FIONA SUNDRESS by Closet Case Patterns

I get so darn excited when I finish a sewing project that I just have to share it straight away.   Ideally I would love to take the time to write my blog post before sharing so I don’t have to re post the same garment again.  Maybe one day I’ll get the process around the right way. Or maybe not…..

This was my first time sewing a pattern by Closet Case Patterns and I am super impressed.  Instead of opting for the PDF downloadable pattern this time I decided to wait for the printed pattern to come via snail mail.  I love the watercolour illustrations on their pattern covers and wanted to see one first hand.  I’m so glad I did as there was a little surprise inside of a woven label to sew into my garment.  It’s the finishes touches that count.

My Fiona Sundress was made in a mid weight linen from The Fabric Store in the colour denim blue. The buttons are shell buttons from Spotlight Stores.

I’m sure there are a tonne of blog posts out there on constructing and fitting your Fiona Sundress.  I’m hoping to offer some new content on the construction of this garment.  I love efficiency and always approach garment construction from an efficiency perspective.  I read the instructions but never follow the instructions as a step by step process but instead group my sewing into tasks.

Fiona Sundress

Below are my steps for sewing the Fiona Sundress.  These are an outline only and you can use them in conjunction with the original instruction book if necessary for the detail.  Or they are great to use if you have made the Fiona Dress more than once and want to make it in a more time efficient way.

Group 1:  Iron fusing onto all required pieces.

Group 2:  Overlock all vertical seams on bodice pieces, and pocket facing outer edge.  Move to sewing machine.

Group 3:  Sew all bodice panels together, sew darts in front & back skirt, sew pocket facing onto pockets – trim seams and under stitch, sew straps, sew front & back bodice bands.  Move to iron.

Group 4:  Press bodice seams open, press darts towards side seam, press pocket facing & pocket seam allowance along inner & lower edge, turn straps to right side & press, press seams open on bodice bands.  Press seam allowance under on lower edge of non fused bodice band. Move to machine.

Group 5:  Top stitch pocket facing to pocket, top stitch straps.  Pin pockets to front skirt and stitch down. Move to overlocker.

Group 6:  Overlock skirt side seams.  Move to sewing machine.

Group 7:  Sew side seams together.  Move to iron and press seams open.  Move to sewing machine.

Group 8:  Sew straps to fused bodice band, sew fused bodice band to front bodice, sew bodice to skirt. Move to iron and press seams.


Group 9:  Stitch remaining bodice band to dress, top stitch bodice band down.  Move to Iron.

Group 10:   Press hem & hem turn, press centre front facing.  Move to machine.

Group 11:  Top stitch hem & front facing.

Group 12:  Mark button hole positions, sew button holes, cut button holes, mark button position, sew buttons on (I do this with my sewing machine – see sewing tip on Yari Jumpsuit blog post)


Fiona Sundress

Thankfully I was patient enough to make a tiole of this dress in calico first as it did require a few fitting adjustments for my body shape.  I started with the size 8 pattern but had to add a little bit of room into the hips and bust and reduce the waist quite a bit.  As you can see from the image below the original fit was not great for my body.  The dress was also saggy at the back side.

First fit of my Fiona Sundress

The online pattern adjustment guide for the Fiona Sundress made the bust adjustment really easy.  To achieve a good fit through my waist and across my butt I decided to add an additional two darts to the back skirt.  I also lengthened the middle back darts slightly.  If I had taken all of the excess through the two back darts the dart point would have been quite severe and the final shaping not as smooth.

Adding 2 more darts to the back skirt

I’m not sure about anybody else, but fitting on yourself can be quite difficult. Especially when it comes to fit issues on the back of the garment.  I mark all of my adjustments on my calico tiole before transferring it to the fit stand for final analysis.

Be sure to transfer all of the pattern notches onto your edited pattern pieces. You will be grateful you took the time to do this during the sewing process.

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