Black & White entry – Tools by Hollie

Hi there! It’s been a while since I’ve joined in here, but I made this dress to wear to my sister-in-law’s wedding, and it seemed to fit this month’s challenge perfectly!


Some specs: It’s Autumn here in NZ, and the ceremony will be outside, late afternoon. After the ceremony, the reception is at a golf club with a sit down meal and dancing.


The fabric was a gift from a friend. Initially I thought it was some sort of poly satin, but after having worked with it, I’m pretty sure it’s cotton silk which is my favourite fabric to sew with. The hand and finish of silk, with the sturdiness and ease of cotton.

To make this dress I used my bodice block with the french darts and boat neck, and took the A-line of the skirt from Style 4011, a vintage skirt pattern that continues to hit the mark. I wanted a softly bloused top, with a semi-fitted A-line skirt.


I french seamed most of the construction, apart from the waist seam where I did quite a few fit adjustments. This I finished with twill tape to support the weight of the skirt on the waist seam. The twill tape does up with a hook and eye under the zip which creates a better fit at the waist too. It’s a technique you see often in vintage dresses.

I bound the resulting raw edge with left over bias binding, and neatened the centre edge of the bodice under the zip so there are no raw edges visible inside this dress.

I finished the neck and sleeve openings with bias facing and put an invisible zip in the back. I’m not a huge fan of invisible zips, but in this instance I wanted to have a really fine finish. I hand finished all the bias facings and the hem. A time-consuming job, but worth it IMO.


‘Scuse the selfie – and yes, that is a sock attached to my hem!

For more photos and outfit details see my blog: Spare Room Style

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