Sewing Adventures – Embroidered Coral and Cream dress

By Susan | Comments: 6 | March 7, 2016

One of my goals this year is to reduce my stash, by sewing more of it. I have some gorgeous fabrics that I have bought, been given or picked up along the way and they sit in boxes. No more I say, it’s all the good fabrics everyday around here.

This is one such fabric. Bought ages ago in Cabramatta for the princely sum of $10 a metre.

At the time I must’ve been planning a skirt as there wasn’t a whole lot of it. Maybe 1.5m? I also wanted to take advantage of the beautiful edging so some careful planning was required. I measure out a long rectangle that went the length of the fabric panel. That was to become the skirt with only a centre back panel. This left a long narrow top section with the scallop edge still intact.


I’ve been working on perfecting a bodice pattern for myself. It still needs some work but it’s getting closer. I used this pattern and laid it onto the panel to create a wrap over front and V back. I’d like to say it was all carefully planned and calculated but I totally winged it.


The bodice was a simple construction of darts, shoulder and side seams, while the skirt was simply gathered onto the bodice and a seam put into the centre back.


The whole thing is lined in coral cotton silk and there is an invisible zip at centre back. The zip insertion is fantastic but the embroidery means it’s a little tough to raise up and down. In hindsight I should have totally put in a lapped zip. The linking is hands itched around the neckline to keep it in place and there are a few sneaky stitches at centre front keeping the crossover in place. I had a fuzzy supervisor for my hand sewing.


I wore it out yesterday to catch up with my niece and nephew. Their tiny cousin was with them and she loved my dress and wanted to be my friend because I had a “pretty dress”. Kid compliments are awesome.

Fabric: Embroidered cotton from Cabramatta.

Dress Pattern: winged it, bodice based on my own block.

Alterations:  next time I’d raise the centre front cross over a little.


  • Colette
    March 7, 2016

    Wow! what a great use of a fabulous fabric, a real ‘stand out’ dress ;o)

  • kristy
    March 7, 2016

    Fantastic dress Susan – the fabric is lovely and I love how you’ve used the scalloped edge. I’m with you on using the beautiful stash fabrics – I’m on a mission to make up my favourite fabrics too

  • MadeByMeg
    March 7, 2016

    Really pretty dress. Love that neckline and the color on you.

  • Sheryll
    March 7, 2016

    I agree – that colour on you is awesome! Great use of a pretty fabric, I’m sure it is much happier being out of stash getting kid compliments too!

  • Sarah
    March 18, 2016

    Really gorgeous, and a great use of the scallop. I’m with you – all the good fabrics all the time!

  • Guy Dawson
    April 2, 2016

    These comfortable types dress are too good. I often wear short dresses. I am keen to wear these pretty dress for autumn season. Its really gorgeous dress. Thanks for sharing.

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Hi, I'm Susan. A designer living in Sydney, Australia.

Here I share tales of my sewing, my pattern collection and insights into what it's like to work as a professional fashion designer.

Other recurring themes include cat photos and an ever changing hair style.



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