Sunday, 5 October 2014

A Parfait in Corduroy, please

You might remember that I sewed the Parfait twice already, once in linen and once in cotton voile. I have worn both versions loads in the summer and decided to make a autumn/winter version as well. To add warmth and to prevent sticking of the dress to tights, I lined the dress.

Fabric: I used a soft baby rib corduroy for the shell. The color is fuchsia red (thus very difficult to photograph) and I brought it from Ukraine when visiting Leschas family over Easter. The dress is lined with a super slippery acetate lining. It was a nightmare to sew. A fraying nightmare. But it looks pretty with these massive red flowers and I could well imagine it as a bathrobe :) The facing fabric is some cotton lawn leftover I had in my stash - liberty copy cotton lawn. I used it for lining the pockets as well.

Embellishments: The buttons are made from coconut shells and I bought them a year ago in Canterbury. That brings me to the question: Can I put coconut buttons in the washing machine?


SHELL: I didn't follow the instructions and decided to press all seams open to reduce bulk as much as possible. To do so, I first finished all the raw edges with my overlocker before stitching the seams. I also trimmed the seams in the interfaced straps and pockets super small to avoid any problems with stitching the buttonholes. There weren't any :)

LINING:  I cut the whole dress pattern (minus the straps) in lining fabric as well. I used french seams to enclose the raw edges fully because these were fraying a lot. I couldn't overlock or zig-zag because the sewing machine ate my fabric. To say the acetate didn't press well would be understated. It didn't press at all, so putting in nice french seams was a challenge.

I finally understood how very very important it is to use the right needle size when sewing. I tried to sew lining with a big needle - it got stuck in the machine. Then lazy me tried to sew corduroy with a small needle which lead to skipped stitches.

I finished the hem of the lining with my rolled hem food. Which turned out ok but not great. Any tips about how to stitch a nicely rolled hem over side seams? 

coconut buttons!

Facing: I didn't plan to use a facing. I thought it would be alright to just use a lining. The lining would have been enough to give the neckline a nice finish, but it wouldn't have been stable enough to stabilise it. I realised this when trying on the dress. The neckline was out of shape and the whole bodice looked saggy. So I cut a facing, interfaced it and sewed it to the shell. I was planning to hide it below the lining, but sewed lining and facing in the wrong order, ups.

I've sewn the side seams with an 1/2" seam allowance only so that I can wear a jumper or blouse underneath the dress. Styled with black tights and boots, I think the dress is a great autumn/winter outfit.

Now have a look at this nice zipper: The only zipper I had on hand was a white one.

But I managed to make it completely invisible, phew.

invisible zip

Now I'm leaving you with another pic that's look like I was in an enchanted forest :) You will see this fabric soon again, because I had enough to cut out an EXTRA Kelly Skirt. Ah, I just love it when you can squeeze an extra garment out. And I had only 1.50 meter. And as it was end of roll, there were also some stains on it - stains that you can hide on the insides of waistbands :) 


  1. This dress is beautiful, despite all the issues you had during the process it turned out really well. You've done such a nice work with the zipper, I still have not managed to have an invisible invisible zipper ;).

  2. This dress is just perfect on you. I love the bright colour and it will definitely brighten up the winter days. Great job on the zip and the coconut buttons are very cute. No idea on whether you can wash them though...

  3. The last picture looks exactly like an enchanted forest :) Lovely dress, so nice to have one warm enough for fall.

  4. I love this dress! I'm a big fan of corduroy, I will def have to dig out my black cord pinafore dress for the winter soon :)

  5. Ooooh, I love it - definitely a great dress for autumn and winter layering. Well done on getting an invisible zip that's actually invisible - you'd never know it was white. I love the buttons, not sure if you can wash them or not though, I hope you find the answer!

  6. What a great dress! I always wanted to make this pattern in corduroy and never got around to it. The color you chose is just perfect!

  7. Gorgeous - that invisible zipper is amazing, great work. Lovely to meet you last Saturday!

  8. What a lovely autumnal dress and great photos. I have just found your blog and have really enjoyed looking through your projects - you have a really engaging style.

  9. Cute, winter appropriate and a surprise lining! Love it!


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