Butterick Pattern B6655 in Organic cotton fabric
When you think of Jaycotts what instantly springs to mind? Most people answer sewing machines, patterns or thread. Well yes, that is perfectly correct , But when did you last look at their website, because they are now major suppliers of exceptionally high quality organic cotton fabric.
The fabric I used to make my dress is a wonderful organic cotton. You can view the range available on Organic Cotton from Jaycotts
The photo above shows just a very small selection available , there are more on the link and even more instore
Crossweave fabrics are much like chambray in that the warp and weft are different colours. In this particular fabric the different coloured threads are woven in such a way as to produce spots on both sides. The fabric is fully reversible giving you endless options for use.
Before you do anything else you must wash and iron the fabric , this is to get rid of excess dye and to allow the fabric to shrink. Do not skip this step as fabrics can shrink as much as 10% during the first wash
The pattern I decided to use is this very elegant summer dress, Butterick 6655
At first glance the pattern looks complicated with a button front. But it is actually deceptive as the front band and buttons are purely decorative. The dress fastens with a back zip. I feel that anyone with a basic knowledge sewing can achieve very good results with this pattern and fabric combination.
Be warned that this dress is very fitted so take your measurements carefully and compare them to the pattern. If in any doubt whatsoever go up a size and if you make a toile first you will make me - and you - very happy.
I automatically cut the side seams 1" wide, sometimes I need it, sometimes I don't but its nice to be able to loosen the fit at times. For example I like day dresses a little looser and comfortable for sitting , more formal dresses I like tailored to my figure. Plus if you have a wider seam allowance there is room for adjustment later.
What is your preferred method of inserting a zipper? I feel that sewing ought to be a pleasurable experience and if for example the pattern suggests an invisible zipper and you absolutely hate doing them, choose another method.
There is a fabulous choice of zips so go with whatever insertion method you like best, do look at the huge selection of zips available all manner of Zips
I have recently started to sew lapped zippers because I like the way they look, and if I am sewing a vintage 40s style garment ,which I enjoy wearing, the method is more true to that era.
Invisible zips are not hard to sew and they do tend to have nicer pulls, but I really do believe that patterns are a guide and it is up to the maker to personalise it however they want.
My lapped zip is just as neat as an invisible zip
There is a fair bit of topstitching and I like to use a Patchwork foot with edge guide Brother Edgestitch foot as it makes it so very easy to produce even topstitching
An alternative is to use something which sticks to your machine bed to guide your stitching, like this Clover Stitch Guide set for example.
I wanted my topstitching to be very subtle but you could really make a feature of it by using a thicker thread and a contrasting colour and/ or one of the decorative stitches on your sewing machine.
The buttons were gifted to me by the lovely Jennifer who works at Jaycotts
I am using an expandable sewing gauge to measure the distance between each button acurately.
another option is a sewing gauge like this one Hemline sewing gauge
the pattern called for 12 buttons but I chose larger ones and 12 was too many, so in the end I used 9 of these large buttons, odd numbers look better I feel.
A lucky find
I found this new (with tags ) but rather dull linen jacket in a charity shop and knew that with minor restyling it would match the dress perfectly. The fabric is the same colour as the dress fabric,
firstly I whip stitched over all the topstitching with a blue button thread, then I changed the button to match the ones on the dress, and it is as simple as that. It just took a couple of evenings to complete
You may not like wearing a jacket but you cannot argue that it is a useful addition and for £4 it was a real bargain. Personally I wear jackets a lot, I cannot have too many.
The laid back feel of this organic cotton fabric coupled with a beautiful dress fabric makes for a very wearable summer dress.
For comfort in hot weather don't make the dress too tight , if you do it alters the wearability from everyday to smart and that is perfectly fine but not what I was aiming for . My clothes need to be functional and comfortable enough for everyday wear but nice enough for lunches with my friends.
Think about how you like to dress and ask yourself if it suits your lifestyle now. You should be able to put on anything in your wardrobe and know that it looks good , is practical and makes you feel good. If it doesn't then it may be time for a major sort out.
If you have any questions about any of the products used in making this dress then do contact Jaycotts.co.uk you can telephone on
Thank you for reading this blog.