Hi! Welcome to the Dottie Angel Frockalong!
I am so excited to be making the Dottie Angel frock with you all! I am not a professional dressmaker but I do love to make clothes for myself and have been doing so for many years. I occasionally have trouble sticking to a pattern so sometimes I will show you how I do it rather than how the pattern says to do it. I hope you enjoy sewing along with Cassie and myself!
Now, some fun news! Cassie has been working hard and found some sponsors for our little Frockalong, so anyone that plays along and has a finished frock to show at the end could be in for a surprise!
Cassie will fill us all in on all the sponsor details in a dedicated post in a couple of days. How exciting!
Ok, let's get down to business! Have you got your pattern?
Picking your size – measure your bust, waist and hips. Pick the largest measurement and use that as your starting point. For me that is my bust, which probably makes it easier. Simplicity have a great guide for how to measure yourself here. If you have a bigger waist you may find it finishes baggy around the bust and shoulders. I found a great PDF here that goes over a lot of alterations you can do but for such a simple dress shape you shouldn't need to go crazy with alterations. The only change I made was to lower the front pleats which I will cover later in this post.
I also measure the actual pattern pieces to confirm that I have picked the right size. Lay the front and back pieces together, measure across the two pieces leaving off the seam allowance, double that and you have the full circumference of the dress around the bust. Put the tape measure around you bust and see if that measurement fits, don't forget to allow a couple of inches for ease. If it is too tight you may need to go up a size, if it is way to big you may need to go down a size.
In the interest of full disclosure my bust measurement is 40" and I made size M. I still had to take it in a further 1/4" down both side seams for it to fit how I like.
Fabrics – the pattern envelope gives you good ideas on what sort of fabric you should use. I used cotton patchwork fabric for two dresses and a lovely cotton viole for another. If you are wearing it in summer go for lighter fabrics that breath, like cotton and linen.
Altering pleat position – I lowered my pleats approximately 2". I'll explain how I worked it out.
1. Measure from your top of shoulder to where you want the middle of the pleats to be. I chose just under my bust, others have chosen to do the pleats at the waistline. It is purely up to you! I wanted the middle point of my pleat to be 14 1/2" down from the shoulder.
2. Find your new pleat position on the pattern with your tape measure. Then with a ruler draw in your new pleats directly below the original pleat positions.
Cutting – the only change I made was to cut the tie approx 6” shorter, unless you want to wrap the tie around your waist and tie it at the front it is going to be too long.
|Cutting for View C|
If you are making a view that requires the paper pattern piece to be shortened just fold it up on the cutting line. You might regret cutting it off later so just fold it out of the way as I have done in the picture below.
Make sure to copy markings for pocket position, pleat position and shoulder dots and fold line. You can use a water soluble pen, just be sure to get the pen mark off before you iron it as ironing could set the ink. Or you can use a chalk pencil or a Frixion pen.
To transfer markings to the other side of the dress poke a pin through the pattern and fabric to use as your guide. Fold the pattern paper back and mark where the pins are.
You also don't need to draw the whole line. For example, with the fold line for the sleeve just put a mark at the top of the should and the dot at the bottom.
Now you should be ready to start sewing!
Here's a brief outline of what we have coming up -
Wednesday is sponsor announcement day and we will explain how the prize pool will work. Cassie will also give a more in depth schedule of our future posts.
On Friday Cassie is going to cover making the pockets and show a couple of different ideas that you might like to try on your pockets.
Next Monday I will show you how to do the seams for the dress View C, the shoulders, neckline and how to do the sleeve.
There will also be a special guest post for a variation on the sleeve and more after that for finishing the dress.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask either of us.
Have fun, Jess