A Sneak Peek at Fall

We are having an uncharacteristic August...much cooler than the norm, and absolutely gorgeous!  It is putting me in the mood for fall.  I know we will still have those hot last days of summer before we get 'real' fall, but right now I'm loving the hint of autumn in the air.  

I decided to take advantage of the  weather and get a jump on my fall sewing. I found an upholstery end cut at the fabric store the other day that I like with a sweater that I made last summer, but really haven't worn much.  I think it's because I don't really like what I made to go with it.  

The fabric is a decorator linen.  Really quite heavy, but soft and drapy.  Even softer after a few rounds in the washer and dryer!  I had a 2 yard hunk and it was 54 inches wide.  Lots to work with.

I picked out a Sandra Betzina pattern that I got from her booth at a trade show eons ago.  I have had it on my list to try for years!!  I had the chance to try on her sample garment and loved the bias cut of the dress.  The sample had been made with a heavy linen, so I knew it would work with the decorator fabric.  

I trolled around the interweb to see if anyone had made a version of the dress sans hood.  I knew I didn't have enough fabric for the hood and it certainly would not work with the sweater...the whole point of the exercise!  I was really surprised that I couldn't find ANY versions of the pattern.  Lots of Sandra's other patterns, but nada for this one.  Curious, because I think it is a lovely style.  I was on my own to come up with the 'non-hoody' version.

I cut the front and back pieces and knew immediately that this fabric was going to have to spend a good amount of time hanging around on the dress form to let the bias relax.  So I hung it up and went to work on the new neckline.  After several rabbit holes I finally landed on a simple v-neck with a wide facing.  Given the loose weave and the bias cut, I thought the neckline would need some extra stabilizing.  

It looks like a rather simple, straight forward dress...and it is...except that I was working with bias pieces and that took some extra steps.  Directional sewing, particularly at the neckline, was a must.  The bias really shifted around and wanted to wiggle out from under the presser foot at every opportunity!  The shaped seam at the back just above the waist is a particularly nice feature of this pattern.  A full back piece on the bias always ends up bunching up around the waist.  This shaped seam acts like a set of darts to take in the extra fabric and lets the dress hug into the curve of the back.  Very flattering!

I wasn't sure whether to add the sleeves or go sleeveless, but I rather like them and they don't get in the way under the sweater, when it's on me...on the dress form it's a different story!

The sweater is very cropped and the waist-defining bias of this dress really works well.  I think it will be a nice transitional piece when we get to having 'real fall.'  


  1. It's a great print. Perfect for the dress pattern and for your sweater. I hope you'll show us how it looks when you wear it.

    1. I'll try to remember to snap a pic when I have it on. Thanks.