Saturday, February 3, 2018

The "Just Enough Fabric" Dress

Two yards of 45" wide floral linen. What would I make with it? This fabric, found in a remnant bin for less than 50 cents a yard, was begging to be turned into a dress for me.

Now two yards of 45" wide fabric is not a lot to work with when making a dress, so my first order of business was to figure out a pattern that would work. Which I did, quite by accident.

I wound up at Joann's last weekend when Butterick patterns were on sale. Did I need any new patterns? Probably not, but when patterns are on sale I can't resist just looking through the pattern book. Butterick B6380 caught my eye and made its way home with me. 

Once I was back in my sewing room, looking over my latest purchases, I realized that B6380 only called for 2.5 yards of 45" fabric! That meant there was a chance I could squeeze it out of my 2 yards of linen! Well, I was gonna give that a try!

Well, after a bit of maneuvering, I was easily able to fit the skirt and main bodice pattern pieces on my fabric. All that was left was the midriff pieces and the sleeves. I pulled scraps of olive green silk out of my stash (leftover from this hood and the accent pieces of this dress) and discovered that I had just enough of it to make the front midriff piece and the bands used to gather the shoulder pieces. 

Now, what about the sleeves and back midriff piece? I had teen-tiny bit of my floral linen left, would it be enough? Well, it was certainly not enough to make the sleeves that were included in the pattern, but it was just enough to make tulip sleeves! I pulled the sleeve pattern from B6217 (this blouse) and squeezed it onto my scrap of linen. Then there was just enough fabric left over to cut the back midriff piece out as well. Success!

As I was headed to the sewing machine with my cut out dress, I remembered something. Pockets! Yes, my dress must have pockets! I dug my fabric scraps (literally just scraps at this point) out of my scrap bin and started playing around with them. I discovered I had two scraps just barely big enough to make the visible part of my pocket bags out of! And I had just enough silk scraps left that I could piece together some flat piping to outline my pockets in. Woohoo!!!

With that my largest fabric scraps from this dress were less than two inches square and I was headed to the sewing machine for real this time, as it would be impossible to cut anything else out of my fabric. 

The flat piping cut out and pinned together, next to all the silk left over from the original yard, purchased 2 years ago.
I forgot to get a picture of the linen scraps, but they were about the same.

After the puzzle of cutting it out, the dress came together incredibly easily and was done in an afternoon!

My two yards of floral linen became a dress, and it's just what I hoped it would be!


  1. I like the tulip sleeves on it a lot. And the fabric is lovely!
    Also, yay, pockets. :-)

    1. Thank you! I loved that the fabric had a print on it but wasn't too busy :)

  2. What pattern did you use for your raincoat? I will be doing a missionary trip and will need a rain jacket. beautiful Dress by the way

    1. Thank You! For my raincoat I used Simplicity 2208, view C, with some extra length added on and an extra panel down the center front because I accidentally cut it too small!