I worked very quickly to make my second version of the Grainline Studio Felix Dress! Which simply means I really like it. This one is in white Kaufman Brussels Washer Linen, made as a lounge dress. The unlined white is too transparent for public perusal, but the dress and fabric are wonderful to wear at home.
For background, my first post is here…
And as promised, this post has lots of notes and suggestions on sewing the dress without a lining.
- I used my original size 8 draft. However, I sewed the side seams at 3/4″ instead of 1/2″, to narrow the silhouette.
- A note on linen: I do NOT clip notches, because the fabric is loosely woven and will ravel at any clips. Instead I use small brass pins, and, if needed, Frixion or quilters chalk to mark within a seam allowance. I also put a pin on the top right side of every piece – the front and back of some fabrics are nearly identical, also the nap, but the difference is easily seen in a finished garment if things get mixed. BTW, I always cut my pattern pieces in the same direction, even if it means using a bit more fabric.
- I do a right sloping shoulder adjustment on all my garments. Otherwise I would have a bit of a wrinkle from the right inside shoulder out toward the lower armscye, both front and back. Due to scoliosis, my shoulders are 1″ different in height, shoulder to the floor. On a coat, the hems would not meet without the adjustment. On this pattern, lifting the right bodice impacts the join of the bodice to skirt – it will be too high at the seam. I just split the difference when I wrapped the front: the right bottom is a little short, the left is a little long. And I trued up the front curve. If you do a sloping shoulder adjustment, this will make sense 🙂
- For both comfort and a clean finish, I flat-felled my shoulder seam to the inside.
- I also brought in the outside shoulder seam by 5/8″ on this version of the sleeveless dress. The pattern uses the same armscye for sleeves, and it’s too wide on me.
- As I mentioned in my first post, I used the right bodice front and bands for the left side as well, and wrapped the two fronts. There are two reasons for my madness: (1) I wanted to decrease bulk in the front band, and (2) I wanted a balanced finish on the outside of the dress. Left side, the inside. Right side, the outside:
Unfortunately, I have a pin inside the wrap on the pic below, discovered after it poked me 🙂
- The bands: I attached them as directed, but folded in the band facing just beyond the seam line. To finish, I stitched in the ditch on the outside.
- No pockets. I wouldn’t use them, and they mess around with the directionality and bulk of the bodice seam. If I want them, I’ll do in-seam pockets.
- I turned up my bodice/skirt seam allowances and topstitched them. I just don’t like the unconstructed appearance if the seam is left free. With washing, it would curl and do its own thing, up and down.
- Speaking of seam allowances. I lightly gathered the back skirt into the back bodice, instead of easing (stretching) the two pieces to fit. Stretching that seam that much would just make it poke out…
- I also used a uniform approach to my seams: stitched and then serged together at 3/8″. This works really well with linen.
- Last point: I used a 2″ hem allowance. I just like a deep hem on linen. My first version is as instructed, 1/4″ fold, another 1/4″ fold, and topstitched, which is perfect for thin fabric. I didn’t add anything to the length, and it’s still clearly a midi.
Thoughts: I really like the spare aesthetic of this design. I also think a solid fabric showcases it. Ideas – A Lagenlook side seam, layered perhaps over a skirt. Or the beautiful mitered side slit from the Allie Olson Highlands Wrap Dress. Or Jen’s own shirttail hem from the Alder dress. Perhaps a maxi done with a deep gathered tier.
And that’s it for my unlined Felix! Ciao – Coco