Truffle dress

It’s wedding season! And I’m really looking forward to celebrating with good friends this summer. But I don’t have any decent wedding clothes… so I decided to make a dress!

I have a bad habit of buying new patterns all the time even though I haven’t made half of the ones I already own. I’m really trying to save money (y’know, one day I’d like to buy a house and all that) so I’ve forbidden myself from doing this until I’ve caught up with my current pattern collection. This includes the Colette Sewing Handbook, which comes with some patterns. I’ll be honest, I’m not that keen on most of the patterns in the book (I mostly use it as a kind of sewing textbook) but I do like the Truffle dress. Here’s my attempt.

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The fabric is some kind of lightweight shiny thing from Walthamstow market. I can’t remember what it is or how much it was (no more than £5/metre though). It frays a lot!

I made a toile out of an old duvet cover. I found the neckline a bit high for my liking and lowered it slightly (you can see this on the right in the image below) but other than that I liked the fit and cut a straight size 10. No full bust adjustment!

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It’s fairly simple to sew and didn’t take me too long to put together, but when I tried the dress on I realised that the back neckline gapes quite a bit. I awkwardly tried to demonstrate this below! My usual technique of holding the toile closed behind my back (which you can see in action in the image above) let me down in this instance. I really wish I had a dress form to help with this kind of fitting issue. Maybe I should be sewing zips on my toiles. Does anyone else do this?

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Anyway, I unstitched the zip about halfway, cut out some of the excess fabric, and then re-stitched it. I was being a bit lazy and couldn’t be bothered to re-do the whole zip. The dress would have been better if I did re-do it, but it doesn’t show enough for me to regret my shortcut!

Here it is after my DIY zip rescue.

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Recently I’ve been getting really fed up with the way my seams look on the inside of clothes I’ve made. I use the zig-zag stitch on my machine to finish the raw edges as I don’t have an overlocker, but it’s just not tidy enough for me. I tried really hard to keep all the edges neat with this dress, particularly as the fabric frays a lot. I used french seams for the side seams, and enclosed the raw edges within the bodice lining. The only place I couldn’t hide the raw edge completely was for the back seam below the zip. I turned the raw edges under to hide them. You can see all the inside seams below.

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The floaty attachment thing (that’s what we’ll call it) was very easy to sew into the dress – it’s sewn into the waist seam and the side seam.

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I tried it out in London for the day, but the crazy wind made it difficult to get a decent picture. It’s the first time I’ve sewn with such a slippery fabric and I’m pretty happy with it. I love the look of the fabric and the way it drapes. Hopefully I’ll get time to make a few more dresses for the summer of weddings as well. 🙂

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14 thoughts on “Truffle dress

  1. I love your dress to the point that I reaaaaally want one!! I love the fabric, the fit, the floaty bit… It’s gorgeous!!
    I also get that back neck gaping problem, it’s so annoying! Maybe we should tack zips to our toiles…

    1. Thank you! 🙂 It’s a really nice pattern, really easy! It’s a shame I’m not so keen on the others in the book but it’s a useful book anyway with sections on how to do pattern adjustments and so on.

      And yes, I think I’ll have to try to put the zip on the toile sometimes. I’ve tried pinning it before but just end up stabbing myself in the back!

  2. Hi there 🙂 Your dress is a lovely fit. I just wanted to comment on your zip issue. A dressform isn’t much help with fitting to be honest – they are rarely close enough in posture etc. Best option is to pin or tack a zip into your practice bodice. Most people have an upper back curve that alot of patterns don’t account for!

    1. Thank you! And thanks for your advice about the zip, I’ll save the money instead of buying a dress form then! I have tried pinning a zip in place before but just ended up stabbing myself with pins when I tried it on. I think I’ll have a go at tacking the zip on next time. 🙂

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