the insides of my garments are usually finished very neatly.  I selected  Butterick Pattern #6090  for my example and took a few pictures of how I routinely finish the “guts” of my outfits.

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There is a bit of a back-story about this dress and fabric. First of all, I bought a kit from Craftsy which contained 3 yards of Cotton and Steel luxurious cotton fabric and a pattern from Green Bee for a dress cut totally on the bias. While working through the muslin, I realized that I really didn’t care for the style of the dress, even after modifying it to fit me. I didn’t even bother with the skirt part.

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Green Bee bias cut dress. Too frumpy!

I switched to the Butterick pattern that buttons down the front, has a pleated skirt, side pockets, and a neckline design element. I cut the neckline design element from a blue silk (too small) dress. I did not use the neck facings as I wanted it to be light and scarf-like. I roll-hemmed the outer edge of the silk instead. I did line up the fabric design so that the dandelions would match, but I forgot about the overlap of the front, and so they didn’t match up after all. But I think the pattern is so busy that it doesn’t bother the eye.IMG_0196

The side seams are serged and then press open. Where seams cannot be serged, I use pinking sheers. The silk is serged neatly to the bodice, and the waist is sewn, then serged, and press up. The front bands are faced with a woven 100% fusible cotton interfacing. The inside edge is serged together with the interfacing for a neatly finished edge. I pressed the seam allowance toward the bands and then under-stitched close to the sewn edge. This helps the facing turn to the inside very neatly.

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I marked all of the buttonholes when I was cutting out the pattern, so I knew just where to put them. The buttons are from my stash. I was surprised to find 10 buttons that all matched, but several looked worn around the edges. I flipped the buttons over and found that they were all a nice dark blue color. I used that side.

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My buttonholes turned out beautifully and uniformly. I sewed the buttons on very carefully with my machine, first diagonally into two holes and then again diagonally into the other two holes. Finally, I serged the bottom of the dress and then machine hemmed the dress with the blind stitch!

IMG_0191During the final fitting, I lengthened the back darts to take in the extra fabric that appeared. I made bias tape for the armholes and sewed it so the outside edge would frame the silk.

IMG_0189I really like how it turned out and I am so thrilled to be wearing something made with Cotton and Steel fabric. When I make this pattern again, I’m going to cut a size smaller through the bodice and blend out to the next size through the waist. The roomy armholes and the extra fabric through the back may be resolved by doing that.

IMG_0209Happy Sewing, Friends!

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