Making the Union Dress…


I’ve been meaning to make this patter ever since I saw a ready made one for sale at the knitting and sewing show at Alli Palli (Alexandra Palace).

As always, I started by copying the pattern onto a heavy duty tracing paper.  I do this for a couple of reasons; because I love to keep onto my patterns and keep them in their original condition and also so that if my size changes over the years (which unfortunately it does!) I can easily trace out another size. I love the tracing process, it allows me to spend time getting to know the pattern, I use kitchen weights and various objects to hold down the tracing paper onto the pattern.  I always use a sharp HB or B pencil and have a ruler to hand to help me on the straights. I like the house to myself and get some radio 6 on… me time!

I always wash and iron my fabric before I cut it, so that any shrinkage takes place before construction. I chose the buttons and cotton, made sure I had enough interfacing (all my prep) and then I’m ready to get stuck in cutting the fabric, transferring all the markings, button holes, darts etc… and watching all the bits satisfyingly evolve into a me sized shaped dress.

I’m really pleased with the fit, I adjusted the size from the bust to the hips by tapering the pattern from one size to one size smaller just under the darts so the skirt and the top matched up perfectly.  As always, I think I will enjoy wearing this dress more as it ages a little and the fabric softens.  I may however loose the lower side seam pockets as they are a bit too low to be practical and as there are front pockets – I will not miss the ones on the side.  This will also help the dress sit flatter around the hips.

The fabric for this is great, just a light weight linen which falls really beautifully.  I’ll wear in in Summer just as it is, but also over jeans in spring and autumn.