Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cross My Heart Dress

I have tried a pattern from a Craftsy seller Deby Coles at So Sew Easy.

The pattern I tried was the Cross My Heart Dress.

Here's what the designer's dress looks like:

I promised her facebook group members here that I would explain some aspects of the construction. The main thing I did differently was to make the dress sleeveless.

Let's start at the very beginning ... (yes, the older I get, the more everything seems to relate to a song)

This alone caused words of exclamation at my house. Never mind that only one other person lives there besides me. Having a cleared cutting table is not the norm here:

I opted to have my pattern printed at FedEx/Kinko's, a popular mailing and printing place in the US. The printout was three feet by four feet, with a total of 12 square feet. The cost was 75 cents per square foot, so I paid $9.00 plus tax to have this printed:

I cut the pattern pieces apart to facilitate the tracings I would do:

My tracing medium of choice was called PatternEase. It's now called something else, and I've forgotten what that is. I cut pieces large enough for either the whole project or for individual pattern pieces. I steam press the Pattern Ease before using it:

I use Nancy Zieman's Pivot and Slide technique to trace the patterns. You may be able to tell that I used the small neckline, the large shoulder and armscye, and I shortened the back waist length. I also bypassed most of the waist indentation:

Not shown is that I made neck and armscye facing patterns by marking a 2.5-inch distance from the necklines and armscyes. I connected the dots and traced these onto the PatternEase. I cut these facings from a very thin polyester knit that's in my stash:

After cutting out the dress pieces from the fashion fabric, I started by turning under the long edges of the drape pieces. I pinned these narrow hems in place, controlling with pins at an angle:

I stretched the fabric slightly while stitching with a narrow zigzag stitch:

Here's a cool trick: take a picture of your sewing machine settings so you can remember for next time. This picture shows the settings for zigzag topstitching:

This picture shows how I pinned the back pieces for the center back seam:

I followed the instructions pretty closely to attach the front drape pieces and to sew the shoulder seams.

I sewed the shoulder seams of the armscye facings and pinned thtem to the dress:

I turned up the aremscye facigs when I stitched the side seams:

Then I turned the facings to the inside and pinned well:

first I stitched near the stitched edge of the facings from the inside, watching carefully that the facing would not show from the outside. I placed another row of stitching to hold it down better. After that, I trimmed off the excess facing fabric. This picture of the neckline shows the inside and the outside fairly well:

The dress fits me fairly well, but it's not hiding my belly:

I also learned the hard way that I should have used a smaller armscye:

This is wearable, and considering my current body shape, it will work for going to the store but not to work.

Aside from using a smaller armscye, what do you think I can do to make this dress better?

I plan to try at least one or two more patterns by this designer. I hope you will try some, too!


  1. Great details about how you modified the pattern and made facings to make it sleeveless Mary. But yes, that large armscye is too low for you - shame. Hav you ever created a bodice block to use? One of the Craftsy classes in my to-do list talks you through doing this, so you can use it to make the same adjustments to patterns knowing it will fit you. I must get round to this one day. Thanks for trying the pattern.

  2. Great post. After raising those armscyes, how about adding some width in the tummy area, continuing on down so that it's not emphasized. Do you have another dress you can use as a guide? Tummys are tough. It may be that this pattern isn't really 'you', your best fit.

  3. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    Karma KM 2500

    Keep Posting:)


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