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Summer Sewing Challenge - Express Yourself in Linen

Cherry Blossom Dress

Dress Front

I wanted to make a linen dress that was classy, yet fun & flirty as well.  I found the perfect vintage-inspired design from Marfy patterns, style # 1659.  Marfy patterns do not come with instructions nor seam allowances, so it was a nice challenge to sew this garment (I used the Marfy catalogue illustration as a guideline). 

The fabric is a loose-weave, 100% linen.  I fit the pattern to my figure, and adjusted the design slightly to create a blouson top, and created an open pleat at the sleeves. Instead of using self-fabric at sleeve cuff & belt, I used a vintage “cherry” woven trim that I found at an estate sale.  

Since the fabric is a neutral color, I wanted to give it a “pop” of color, so I used red bias taping as faux piping along the edges of the Collar, Waist Belt and Sleeve Cuff that matched the red in the cherry trim.

The Collar is sewn entirely by hand, as I found that machine sewing did not give me the control I wanted for the bias trim, especially at the corners.

I used leather that mimicked the texture of the linen for the Waist Belt.  I found red eyelets in my stash and thought that would add a nice extra touch of color.

I used flat-felled seams for the main joining seams, not only to enclose the loose- weave fabric edge, but to add weight to the lightweight fabric.  I hand sewed organza strips to the inner Sleeve Cuffs & Waist to add lightweight structure. I finished the interior Collar seam and Hem with bias tape and hand sewed the hem.

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  1. User avater
    trishapat | | #1

    Sooo cute! Love the shape of the collar. You look so very pretty in it, it is perfect for your figure. Love seeing the closeups, the juxtaposition of the natural linen with the vintage elements, it makes it a lovely modern mix. I also like reading about the construction details and imagining them. Thanks for sharing!

  2. User avater
    PrincessKatja | | #2

    The detailing is amazing! Love the faux piping and that darling cherry belt. The portrait collar looks wonderful on you. Beautiful blend of neutral background and vivid accents.

  3. User avater
    kellyhogaboom | | #3

    This is great. Like you, I used a rather light-weight, loose-weave linen in a garment with a bit of structure. I love your details and I love that you describe your methods. The red eyelets - Great!

    The blouson top is also fabulous. I rarely sew for myself (mostly for my kidlets, and others) but I would love to create that neckline.

    Wonderful job!

  4. User avater
    learn2sew | | #4

    I love the collar and the detail.

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