Saturday, 2 June 2012

Duchess - Part 1

I thought I would share my progress on my next dress which I have called 'Duchess', simply because it is made of a duchess satin.  Unfortunately, no matter how many different settings I try, the camera does not do justice to the gorgeous emerald green of the satin!  So just imagine a nicer colour that how it actually appears!

I am using McCall's pattern M6508 which is VERY strange. Basically it has instructions for 11 different pieces (different straps, bodices and skirts) and you pick the combination you want to make.  So as you can imagine the pattern is difficult to follow.  Like all commercial patterns anyway, it misses out key explanations and assumes a level of knowledge which a novice just does not have.  I am slowly getting over the frustration of this!

So, onto my progress.  I opted for one shoulder bodice with ruffle and short gathered skirt.  I plan on wearing it to my College of Law leavers ball in July.  Hence why I am rapidly trying to progress with it! 

I have made the main part of the front bodice and my next step is to press open all of the seams.  I am waiting for my tailor's ham to arrive in the post though (hence the bumpy seams in the photo).

I still have the one shoulder strap to finish and the side back pieces.  Each pattern piece (except the skirt) is underlined with a layer of lining and the dress is fully lined.  So far the most difficult part to make has been the ruffle.  Sewing it into the seam was a nightmare due to the poor instructions.  Anyway I finally did master it!

This is the underlining.  The lining will sit on top to hide all the seams. 


  1. That ruffle looks so pretty!

  2. Thank you!! I'm quite new to dressmaking so I thought a ruffle might make it look sophisticated without being impossible to do! I really enjoy reading your blog, you must be very busy. The rolled hem foot is very impressive, I must buy one haha x

  3. Hi Charlotte, I can't believe that this is only the second dress you have made! You have done a beautiful job. I'm a professional & know good work when I see it. I might be able to help you in your quest to learn to make your own patterns if you haven't found a course yet (I'm based in Sale, Manchester.) I love your blog too.
    Happy sewing from Sue

  4. Hi Sue, it's lovely to hear from you, and with such kind comments as well! Thank you very much. I haven't found a course for pattern making so I'm definitely interested. Perhaps you could give me a few more details? I live in Prestwich so only a 20 mins drive to Sale which is fine for me to do. I'll look forward to hearing from you, Charlotte x