Sunday, 18 October 2015

Sun Frock Sew-Along Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 of my Sew-Along!!!

Quick links to Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 

Hopefully by now you have all received your pattern by email, if I have missed you or you haven't signed up yet, just shoot me an email at

This week we will be working on Pattern preparation and alteration, selecting fabric and notions.

Pattern Preparation. In the interest of making this pattern as similar to regular sizing as I can, I have not already done my usual alterations to a pattern, and so will be making these alterations along with you guys as we go. I have made these sizings to have 1 inch of wearing ease, so if you like things more fitted or less fitted, you can decide to go up or down a size, or even half a size.

So our sizes are 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44 and 46 which means the finished garment measurements for the bust will be 35, 37, 39, 41, 43, 45 and 47. The original pattern was for a 36" bust (not 34" like I said in my previous post) so I have graded down one size to a 34" and graded up to one size above my size which I usually grade up to, so we have up to a 46" bust, which I think should cover most ladies. I apologize to those out of this size range, but it is a fairly simple design if you wish to try your hand at grading for yourself.

If you are particularly short waisted, like myself, you will need to remove some of the length of the bodice pieces. I usually always need to take off 1 - 1.5 inches of length off any modern patterns, so for this one I am removing 1 inch in length. To make this alteration to your pattern piece, you cut through the middle of your pattern piece and overlap them by 1" and tape into place.

Alternatively, you could just fold your pattern piece with a 1/2" fold. You will need to do this to both your front and back bodice pieces.

If you are long waisted, you will need to do the opposite, by cutting through the middle of the pattern piece and spreading the top and bottom apart. Use another piece of paper underneath to fill in the gap and sticky tape down.

If you normally need to do a FBA, as this is such a simple pattern, I would recommend using the next size up of the front bodice piece, and making the dart deeper at the waist. For a SBA use the next size down and make the dart shallower at the waist. If you do use a bigger or smaller size bodice front, make sure you cut the corresponding size of bodice front trim.

Ditto for the skirt pieces. If you are particularly short or tall, please check the skirt length before you cut. This Skirt is drafted to be 27" long when finished. Just add or cut off length at the bottom of the skirt to suit your measurements (desired length, plus 2" for seam and hem allowance) Now if you are particularly endowed in the booty/hips area like me, you may wish to add more volume to your skirt pieces, as this is a fairly simple A-line skirt. I will be adding a bit extra width to make mine closer to a 1/2 circle skirt.

Lastly, before you can cut you fabric, you need to think about your back fastening. This Pattern includes enough space at the back for an overlapping button closure. If you would rather a Zip closure at the back, you will need to remove some of the width at the center back seam, however, this can be left until after the bodice is constructed and the fit checked if you prefer, you will also not need to cut out the back facing piece.

Now for fabric and notion selection. As this is a sundress, I think it really lends itself to a nice light cotton, however, this is really down to your own personal preference. This dress would also look quite fetching in a satin with contrasting trim, or a heavier fabric if you live in a cooler climate. You will also need some bias tape, piping cord and a few buttons to coordinate with your fabric. 1.5-2m of each of the bias tape and piping cord will be more than enough, and the amount of buttons will depend on their size. If they are quite large you could get away with 3 or 4, but if they are smaller you may need up to 8. I wouldn't recommend very small buttons for this dress,  as larger buttons are needed  to balance the 2" button overlap. If you do wish to use buttons on the smaller side, you may want to reduce the width of this overlap section. You may also wish to put a few hooks and eyes or snap fasteners in the skirt closure, or even a zip.

Next week we will be discussing pre-washing your fabric and cutting out your pattern from your fabric. If you do wish to make a muslin, and the pattern makes sense to you, you can go ahead and do that now, or wait for the next post.



  1. Fabric washed, pattern printed and cut, fabric cut. Sorry I am a little ahead, but I don't get many chances to sew, so I wanted to do what I could while I could.

  2. Good thing I read this. I would have cut out the back facing. Wimp that I am, doing a zipper. Not enough experience with bound buttonholes and my 1925 Hand Crank is not equipped with a buttonholer (that I know of). :-)