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Made by a Fabricista: Dresses for Transitioning to Fall

I love wearing dresses year round. Jeans are always the last thing that I would prefer wearing nowadays. Maxi dresses are a perfect transition for when the weather begins to change. Both of these dresses featured in this blog are awesome for both summer & fall. 

The first dress I will start with is, “The Shirred Dress,” By Hand London. This dress is not one of their featured patterns, but they include an extremely simple tutorial on how to create this dress. It is made with your measurements & a few rectangles. The actual shirring was a fun part. It took me awhile to do though, because I made the rows so tiny. 

To create shirred fabric, I had to wind many bobbins with elastic thread, and use a regular thread for the top. I made the stitch length a tiny bit longer, but this can vary from the differences in machines. When sewing the dress you will need to follow a guide for how you separate each line. I used my presser foot as my guide. You can stretch your fabric out as you sew along, or you can just continue along, the difference isn’t too noticeable. The fabric used is a slubbed challis found here.

So the very first measurement to create the dress is measure your bust around and multiply that by 1.5. That will be how wide your fabric will be. The length of your fabric will be based on where you was the dress to stop. The sleeve is made at 30 inches wide & 21 inches long. The thread elastic I used was .05, and I also used 3/8 elastic for the top of the sleeve & ½ at the base of the sleeve. 

You will do 20 or more rows depending on where you want it to stop and then sew the sides together. You will then create a casing for the sleeve ruffle at the bottom which is 4 inches from the hemmed bottom of the sleeve. I used bias tape to case mine, and then I proceed to thread it through with a safety pin & closed off both ends. I folded down the top edge of the sleeve & created a casing for the top elastic & after sewing, I inserted the elastic the same way. Next, I proceeded to finish off the sleeve & attach it at side seams. Very last I made a ruffle for the bottom, which was twice the circumference of the skirt & the length was based on where it hit me on my original dress & the distance to the floor. While all of this sounds complicated, it truly wasn’t, and more importantly any issues had the full tutorial is on @byhandlondon. 

My next transitioning dress is the Saltwater Slip Dress by Friday Pattern Company. This dress was fairly easy to make. It is the perfect transitioning dress, because it can be worn so many ways. It can be layered with a tee, turtleneck, or worn with a jean jacket over it. The instructions for the dress was so very easy to follow. I only had a tiny bit of trouble right around the part where you have to insert the straps into the adjustable pieces. It honestly wasn’t too bad in retrospect, it just was new & I hadn’t done anything like it before. 


The dress has optional waist ties. I moved my ties just a tiny bit lower so I could create this look of it being looser at the top of the dress & pulled tighter toward the bottom half. 

While I loved the pattern, I absolutely loved this fabric even more. It had the most beautiful transition in patterns. The middle pattern was this beautiful floral, while the top and bottom pattern was a beautiful different pattern. This would look fabric would look good in so many looks such as: skirts, tops, other dresses. It really does have options. 

MACY  @macycamile


Unfortunately Fabric Mart Fabrics sell out quickly!
You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following categories: CHALLIS, CREPE, & BLOUSE WEIGHTS.
You can also shop our collection of Friday Pattern Company patterns HERE.

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