So, I’m back on the fabulous Felicity Fabrics blog today with my latest creation and it’s something I designed myself and I’m so pleased with it. 

I’ve decided to call it the Felicity Dress as I wanted to dedicate this design to the lovely ladies Caroline and Fliss, owners of Felicity Fabrics. They are so lovely, kind and generous and so I wanted to give something back to them.

It’s been a true labour of love from start to finish that’s for sure. I began with a sketch of my design, a sleeveless A-line dress with ruffles on the neckline and pocket edging, bust and waist darts and a front button band. I was pretty pleased with the sketch so I then had to get my idea from paper into reality. The first step was to make a toile in calico to test the fit and see how it looked. The toile worked out perfect so I was raring to cut into my fabric and create the dress.

The fabric I chose for this project was this rose-pink herringbone, which had the look and feel of wool. It is so soft and smooth and really does feel so luxurious that I had to check the swatch card to see what the composition was. It is made of 60% poly, 35% viscose and 5% spandex which gave it that little bit of stretch.

It stitched up like a dream and was lovely to handle throughout. It is quite a bouncy fabric so it didn’t iron very well and I couldn’t get a good press on the darts and button band. I originally wanted to add a double-sided ruffle to the neck and pocket edging but the fabric was just too thick to do this so I had to change my design to single sided ruffles. 

I struggled to get my ruffles to sit perfectly on the pocket edging so in the end I had to omit them all together and just have plain edged diagonal side pockets, which was a little frustrating. As the fabric was thicker than planned I also opted to use a pretty cotton fabric for the pocket lining to reduce any bulk. I also used one of my pretty floral bias bindings to bind the armhole and neck line. It has turned out really well and gives a pretty finish to the inside.

I spent quite a lot of time on adding the ruffles because I wanted to get them to sit perfectly around the neckline, so lots of unpicking resulted. However, the fabric never frayed once, after all the handling, sewing and unpicking which was amazing and not what I was expecting. As the fabric felt so much like wool I was convinced it would be a nightmare for fraying, but not at all. I was really impressed with this.

I really love how the dress has turned out, although in hindsight it is a little too thick for my design and all the ruffles. But that’s a lesson learned for me, to always check the fabric composition and thickness before I design my next project. To look at how much drape I need, is it too thick or too thin, does it crease etc. All the things I should have considered beforehand, but at least now I know to do this for my next design. That’s the beauty of my dressmaking journey, as I am always learning and always building in confidence.

The dress is so lovely and remarkably light to wear and does not crease at all. It is also super comfy and warm, making it perfect for the colder autumn and winter months. As it’s a sleeveless design it makes a perfect layering item which is perfect for me, as I love to layer and accessorise my outfits. I also love the fact that I can create lots of different outfits from one dress, simply by changing the top underneath. I’ve styled my dress with a lacy RTW blouse, one of my raggy brooches to add a little extra something, my jeans and new boots and I just love how it’s all turned out.

I am just so passionate about this side of dressmaking, designing and drafting my own creations, and making them into reality. 

So much so that I have recently started my own fashion clothing label business, making custom made ready to wear items which I am super thrilled with how it is going so far. 

I have also been inundated with requests for making my designs into sewing patterns, in PDF and paper format, which I have been working on over the last few months and my first is soon to be published. 

This design will definitely be added to the list of sewing patterns to publish in the near future so watch this space!

Hope you like my new Felicity Dress and thanks so much for reading!

JayneLoopy Mabel’s Close