I thought I’d have some fun with this funky alphabet cotton jersey gifted to me by http://www.Minerva.com in exchange for a post on their website, and make a kind of smock dress with a bit of frill at the waist and skirt hem.
It’s a beautiful quality fabric of 96% cotton and 4% elastane with a good deal of stretch.
I used the Wiksten Shift Top for a bodice. I cropped the bodice 18” from the high neck mark. And I added cuffs to the sleeveless version. I also added the neck band.
This fabric has all my favourite colours, orange, deep red, bluey-turquoise and grey. And I had this striped cotton jersey in my stash that toned in perfectly with it. I thought the alphabet print might be a bit too much all over.
The skirt is two rectangles with pockets added. I did a lettuce edge finish on the waistline of the skirt before attaching. Then I gathered the skirt onto elastic the same width as the bodice. I attached the skirt by having the wrong side of the skirt face the right side of the bodice. I then zigzagged it on sewing over the strip of elastic I had already attached. You’re right if you think that all sounds a bit fiddly! It was, but it was satisfying when it seemed to work out in the end!
I did a lettuce edge on the end of the skirt too.
For the lettuce edges, I used the rolled edge setting on my overlocker but put the differential down to its lowest. I used the narrowest stitch length possible (just under 1) on the rolled-edge setting and a stitch width of 3.5. I used a blue serger thread in the two loopers and standard turquoise thread in the single needle.
I gently pulled the fabric as I was sewing to exaggerate the effect. After, I stretched out the hem about 1.5” at a time, to exaggerate it a bit more.
When the dress was finished it all looked just a bit too baggy so I took in the side seam on the bodice. I started at the edge of the sleeve, curving into the waist, and out to meet the start of the pocket on the skirt. This made the bodice 4” narrower all round at the waist join – using a 1” seam allowance at that point.
I expect to get a lot of wear out of this in our cool Irish summers and I might even wear it before then with a red cardigan and tights.