Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Little Bit Biased: Skirt Inspired by The Party Dress Book.

About a two weeks ago, my thrift guardian angel directed me to a local store for a pop in. While there, I found spools and spools of flat bias tape. As a rule, try not to buy an item unless I have a clear plan for its use. I had a gnawing feeling that this tape was for me, but no clear plan. I broke my rule and bought them hoping the plan would become clear.

Sure enough, I got home and hit my sewing book collection to find The Party Dress Book by Mary Adams.

I have loved the Bias Strips dress from the first time I saw it on the cover and the others in the book.  I hesitated in making it for three reasons: 

  1.  I am miserable at making continuous bias strips without much waste,
  2.  I haven't had an occasion to wear a dress like that.
  3.  It looked complicated. 
Lucky for me I now have these spools that are already cut, I have been invited to a dance and I can do hard things (I am still recovering from knee surgery and am in no condition to dance this month or next. This fact will not stop me from holding up the wall in a new dress.) I knew I needed to use these strips to make a party dress. Before tackling such a project, I decided to test the technique on skirt for Little Miss. 

Bias tape circle skirt.

I used Simplicity 2356 to make a skirt perfect for twirling. The construction came together easily and relatively quickly. I cut the skirt pieces and starting at the top, applied the bias strips with an imprecise 1/4 inch seam. I cut the bias strips in half lengthwise because they were too wide and inflexible off the spool. I applied them randomly, overlapping the ends to join a new strip. 

I  used fabric from a sheet as the base and sewed the strips in a contrasting thread. After applying the reds, I decided it needed more contrast. I had regular grey bias tape on hand, cut it down to size and added it. The bias from the spools is firmer than what you find in the stores. It adds texture and weight in the best way. 

I just want to mount these and hang them on the wall.
I decided to sew french seams in the sides. I thought this would look nicer and encase all of the cut bias ends.

I applied the waistband and hemmed it with a single color of bias tape.
Hemmed in bias
What a fun skirt! I love how happy she is in this. The skirt has texture, personality, movement and is fun. I am excited to see what the raw edges do in the wash; I hope they get ragged in time. 

It even looks good sitting still.

After making this, I will definitely be using this technique for my dance party outfit. I am still uncertain if I want a dress or two-piece ensemble that I can separate and dress down like Little Miss. I am toying with the idea of playing with the colors of the bias strips with fabric paint or dyes on the blue and green strips for mine. 

This fun skirt doubles as a grown up cape for me. I took a photo and wanted to share it, but after taking her pictures, I decided against it. I don't want to compete with this dizzying cuteness. 

Happy Sewing,


  1. 1. Your little princess is adorbs! 2. Love how this dress came out. The color combination is perfect for spring. 3. On her it is so precious. She looks so happy in it. Her friends must be so jealous when she comes to school. I can't wait to see what you make for yourself.

    1. Thanks Victoria! She loves when I make tings for her! When her friends compliment her on things I make, she always tells them I can teach their moms to sew! :) She is the best!

  2. Looks so good and good idea for a test! I'm looking forward to seeing what you create for you!

    1. Thanks! I am still struggling with my dress pattern choice... I need to decide soon the dance is in two weeks!

  3. Absolutely love this cute little skirt! What a great idea! I'm sure yours will be stunning as well! Can't wait to see it!

    1. Thanks Cindy! I hope so! I hope to get started after spring break when school begins again.

  4. She is rocking her fun skirt! What a great idea.

    1. Thanks Tomasa! She loves this and it makes me happy to see her in it!

  5. Great skirt. How lucky to find all that bias tape. Now you know it works hope you have fun making your party outfit.