The French Apron Dress is our working title for this dress + T-shirt + leggings pattern.
|My own version in grays and black, popped with an orange ribbon. The little line of color is a place to have fun...and what is ribbon but narrow fabric? The central panel is a knit, cut on the cross grain as in this fabric the background color quietly morphs from white to gray running from selvedge to selvedge. This is our rayon/lycra Gloaming Knit. I used a gray/black bamboo knit dot for the t-shirt and lower panel, and a scrap of black/gray stripe for the bottom panel. This bottom panel could work in a soft woven too. The body of the dress is a black rayon/lycra. It is crucial that this back panel be very soft and drapey with good recovery.|
|My detail photos of the two bodices with the option of using a sheer mesh or a knit in the central panel.|
|There are two versions for the straps and back detailing. In the blue version on the left, there are built-in straps and the back bodice piece is solid with the bottom panel pleated into the bodice. In the black version on the right, there are separate straps which are interwoven together, and the bottom panel has elastic which forms soft gathers across the center back. The center back panel is shorter and the side seams goes toward the front. The blue version uses a bamboo (rayon)/lycra jersey (sold out), and the black uses our Black Parisian microfiber.|
You can easily adjust the length on any of the panels by adding at the hem. I'm going to try a version in a longer length.
|My detail shots of the back detailing. Sewing tips below.|
Sewing & Construction Tips
|I interfaced the pocket opening and neck edge on the dress front to stabilize and keep from stretching, using a fusible tricot cut to the shape of the pattern piece.|
|At the top edge, I used a fusible tricot cut in the most stable direction to support the edge and keep it from stretching.|
|Diagonal basting with silk thread held all the layers in place...no more shifting.|
|Interface both sides of the strap on View C, the blue version, as they support the weight of the dress. Shown here using a fusible tricot.|
I recommend cutting the straps longer than the pattern piece so it is easier to adjust the final length. The two straps have angled short edges, and you want to get them in the right place and position. Pin, then baste to prevent shifting.
|Compare the finished length of the elastic gathers to the pattern piece to be sure the proportions are right. It is important to the fit of the dress that the top edge of the center back finishes at the same measurement as the back binding. I notice that elastic stretches as it is sewn, so it is necessary to factor that in, which is why I stretch the elastic a bit as it is sewn into place. Bind the edge using a single layer wraparound binding. The binding can be stretched a bit as you sew to draw in the edge a bit more. |
Please send photos of your own version: email@example.com
We love to see your comments and hear your ideas too!