Guest blogger – Sarah
I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people who loves to make a new dress for any big occasion, be it a wedding, party or holiday. So, when I was picked as a blogger for Felicity Fabrics, I decided it would be a great opportunity to make a new outfit for a wedding I’m going to in September. A special dress calls for special fabric – enter this Spring Garden floral crepe!
The first thing to note about this fabric (apart from the fact that it was beautifully packaged, as always!) are the colours. The navy, turquoise and pink flowers are so bright and vivid but work well against the light pink background.
I’ve not used crepe before, so I did some research first, to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes – here’s what I learnt:
- This fabric is 100% polyester, so I’d recommend testing your iron on a patch first. It presses well and holds creases and folds nicely, without losing any of the fabric texture.
- Crepe has a slight crinkled texture and a substantial weight, which gives a lovely fluid drape, but it can shift around when cutting out, so I used spray starch for stability, and lots of pattern weights to hold everything in place.
- Keep an eye on the grainline to make sure your pattern pieces are still in place correctly. I’d also recommend using a rotary cutter, rather than scissors, for minimal fabric movement.
- Pins are your friend with crepe – the more, the merrier, to keep everything lined up nicely when sewing. I also found that keeping all the fabric on the table next to my machine when sewing, rather than letting it fall over the edge of the table, helped to not stretch it out of shape.
- Finally, use a new fine-point needle to help prevent snagging.
I chose to make the Vogue V1734, view A – a wrap dress with a slightly fitted bodice, butterfly sleeves and a curved skirt hem. I’m a big fan of wrap dresses – they are so flattering and easy to fit to lots of different body shapes. It’s a simple pattern, designed for beginners, and there aren’t too many tricky techniques involved. I decided to use French seams throughout, to make the insides neat, as crepe fabric can fray. I took a risk and didn’t make a toile but cut out the bigger of the two sizes I sat between – this allowed a little extra room across the bust but meant that I could adjust the rest of the bodice to fit me, which involved taking the shoulder seams in by 1 inch and the side seams in by ½ inch.
There aren’t any bulky facings with this pattern, so the hems are double rolled instead. This can be a little tricky on curved hems, but there is just enough ‘give’ in the fabric to ease around the curves. There’s enough structure in the fabric to ensure the bodice stays fitted, but the weight and drape of the fabric make the skirt floaty and swishy – great for twirling around! The dress pattern really shows off the beautiful fabric design and I love the flounce of the sleeves and skirt hem. It really is the perfect summer wedding guest dress!