Megan Dress

Hooray! First make out of Tilly’s book, “Love at First Stitch”.

(Please excuse poor lipstick choice and wet hair)


I seem to have a terrible habit of adding work for myself. Quick make you say? Nah… I’ll fully line it with terrible fraytastic stash left overs. And add a lot of sequins. And horsehair braid. And hand pick and bead the zipper.

Actually, I really like hand sewing in front of Netflix box sets, so adding bazillions of bling to a project legitimises my  Orange is The New Black habit.  Also, this dress is functioning as a last hoorah before my sewing clobber gets packed up and shipped to Singapore – so a blingy sampler of all things spangly and over complicated it is then.

The fabric is a Cotton Sateen from Abakhan fabrics on Oldham Road in Manchester. It was some ridiculous price – £2.30 a metre if memory serves.  The genius thing is that it’s left over fabric from my flower girls’ dresses.  This dress is actually FREE!  And I still have enough to do the Delphine skirt that also features in this book.  Gadzooks!  Naughty Butterick and their profligate pattern layouts….


One of my flower girls.


I don’t know what the DICKENS I did when I traced/cut the pattern, but I found that the skirt part came up too small against the bodice. I unpicked the seams and redid them with a 1cm seam allowance.  Obviously the same issue happened with the lining, and I really couldn’t face another wrestlemania with it, so I took it to the bin and threw it inside, feeling guilty all the while and expecting to set off loud “alert here’s a lazy wasteful sewist” type alarm.  Fully lined had now become bodice lined.  Here’s a useful post by the ladies over at By Hand London on how to line a bodice with sleeves.  When I tried it on before putting the zip in, it came up a bit big, so I did a 2cm seam.  Weird operator error at work I think, and it’s frustrating because I can’t work out where the mistake came in and now the seams don’t all match up.  Boo.


But look at that hand picked zipper!  I love it!  Worth the 2 episodes of Nurse Jackie…..  I seem to have a bit of a hybrid way of putting in zips that uses a machine and hand finishing.  When I am feeling braver about all of this blogging shenanigans, I’ll put my head above the parapet and do a tutorial.  Here’s what gave me the idea about the added sequins in the first place.


I felt like the hem could do with a bit of extra oomph in this fabric so I added a horse hair braid. This is totally my favourite way of finishing a hem – it’s fast and precise and the horsehair does the hard work for you.  Here’s a neat tutorial form Gertie.  Rather than top stitch it, I blind stitched the hem by hand, because I am obsessed with invisible hems and I needed to watch some Netflix.


I stumbled across this tutorial form A Pair and a Spare on how to add large sequins to a neckline. I sewed them on before I attached the lining to the inside of the dress, so the lining protects the stitching behind the sequins.    I also added some to the hem, to give it a “Itinerant Fortune Teller’s” look.  Mega – I like the way they rattle slightly when I run for the bus.  Not in those shoes, obviously.  They are strictly for sitting down engagements.




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