Dresses

My androgynous trapeze dress

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that my usual style is very girly, fairly structured, and loud prints are my fave. Today is a total departure from all of that. I’ve been after a very clean and simple, basic, androgynous dress for a while. Sometimes I just want my outfits to blend in and be uber comfortable. This dress ticks all these boxes.

I’ve used the New Look K6340, which appears to have been a freebie with Sew magazine, and cut a straight size 14 – which is very generous. I’ve chosen view A, and removed the patch pockets (in keeping with my mission to make a really bland dress). The pattern is a trapeze dress and has no zip or fastening, so has some really clear lines and is a great pattern for any beginner. You might also recognise this fabric, its more of the Abakhan’s fabric, this time in grey.

The dress has an unusual neckline, which is a scoop neck with a shark bite (I just googled that to find out what New Look called it, I’ve never heard that phrase before!), it just means that there is a very narrow v-neck down the centre of the dress. The shark bite neckline caused a few headaches as the pattern dictates that you cut the pattern piece as a scoop neck, sew on the neckline facing following some stitch lines to give you the shark bite and then cut through it. I didn’t do this very accurately and as a result there was little symmetry and it looked like a bodge job. So I did I bit of unpicking, fixing, and drew my own stitch lines on and this has worked much better.

The other feature of this pattern is that it is is given its shape by 2 ties that go from the side seams at the waist and can be tied at the back, or are just long enough to tie at the front. This is where I have a bit of a confession, on my mission to make a really simple dress I decided I didn’t need to make the ties on the dress, so didn’t cut out the ties, but I did have the sense to try the dress on once I had pinned it and realised that if I didn’t add ties this dress would have swamped me and been no better than wearing an actual tent. So my ties are all my own making (or as I like to say I drafted my own pattern pieces!). I decided how long they should be and how wide, and just sewed up some tubes, turned them and sewed up the angled edges. I have no idea if the pattern should allow for the ties to stretch all the way around to the front, but I like that it gives me options.

I decided to use some bias binding to finish my armholes, and once I’d done my first line of stitching, I decided to make a departure from the pattern once again and decided I would sew the bias binding to the outside to make a feature of it. clearly I’d forgotten I was trying to make the world’s simplest dress. I liked this finish so much that I went back to the neckline to add a bias binding finish to the neckline, which I think looks great, but was a total pain to sew because there were so many layers to sew through: dress front facing; interfacing; and seams. If I had decided to do this earlier I just wouldn’t have added a facing, but it sits just fine on my chest as it is.

Overall I love this pattern. I would quite like to make this dress in a strong pattern print, and also in a very floaty fabric to see how that changes the drape of the dress. I think the hemline sits at just the right length on my knee, and its such a comfy and easy dress to wear. Perfect for this summer heat we are experiencing, and also I think that with an anti-static slip, will be great with thick tights and ankle boots. I’m really pleased with this dress, the clean lines and the simplicity could have left room for dodgy sewing skills to show, but I feel like I’ve made a really good job with this dress.

 

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