Stress free Giselle dresses: ONE Pattern TWO Takes

Hello everyone!

I am excited to share my last entry for IPM2015 over at The monthly stitch. I cant believe IPM is nearly over – its been a blast so far and I have added some really great pieces to my evergrowing handmade wardrobe. The Pattern I chose for 1 pattern 2 Takes is Kate and Rose’s Giselle dress.

Decided on this pattern as I have made a winter Giselle before here for Froctober. I love and wear this dress regularly. Making both dresses was stress free.PicMonkey Collage

Dress 1 is view A with the shaped midriff. I made it in linen. The linen was dyed Jeans blue using Dylon fabric dye. I am very pleased with the result. I knew I wanted to use the decorative stitches on my machine to create a feature of what was otherwise a plain dress. So using my colour wheel I narrowed down to three colours which I auditioned on scraps and decided on  mustard gold thread. Its spun polyester from my stash – nothing fancy. While trying out the stitches it it occured to me that the stitches would look good on the V neck as well. I played around with the settings and got a size of stars I liked. For the bias binding I made linen binding but I thought how cute would it be to have some contrast floral binding instead and whoop whoop! A lovely inside with floral contrasts.

As much as I love my winter Giselle I have always felt that it needed pockets so for this one  I drafted some pockets to go in the side seams. But to give them more support I drafted them so the top part of the pocket is also on the waist. I am hoping it will reduce gaping when pocket is in use. For the pockets, left over scraps from my Granville shirt were used – a fabric I love dearly. It cotton poplin so a good match for linen.

For the hem it had to be three lines of star stitching. They are not the same size each gets slightly smaller. Its a teeny tiny detail but I love it. Which leads me to my top tips for sewing a decorative hem (it was a steep learning curve for me).

1. Always start with a full bobbin. The last thing you want is to run out and have to loose your setting while you refill a bobbin.

2. At the end leave long thread tails so you can thread a needle and neatly move thread behind and then cut. Makes for a neat finish.

3. Steam, not press, but steam to set the stitches on both sides. Its a nice luxe finish. (less flat).

Not much else to say except that we were in Essex last weekend and took advantage to get some location shots 😉

Dress 2 is view B which is a sleeveless maxi dress with empire waist and tiered skirt. The fabric is a delicious scrummy cotton lawn! Hello new love of my sewing life! Cutting into lawn: orgasmic!. Sewing lawn: orgasmic! Its such a fantastic material to work with! I honestly dont know why its taken me so long to get round to this marvellous fabric! Speaking of which I picked this up at Leeds market. At £7/m it was a splurge for me but those colours! When I bought the fabric I had no idea what to do with it but when this challenge popped up the haze lifted! Only problem was I didnt have enough fabric. The skirt would be fuller but I made do with what I had. It still looks good.

I used black satin bias binding for armholes and neckline. For the contrast empire waist I wanted to add a bit of texture to it and used the decorative top stitcing. The only disappointment was the black contrast fabric which I purchased on Ebay sold as 100% cotton poplin. But I dont think its 100% cotton because when I used the cotton setting on my iron it burnt the fabric. I think its actually polycotton. Its stiff and unyielding compared to the lawn. Ah well you live and learn. Its still a fun dress. Lush to wear and so comfortable!

I love these dress and they are perfect for summery hot days. Now come on Summer I am ready and waiting for you! Pretty please come. We in the sewing community have made so many lovely things for you. Have you made something waiting for summer to come too?

Thanks ever so much for stopping by! Happy sewing everyone!




43 thoughts on “Stress free Giselle dresses: ONE Pattern TWO Takes

  1. These are fabulous dresses, I love all the details. The gold against blue is perfect. I love how you “auditioned” the colours!
    Summer has come where I am in the south, it was 22 degrees at 9am a couple of mornings ago! Woohoo!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I honestly don’t know how you do it. I think you must have more hours in the day than us ordinary mortals! These dresses look great on you. The photograph in the wheat field is very atmospheric and I love the stars!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thanks Janey! These were so easy and quick to make since I have the pattern before plus no fastenings like zips or buttons make for even speedier finish😃.


    1. Have you seen Kate & Rose’s embroidery patterns? They made me want to learn embroidery too. I imagine embroidering a peter pan collar…..wish there were more hours in the day!


    1. Thanks Clarinda! This is a wheat field across the road from my aunts place. Its truly beautiful there. I hope I win some free patterns too😃.


  3. I love the relaxed 70s vibe of both dresses – I’m seriously impressed that you managed all 4 challenges in IPM – I have run out of steam for the final one (unless I manage to finish two shirts before Sunday…)


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m in awe of your IPM productivity and every single garment has been amazing, you look adorable in the linen dress! Thanks for the tips on decorative stitches, I very nearly did a love heart border on my Son’s Scout blanket but he stopped me just in time, I’m now officially at the embarrassing mother stage!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These are both so pretty, Hila! I love the decorative stitching you did one the blue one. I am also a big fan of cotton lawn– it’s really so dreamy to wear and easy to work with. I have a goal of making the Kate & Rose Roza top with one of her embroideries down the front. I hope I can find the time to do it soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was drawn to the Giselle dress but was scared because I didn’t see any versions online not made by the pattern creator. I just don’t trust a designer to tell you if something is impossible to sew. I love your versions and now the Giselle is next on my list!

    Liked by 1 person

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