Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sewing Pattern Variations: Pendleton Dress

One of the many things I love about sewing is the customization. We all get more value from from our patterns when we can change it up and make them more than once. What girl can’t use a few extra outfits?!

However, the pattern cover can be deceiving. With limited time and space - and to keep it to the point (but cute and appealing) - we must choose only a few "looks" to show it off. 

Ideas don't spring from nowhere, so a few more photos really helps. You may have seen these before ;-)
VIEW A in Houndstooth and Velveteen
VIEW A in Chambray and Pique
VIEW B in a cotton floral print
Pendleton View B Variation

Today I'm sharing a Pendleton variation that is casual and fun, something more than the straight up version on the package. None of these options require altering the pattern or any special skills, but hopefully it will get you thinking about your own variations.

The changes I made:
  •  3 buttons following the front instead of a bow
  •  rick rack versus piping
  • omit the elastic from the bell sleeve (add a facing)
  • back zipper instead of side zipper

My fabric is a comfortable (pre-washed) cotton that is a bit thicker than the other versions shown above. This is great for the bell sleeve because it helps hold the pretty shape and gives a little more structure to the dress too. 

My adventure got started with the gray fabric in my stash of course, but the fun didn't get started until I found these adorable buttons a the store. They deserve to be a focal point.

 The rick rack came next. There are three widths of rick-rack, and this one is the Jumbo size. Centering the rick rack down the seam allowance is made easier by basting the seam on the dress first. The thread leaves a trail to follow so to speak. Lift the rick rack at intervals to center it along the basting while basting to the dress. This photo shows the finished front.

 Making View B without the collar, there is the option of changing the zipper from the side seam to the center back. Simply mark the zipper length on your dress and sew a centered zipper instead of a lapped zipper.

Leave out the elastic on the View B sleeve and it takes on the lovely bell shape. To add the rick rack to the sleeve edge, I needed to make a facing of course, and then top stitched everything in place with the top stitching thread to add the same dash of color. Use top stitching thread for the upper spool only. I use standard thread for the bobbin. You may need to play with the tension a little bit too.
From cute to colorized in 4 easy steps. What do you think?  Shop for this pattern here:

Have a great sewing day!

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