Gingham Sheath Dress

Gingham Sheath Dress

One of the challenges, at least for me, in creating a partially handmade wardrobe is finding patterns for pieces that fit my personal style. In addition to selecting the right patterns, finding a fabric choice that complements the pattern is key. As with so much that I do, I continue to find that putting some thought and effort in up front pay off significantly in the end result of a project.

I have a couple of other (purchased) gingham dresses in my closet and I adore them, so a large gingham print seemed a perfect choice for this simple sheath dress. At the time, I did not realize the challenge of using gingham but now I fully grasp it. To be able to have the pattern come out nicely with the gingham print lined up just right as each piece came together required very careful placement of pattern pieces on the fabric. To be honest, I had to recut a couple of pieces to get the perfect look and in hindsight, I think cutting as the pieces were needed might have been the best strategy, to ensure that everything would line up appropriately.

The dress itself was quite simple to sew and I am certain that if I used a less high maintenance print or solid fabric, it would have come together in no time. (See my detailed notes on this project at the bottom of the page.) I will definitely make this project again. Next I am anxious to try the variation with a front panel and play with color blocking. I’ll be sure to share the results when I do!

Overall, I adore the final product and I get compliments every time I wear this dress. As the weather cools, I plan to continue wearing it layered with a pair of black leggings, ankle boots, and a cardigan if needed.

My Notes

Fit

I LOVE the fit of this dress. It is flattering and comfortable. I made a size 4 and it fits just right.

Pattern

The pattern is lovely! Very clear instructions, as with most Seamwork patterns. My few notes are that I think the fabric pieces for the waistband are a bit too narrow and make sewing this portion according the the instructions extremely challenging. Next time I will add at least ¼ to ½-inch to these (width-wise) to make it easier on myself.

On a similar note, I found the bias tape used for edging the armholes a bit too narrow and that was also a bit tricky. It does give a nice flexible profile to the cap sleeve but I might experiment with a slightly wider one next time and see if that makes things a bit easier.

Difficulty

This is a relatively simple pattern as far as piecing goes. It includes a few nice finishing techniques including the cinched waistline with elastic in the back, facing of the neckline, and an invisible zipper closure. These are good skills to know so if you haven’t tried them before, this pattern would be a nice place to start.

  • Angela

    That turned out amazing. I hadn’t considered the fabric pattern line up. You look gorgeous, tough, and focused. #thesearethewaysannieslays

  • Annie

    Thank you my dear! :)