It feels like might just be the last person to try sewing a Sew Over It Penny dress, but it’s the pattern that I have picked out to make my dress to wear to graduation. I have been planning this dress a while, and it is one of my make 9 plans so it feels good to be underway! I chose to make it in this beautiful floral cotton lawn from Minerva Crafts. They have a great selection, and I spent a long while narrowing it down and choosing.
It is slightly translucent, so I spent a long time deciding what to do about it. I’m still not 100% decided on what to do with the skirt (I’m going to wait and see if it is opaque enough by itself, but I chose to underline the bodice with white cotton lawn. I could have tried to do a proper lining, but with the construction of the Penny button placket (which is a bit unusual) I wasn’t quite sure how, and underlining doesn’t change any of the construction steps. I just had to hand sew the lining and the outer fabrics together before beginning the pattern construction steps. (It’s pretty similar to what I did to my wrap dress here.)
To make sure that the dress was going to fit properly I did make a toile first from a couple of old bedsheets. I didn’t bother with cutting and sewing the whole length of the skirt, so I just cut a shortened version. It did help me to work out the construction process before I start sewing the real thing which was really useful as I did get a bit confused for a while with the collar and facings. The method in the instructions does work, but did just baffle me for a while! It also meant that I could make a few fitting tweaks for my actual dress.
Because I’m still not back to my pre-baby shape and size, I thought it might be most flattering to have the waist seam and the elastic at my smallest point, which is still just below the bust, making my dress empire line. to do that, I’m removing 2.5cm from the bodice length. I’ve also decided to add in pockets to the skirt, so I cut the skirt as two pieces and added a seam allowance where it should be placed on the fold. If you are going to make your own clothes, you might as well have everything that you want!
That’s about as far as I have got so far. I’ve finished stitching the underlining to the main fabric, and I’m hoping the construction will go together smoothly, having ironed out the confusion with my toile. I have just over a week to get it put together so hopefully it will be enough! I want to do it properly though, and pay attention to the quality of construction. I don’t make many pretty dresses any more, so the ones I do need to be make to last.