Monday, August 15, 2016

You Can't Have Just One Dress No.1 - Pattern Review for 100 Acts of Sewing - Part 2!

We are still flying high on Dress No. 1 from Sonya Philip's pattern line, 100 Acts of Sewing. Inspired by my colleagues here at Stonemountain, I chose three prints for my collection of Dress No. 1 pieces - two Japanese double gauzes and one yarn-dyed gingham linen. If you haven't seen our blog post on this inspiring pattern, check it out now: The Little Dress That Could.

I love how these fabric choices all coordinate with their colors, so fun!

Oh my stars! I am a huge fan of fabrics with a celestial theme and this 100% cotton double gauze is the perfect choice for a Dress No. 1. If you are unfamiliar, double gauze is a fabric made from two layers of gauze that are tacked together to create one cloth. Its light, luscious nature has made it one of our favorite fabrics, not to mention it's an absolute dream to sew!
 Shop our selection online or stop by the store for even more options.

Of the three fabrics I chose for this pattern, I wanted this gauze to be in the original length of the pattern, as it is printed. The two subsequent versions will be 1) a shortened tunic length, hitting at mid-thigh and 2) a blouse length, hitting at the top of the hip. While the pattern includes optional pockets, we decided to leave them off this time.

Laurel used a self made cotton bias binding on the neck and armscye, or armhole. We highly recommend getting your hands on a bias tape maker, as it will make this process 100 times easier for you. We recommend the 1/2" width bias tape maker for this pattern. For instructions on making your own bias, read our post here: Navigating Notions: Making Your Own Bias Tape. Once you've learned to make your own bias, you'll be hooked! It's a fun and simple way to personalize and finish your garments.

This time around Laurel applied the bindings in a non-traditional way, similar to attaching binding on a quilt. The bias strips are folded in half and then applied around the neckline and arm holes, making sure there is enough ease.  We have used a similar technique on some of my knit tops, but the difference here using the woven fabric is that the bias strips are then understitched so that when they are turn to the wrong side, they lie flat before they are top stitched in place. Understitching keeps facings and bias binding from peaking out at the edges. The excess seam allowance is trimmed down to a scant 1/8" before stitching in place.

While we like to understitch our bias, it's important to remember that this can be done in different ways. Whatever method you use for applying bias tape, be sure to keep those fabric scraps so that you can create bias bindings that add flair to your garments - even if they can't be seen, you know your artwork is there!

One down, two to go!!

We're using scraps of our hot sauce printed cotton (that we originally used for an E.S.P. Dress from Decades of Style) for the bindings on this yarn-dyed blue, red, and cream gingham linen. Again, sew the folded bias strip onto the right side of the opening.

Step 1: Line up the left edge of the presser foot with the folded edge of the bias binding.
Step 2: Understitch the bias binding back toward the opening, as close to the edge of the binding as possible.
Step 3: Trim the excess seam allowance and binding.
Step 4: Turn the bias binding and stitch down along the edge of the binding.

Voila - neat as a pin!

Two down, one to go!

For this version of Dress No. 1 we shortened the pattern a few inches so that it hits at mid-thigh for a tunic length. This is a great length to layer over jeans or leggings. We love these dresses because they are great to wear alone in the summer heat, or with a sweater in the colder months. So versatile!

We chose this yarn-dyed gingham linen for this version. A great medium-weight with a lovely drape. We are huge linen fans here at Stonemountain, me especially. You can read more about our linen obsession in these two blog posts: I'm a Linen Lover! and For the Love of Linen!

Linen ages beautifully and gets softer and more drapey with every wash. If you are new to working with linen, we always like to pass on these words from the amazing Sandra Betzina:

GREAT TIP! If you want your linen to wrinkle a lot less, do the following: Before you prewash your linen, open the windows and iron the linen with the hottest, dry iron possible. This will set a wrinkle-less finish, which is already on the fabric. Next, wash and dry your linen in the hottest water and hottest dryer you have. Take out of the dryer when close to bone dry. You will notice that smaller softer wrinkles have replaced the hard crease usually associated with the fabric. Repeating this process will lessen the amount of wrinkles over time. 

You can browse our linen online here, but as always, call (510) 845-6106, email, or stop by if there is a color or print you are looking for that is not featured in our online store.

Third time's the charm!

Here is my third Dress No. 1 cut to a top length. For this we used another of our amazing Japanese double gauzes, this one a cotton/tencel blend. I love it layered over the tunic length and paired with Pants No. 1!

Looks great with my handkerchief linen pants too!

I hope that you are excited to try Dress No. 1 from 100 Acts of Sewing for yourself. If you do, please email me some photos of your finished garments!
Thanks and cheers to each of you!

In gratitude,

Please leave a note or message if you are enjoying my blog. 

I also have so much appreciation for my team that helps me to maintain the quality 
of projects, writing, and editing!


  1. It takes a village!! So glad I am part of it!!!

  2. Are you kidding me?! You are the engine that propels and inspires us all to make garments!!! xoxo