Happy to start the Bias Dress Sew Along with Rhonda Buss leading the way to an amazing dress. The Magic Bias Dress is really fun to sew. If you are at all hesitant about sewing a bias garment, this dress is perfect to start as your first one. This post is about fabric choices. The right fabric will be key to a beautiful dress. So, let’s get to it. Here’s Rhonda!
What would make a dress magical? For most of us, a dress that fits well, is stylish, looks great on us, and is easy to sew. If you’ve been sewing for any amount of time, you know that it is a rare occasion when all of those points come together.
The Magic Bias Dress from Fashion In Harmony is a pattern that hits on every point. It’s stylish, looks great, it’s so easy to wear, and best of all, it’s a bias garment that’s also easy to cut as well as sew. The magic is in how the pattern has been designed. All of the pattern pieces are cut on the straight of grain.
The magic happens when the pieces are sewn together and the twist of the bias takes shape. Finally, a bias garment that doesn’t require a huge surface for cutting and gives the sewist the best possible chance of having a garment that truly hangs on the bias as it should!
The pattern comes in sizes ranging from small to xxlarge. When choosing the appropriate size, it is very important that you pay close attention to your measurements and those on the envelope. Note that there is considerable ease. You may be tempted to make a smaller size, but this would be a mistake. It is VERY important that there is a minimum of 3″ of ease added to your true body measurements to ensure a great fitting garment. You want the dress to skim the body and not cling to the body.
Also take note of the suggested fabrics. Stay away from knits! Remember, this is a garment that hangs on the bias. A knit fabric will stretch in a manner that will not give the intended outcome. Personally, I would also stay away from a medium weight fabric, especially for your first garment. Something like a wool crepe is going to result in a garment with less drape. Take a look at some of the beautiful rayon batiks that are on the market. This would make for a floaty and fun summer dress that will take you from the beach to dinner.
Silks, like a silk charmeuse will of course make an excellent choice. The fabric will drape and feel wonderful as it falls against the body. A polyester charmeuse would also be a nice choice. Just remember that polyester doesn’t have quite the same drape as a silk. Think about a silk chiffon, like the print below from Anna Sui. It will require a slip, but a lovely possibility.
If you are heading into winter and would like to have something you can wear now rather than later, a silk or rayon velvet would make a beautiful dress.
If you decide to make the dress out of a linen, please purchase a light weight linen, and be sure to wash and dry it prior to cutting. I might even wash it a second time just to be on the safe side.
For the sew along, I have decided to have some fun and do some pattern blocking using the 3 prints that you see below. In our next post, we will go over blocking techniques for this dress. There are a few possibilities that will make for a fun and interesting garment.
The length of the pattern is quite long. In the picture below, the dress on the left is in progress, and is also the original length of the pattern. On the right is the dress that you saw in the magazine. The dress was shortened by 6″. I highly recommend making the dress the first time without any alterations to the length until you have tried it on. The nature of a bias garment is to be pulled down by gravity. The longer the garment, the more gravitational pull. So once the garment is shortened, it may actually be a little shorter than you may have anticipated. It’s also best to not only try the garment on, but bend and sit down in the dress prior to making any alterations to the length.
The pattern offers 3 sleeve possibilities, sleeveless, the petal sleeve, and a long sleeve. We will discuss the sleeves in more depth in our next post.
In the meantime, have fun choosing your fabrics. Just remember that the 2 keys to creating a beautiful dress are choosing a fabric with a lovely drape, and making sure that you choose the appropriate size.
Until next time,