The turning of vintage quilts into wearable coats is a growing trend in the maker community. I love the idea have a few candidates under consideration. Until I can make a final decision I decided to add some quilt blocks to a new dress.
A friend gave me the Erin Dress pattern by Style Sew Me a few months ago. I loved the oversized t-shirt style, the pockets and adorable side ties. I have seen a few versions of this dress in fun prints and bold colors. I decided to put my creative spin on it with a mash up of quilt blocks and cotton jersey hand-sewing.
I chose organic cotton jersey from Nature's Fabric in Brick, White and Beige. This knit fabric has a nice weight, but on its' own would not hold up to the rigors of the manipulation required for piecing. It needed to be stabilized so it would hold its shape and not get wavy.
I will walk you through the steps I took to make this dress. Cut two 12in.x12in. squares of the beige and the white jersey fabrics. Place them in a gallon size freezer bag, saturate them with Terial Magic, squish around to absorb the product. Once you are confident they were covered and damp to the touch, pressed them dry with a dry iron.
The product changes the hand of the fabric allowing it to behave as a starched woven fabric. To make the blocks, pin one white, to one beige fabric, right sides together, raw edges. Draw diagonal lines from corner to corner.
Using a walking foot, stitch 1/4in. on either side of the drawn line. (My disappearing marker works fast!)
Cut the blocks along the drawn lines to form 4 triangles, then again down the centers to get 8 triangles.
Press the block open, fold the seam allowances toward the darker fabric. Trim the dog ears from the corners.
Audition potential layout options and choose the one you like best. Each one has it's own appeal and I figured I could not go wrong whichever choice I made. If you use 4 different colors of squares, you will have more design options from which to choose.
Stitch two squares together at the center in a 1/4in. seam allowance. Stitch two pairs together along the long edges.
Repeat until the panel is complete and is as long as the dress. If it is longer, trim it down to match or fold the pattern up a bit to shorten the pattern, like I did.
Add enough fabric on either side of the pieced panel to fit the width of the dress, cut and stitch to complete dress front. Follow the pattern instructions to complete the dress.
I originally cut the medium size in this pattern. When I factored in the the knit fabric and structure of the panel, I decided to size down. I folded down 1in. on the center front and center back reducing the circumference by 4in. I also made this adjustment to the facing pieces.
When I conceived this dress idea, I knew I wanted to add hand sewn accents, but I wanted to see it before decided on the placement.
I decided to use button and craft thread in the color Natural, to stitch the seam allowances down on the Brick and Beige.
I love the texture it adds to the shapes. I washed the dress to remove the Terial Magic and return the jersey to its normal hand.
I considered a panel on the back as well, but thought the front only was more striking.