Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Scallop Pocket Dress

The last dress of my 5-garment dress collection, designed entirely and made from May to September this year. What a summer it was!

Although the pattern isn't 100% perfect, I'm really excited about the new tricks I got to use on this dress: a scalloped yoke using both this and this tutorial as well as inset square pockets on the front of the dress with a large trim around it.

 Ok, forgive me: we shot these in Michigan and I didn't have an iron or steamer on hand. The back got crinkly from the drive in!

This dress is only the first go-around of sewing it and I have some minor adjustments to make, as always. In lieu of making a muslin, I usually just jump right into my fashion fabric unless I'm working with something really expensive. These were errant yardages I had in my stash along with some new trim I bought for no reason before deciding to use it on the dress.

First thing's first: the single side dart really bothers me. The looseness in the top can be attributed to that because there is only fitting going on in the side bust area. For a more fitted garment, you MUST use either combo bust and waist darts or use a princess seam of some sort. Why? Because it pulls the garment in much closer in two areas versus one.

If you're using a side dart in pattern making, make sure your garment hangs loosely from bust down. This would work on a trapeze-shape dress with the same type of yoke or a top too.

Technically my patterns shouldn't be all taped-up crazy like this, but I get excited and want to go into the fabric quickly. Secondly, I thought I could build the scallop facing into my yoke, but that didn't work. (My idea was flipping the scallops up, stitching, then turning but it doesn't work like that. I did however use the scallop edge for a template to draw my scallops onto the yoke pieces.

I also can't decide if the pocket facing shown on the right should mimic the shape of the pocket for a slightly less-bunchy pocket finish or if it's just my sewing. There is a 3rd piece to the pocket patterns which is the front of the skirt with extension for pocket bag, but I didn't show it with these patterns.

 In the end, it's a totally wearable muslin! This item will be available for custom ordering in the Etsy shop soon!


  1. I love the colors! It may be your muslin but wow, it looks great. I love the scalloped yoke, it makes the dress so unique! Great design and sewing skills!

    1. Aww, thanks so much! I was really self-conscious of the overall bodice fit and the hem made me mad too! So I just went with it. Sometimes, you just have to finish it rather than make it 100% perfect. :)

  2. That is so pretty!! I have been wanting to make a dress with a scalloped yoke and have not been able to quite figure it out. I think I can do it now. Also, your hair is a gorgeous color of red.

  3. Thanks! Yeah, those tutorials helped out a lot. You have to really steam and press a bit, but it's worth it!

  4. I love this dress so much and your colors are so fun! I know what you mean about the darts, but I think it's so cute as is! Can't wait to see your next version!

  5. oh! how did i miss this! This i so fab, I reminds me of the dresses that Valentino did with the combined scalloped edging and mesh inserts along the arms and bust line. i love the matching trim too! i had planned to make a skirt once with a scalloped edge but i never got around to it so i have no tips!
    Will you need to put a dart in the front above the waist line do you think? Im not sure if your aiming for a tight bodice, but that would help?

    1. Hi Cat -

      I mentioned the fix for the bust dart in the blog. Yes, you would need to use both side dart and waist dart combo or a classic princess or armhole princess. I actually combined both waist and bust darts by rotating the excess of the waist dart into the bust dart, not realizing that it would change the overall fit. The illustrations in my patternmaking book are misleading.

      The next variation(s) will have a waist/side bust dart combo as I re-work the patter I made.


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