Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Asymmetrical Cowl and Gather Dress - Construction

Hello there!

I am missing a photo for this post as it's on my camera, which I've left at home. But I wanted to get this finished by the end of the year because as irrational as it seems, the start of a new year feels like this last project should be finished, even though it marks an arbitrary position of the earth in relation to the sun as a significant point. I also know that for some of my readers, it has already ticked over. None of that is the point.

On to the making!

Starting with the prepared pattern:

I should add, put markers on the back piece side seam as well as the front. If you placed your dots to gather between 3.5cm above and below the waistline as I did, put dots 3.5cm above and below the waistline here. If you put them 4cm above and below, put them 4cm above and below. These dots are a guide - you will gather the front piece to fit between those dots and match it to line them up.

So dots on the back:
Cut out the pieces, including a binding strip for the back neckline. So that's a 4cm wide strip, folded over and cut marginally shorter than the neckline that looks like this:

To prepare the back, sew the darts and bind the neckline.
See binding options here by hand or machine option here.

To prepare the front, gather between the dots first, by using two lines of gathering stitches. The distance will match the dots on the back piece, so 7cm in my case because 3.5cm + 3.5cm = 7cm. The side seams should be the same size once the gathering is in place.

This is already sewn together - that's the missing photo. But the gathers should look like this, with 2 lines of gathering stitches.

Once that is complete, construct the cowl neckline. Despite the twist, it is exactly the same as for the simple cowl tee.

Next, add the sleeves (I used the flat method) if you want them. Then sew the side seams, hem the sleeves or arm hole, and hem the bottom of the dress. I opted to baste the side seams and try it on first, so that I could adjust the gather if I wanted to (and I did tweak it a little). Initially I made it without sleeves, and found that with the addition of sleeves it needed to be shorter to balance the garment.

I was being a bit fussy on this one, so I hand sewed my hems with herringbone / hem stitch, so that the hem is as near to invisible as possible.

It was a reasonably quick construction (hand sewing aside). I think now that I've drafted the pattern, I could probably whip another one up in a couple of hours.

See you all next year!


  1. Very nice hand stitching!
    I know what you mean about wanting to finish projects off before the end of the year.
    As you can see by the time of this comment my NYE is being spent on the sofa with the computer! My other half is out DJ-ing and with the two little ones asleep upstairs this is my lot!
    Happy new year!

    1. LOL. Well, we had a fairly quiet one and it was lovely. :)