Monday, 18 January 2016

Slow Sewing

The act of sewing is something I do for me, regardless of who I sew for. It is my happy place, my recharging station and my creative outlet all in one, and I love it. Sometimes I just want to slow down and enjoy a project as it is coming together.

This was one of those projects.

This is M6696, the #1 sewing blogger pattern of 2015. It's a classic and cute shirtdress with both vintage- and mens-wear inspired details and variations, perfect for the intermediate or advanced sewist. 

It may not look that special from afar, but this dress is full of little hand-stitched details.

The most striking feature is perhaps the yoke, being covered in navy sashiko-style embroidery. I first saw this kind of embroidery on Purl Soho, and liked the idea of the simple lines of stitches creating a much more complex pattern. I drew the pattern myself based on the "hana bishi" design and transferred it to my fabric with a transfer pencil. I found the stitching very calming and meditative - just what I needed.

All topstitching is also done by hand with a running stitch to mimic the embroidery. I used a contrasting navy broadcloth to make the piping, bias tape and inner facings for the yoke, collar stands and waistband.

The main fabric is a cotton chambray from my stash, bought 2 years ago at Stoffmarkt Holland as 2 coupons of 1,5 m each. I used one up entirely and a small corner of the second. I think one piece of 1,7 m had been enough for the whole dress. The buttons are from City Stoffer here in Aarhus.

This was not my first time making this pattern. Last summer I had a week long sewcation with my mother and had her help me with the fitting before I made a full, wearable muslin. My measurements put me between size 14 and 16, but based on the flat pattern I made the muslin a size 10 bust with 12 waist/hip. For this version, I took the waist in making it more like a straight size 10.

My only other fit alterations was to remove 3 inches of gathering from center back, rounding the vertical bust dart a smidge and to take a 1 cm wedge out of the bottom corners of the yoke to fit my naturally protruding shoulder blades. In fact, the gathering is not very blousy at all when worn because it sinks into the vale between my shoulder blades. Genetics can be a fun sometimes.

I used the "burrito" method to finish the inside yoke and this tutorial for the collar. The side seams are the only visible seams on the inside, and they are finished on my overlocker.

I really love the finished dress, and more importantly, enjoyed every minute of making it.


  1. It's beautiful! I love slow, thoughtful garments, and that embroidery is so clever!

  2. Wow, this is beautiful ♥ You really have an eye for details (the piping and embroidery looks stunning)!

  3. lovely sewing :-) the hand sewing and your attention to detail has paid off!

  4. this is so lovely. I love the yoke and everything about your sewing is so neat and perfect. Very impressive!

  5. This is amazing! Such great craftwomanship! I have the M6696 pattern and really want to make it, I'm just waiting for the perfect fabric to find me. :)

  6. Fantastisk flott kjole, med nyyydelige detaljer!!! Inspirerer meg stort til å sy noe liknende :-)