This is Che Che. She was our amazing housekeeper/ Nanny/ Friend for the entire time we were in Timor. She was so fantastic and was a huge part of No Mans Land. There is not way I could have posted so much if it hadn’t been for Che Che working so hard. I wanted to make sure she had something to remember us by and I had talked about doing a giveaway of this dress I made. I decided to go a head with that idea only give it to Che Che instead of a reader. I asked her to measure her under the guise of making the dress for my little sister. When I finished sewing it was on a day that was particularly chaotic and begged her to let me take a picture of her in it claiming I had no time to ask anyone else. She obliged. When I was done taking pictures she asked if she could have the pictures that I had printed out to help me knock off the dress so she could have one made when she went home to the Philippines. I told her I had made it for her so that whenever she wore it she would think of us and she started crying, I then of course started blubbering and it was a mess ha!
If you would like to make your own it is actually a fairly easy and straight forward dress. The neckline is the only tricky part and that will come together easily as long as you take your time and think before you stitch. I do have to say though that the fabric I used was ordered site unseen. I thought I was ordering a nice Chambray and it ended up being a blend and was chambray but pretty stretchy. Next time around I would certainly use a lawn/poplin cotton or a chambray without spandex in it ha! If you would like to learn how to make the dress click tell me more 🙂 If not then I will see you in a week when my feet touch American soil once again!
What you will need:
3 (or more depending on your size) yards of fabric
A small zipper
Several buttons (depending on how many faux buttons you want)
A small strip of light fusible interfacing (for the neckline)
Needle and Thread
The Pattern (this is a size 6 pattern, it was a bit large for Che Che and I ended up taking it in for her)
The first thing we are going to put together is the dress top. Take all three of your main dress pieces. I decided to sew four darts in the dress. Once in each front piece:
And two in the back
You can use the dart guides on the pattern if you would like to include them. I think they make the dress have a nice fitted look and looks more professional. Once you are done attach the front pieces to the back.
Before you stitch decide which side you want your side zipper on and do not stitch all the way to the bottom on that side. Also do not sew ALL the way to the inside of your shoulder seams. We will manipulate these later.
At this point you could stitch this hem in place. I waited and did this on the next step and then looked at my Shabby Apple dresses and realized they do nit on this step. Either will work, just some additional info.
Once you are done head over to the sewing machine
You might need to gather the top of the sleeve slightly. Once you do turn line up the sleeve edge and the arm hole of the dress so that right sides are together. Stitch all the way around.
Once you are done and have pressed your seams and turned everything right side out your top should look like this:
Now we are going to do our neckline. Do this slowly, think before you sew and read the instructions several times and it will save you A LOT of frustration… not that it took me FOREVER to figure this out HA! (it TOTALLY did). I took lots of pictures of the finished product so I hope it helps. Turn your dress top inside out. Line of the ENDS of the neckline so that right sides are together. Stitch across the end so that there is a finished seam on what will be the outside of the neckline. When you are done turn the dress top right side out. Fold down the neckline so that the right side of the neckline is rights sides together with your dress back. Lin up the edges of the two taking special care at the shoulders. Stitch all the way around, iron your seam. It should look like this when done:
Now grab your to neck lining pieces. Cut fusible interfacing to match both and attach to WRONG side. Once you are done we are going to do the same thing to the thin ends of the neckline that we just did to the main neckline. Lay the pieces right sides together. Stitch the ends and open up so you have a nice finished seam. Once you are done we are going to attach it to the main neck line. Lay it right sides together and pin all the way around, lining up the seams you created on the back. Stitch all the way around the edge. When you are done head over to your iron and iron the seam so that the lining is inside the main dress.
Once you have ironed it topstitch all the way around on the right side of the neckline.
When you are done you should have a nice seamless neckline.
The inside neckline should look like this:
Now using your button hole maker make your buttons. I made three functioning buttons and three faux buttons but it is up to you and the size of your buttons.
(Don’t mind that I have already attached my dress bottom, I forgot to take a pic of the buttons until after ha!)
Now we are going to make our skirt bottom. This is mainly just ALOT of pleated fabric. The seam will be on the side of this dress so that you can have a hidden zipper. The type of pleat you do is up to you and how much fabric you have. I tried to follow the dress as close as possible.
When you are done and everything is flipped right side out and pressed your waistline should look like this;
Once you have the top attached to the bottom insert your side zipper.
Once your zipper is in all you need to do is stitch up the side and hem the bottom!!! Woo hoooo! This dress actually does not look that cute without some sort of belt. I just made Che Che a big white fabric belt sort of like the one in the Shabby Apple picture.
I hope I explained it well? I am certainly going to make another one for myself. I want a nice solid bright green one! Maybe I can finagle the pattern to be maternity. We’ll see! For now I have to go organize all our moving luggage for the cruise ha! I hope your week is sunny!