The Staple Dress

I went to Columbus last week and picked up April Rhodes‘ The Staple Dress pattern at Sew to Speak. I also found a lovely voile in the shop. It is an Alexander Henry print called Lydia.

The Staple Dress by April Rhodes. Fabric is Lydia by Alexander Henry.

The Staple Dress by April Rhodes. Fabric is Lydia by Alexander Henry.

Sew to Speak had the same fabric in blues and purples, but there was not enough to make the dress, so I took this colour way instead. I like it a lot!

The Staple Dress with no shirring.

The Staple Dress with no shirring.

This is after initial construction. The shoulders have French seams and the neck and armholes are finished using self-binding. I discovered later that much of my armhole binding had not been caught in the topstitching, so I topstitched a second row parallel to the first to finish the raw edges. The rest of the seams were serged. There are also side seam pockets. The pattern suggests stopping here and trying a belt, but there is just too much fabric for that to look like anything other than a tent!

One row of shirring.

One row of shirring.

I felt that one row of shirring did not give much of a waistline. Shirring was accomplished by hand-winding a bobbin with elastic thread. The elastic thread really gathers up the fabric. It was pretty amazing to watch it happen!

Three rows of shirring.

Three rows of shirring.

I put two more rows of shirring, one above and one below the first row. I spaced them 0,5 cm (1/4 inch) apart. I felt it still needed more waist definition.

Five rows of shirring.

Five rows of shirring.

I added two more rows, spaced the same distance, above and below the previous rows. It gives a nice definition to the waist and also creates a blousing effect. Much better than a belt!

Finished!

Finished!

Armholes fixed, and I actually did a hem by machine!

This is a cute dress for summer and I cannot wait to wear it! There are many ways to adapt the pattern, including changing the neckline, leaving out the pockets or changing the hem. The pattern includes a drop hem, aka the mullet hem, as an option. The Staple Dress is a great pattern for beginners, as there is a lot of guidance in the instructions.

Be careful tracing the pattern: parts 1 & 2 are on different pages. The bodice and skirt, back and front, are cut as one piece, but are printed separately. I traced the skirt and bodice that were on the same page, but they were not the correct match. I traced the front bodice to the back skirt and could not figure out why they did not line up. This is not the fault of the pattern; it is clearly written to join part 1 to part 2. It is down to user error and a desire to get started!

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