Tuesday, 2 December 2014

My First Swirl

But certainly not the last!

So I finished sewing up my Swirl a few weeks ago, but have been so busy, I haven't had a chance to blog about it (or take decent photos wearing it) before now.

I was uncertain about the swirl at first, but now I love it, and will be altering the pattern a bit and making many more. The first time I wore it out, I got so many compliments! And it is just so easy to throw on.

Last time I blogged about my Swirl, I only had an embellished bodice with no facings.

So Firstly, I sewed the facings together and put Bias on the raw edge (that wont be sewn to the neckline)

Sewing Binding onto the Facing

Front and Back facings together with binding

Then I cut out my Pockets, as I hadn't done that yet. I decided to use a plain white cotton to line them, to save a bit of my fabric, so hopefully I will have enough left over for a matching bag. I then sewed each pocket together, leaving open a gap, then turned them right side out, pressed and added a bit of bias for decoration. All of these steps can be found here

cutting out the pocket pieces

Sewing the pockets

Turned right side out and ironed

Bias Binding added to the top middle seam

Then came to sewing the 4 skirt pieces together, which I then finished the edges with my pinking shears and Ironed the seams open. Next thing to do is 2 narrow hems either side and a wide hem along the bottom. I wasn't sure I could do a double fold 1 inch hem on a curve with my fabric, but with plenty of steam from my Iron like Beccie suggested, it didn't go too bad (I think I ended up with 2 pucker/pleats in total) The skirt is then sewn to the bodice, easing in 2 sections at the sides of the front with gathering stitches. Beccie explains it much better in her post.

Sewing the skirt pieces together

Pinking the Edges
Then I Pinned the pockets where I wanted them and top stiched them in Place, followed by carefully hand stitching the back facings in place.

Top stitching the Pockets in place

Hand sewing the Back Facings in place

Once the dress was all together, I tried it on, and realised I a couple of problems. Firstly, the bodice was too long on me, so I had to unpick the waist seam, shorten and redo it.

Finished Bodice
Secondly, it was a bit too big. Not a huge problem due to the wrap design of the dress, but it meant when I pinned the back of the neck (where the button is supposed to be) then tied the dress on, the back got really warped and weird looking. I couldnt just move the button further along, due to the curve of the neckline not matching up, so to solve the problem, I copied an alteration that I saw on a vintage swirl listed for sale on Etsy that one of the members of the swirl sew-along had posted the link to. I folded down each corner (as much as the facings would let me) and tried it on. It worked much better, and looked pretty cute too!

Bodice back, with a slight alteration.
I have since sewn a red and white polka dot button to the middle of each corner (and through the bodice) to help it keep its shape.

I wore my Swirl all day a few Sundays ago, and then Monday evening 2 weeks ago to my local CWA meeting, mentioned previously here and got plenty of comments on it. As soon as I have made the few changes to the pattern, I will certainly be sewing more of these dresses. They are comfy and easy to wear, and, when made of a light breathable fabric like cotton, they are perfect for an Aussie Summer

Beccie has just posted a sew along round up so go here to see everyone's Swirls from around the world!

Dixie O'Dare


  1. I love the alteration you made to the back! How genious!! And so cute!

    1. Thanks Kacy! It was the only way I could think to make the back sit flat without completely taking it apart.