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Bias-Cut Summer Shift

Added May 2, 2011

by daughterfish

Brooklyn, New Yo...






I made the dress from a soft rayon challis. It has a wonderful drape and I love the color, but when I started making it from a 1980 Simplicity pattern, I didn’t realize the skirt was cut on the bias (me and my seam ripper got tight this weekend!).

In addition to the two darts around the collar that the pattern called for, I removed the lapped front and added three darts along the shoulders for more soft folds, which I love.

But I had some trouble with the skirt. The zipper in the back puckers and one of the pockets doesn’t lay flat. And this is all because of the slippery nature of the bias cut. I’ve since ripped out the zipper (about six times) and am going to reinforce it with fusible web to see if I can fix the ripple problem. I’m also going to tackle that errant pocket (yet again!) before I wear this baby out.

I added a bias-tape belt with two D rings.

I’ve got a little diagram on how I altered the bodice on my blog:

Daughter Fish




Spring, Summer
Garment Type
Casual, Romantic

9 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • P3210004_large

    Nov 17, 2011, 06.04 AMby sandrasews


    1 Reply
  • Charlie-deeshadows1_large

    May 8, 2011, 04.36 AMby smallone

    I never would have given this pattern a second look…but i love your version, most especially the shape of the top part.

    1 Reply
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      May 8, 2011, 10.43 PMby daughterfish

      Thanks! I know, the pattern is actually pretty ugly. But I saw promise in those pleats around the neck. I saw something like them in a much older pattern (from the 40’s on eBay) and thought I’d give it a go! Thanks again!

  • 25326_624762504107_33600381_35437090_5790819_n_large

    May 4, 2011, 04.35 PMby wendymichelle1015

    Ive heard to always interface the zipper area on slippery/slinky fabric so there won’t be puckering, your fusible web should work :)

    1 Reply
    • Profile_pic_3_large

      May 4, 2011, 04.46 PMby daughterfish

      Great! Thanks for that. I’m going to try it soon! Thanks!

  • Naburdaprofil_large

    May 3, 2011, 09.10 PMby janul

    this is so lovely and you look gorgeous! the color is very nice too… good luck with all the ripping! :)

  • Avatar-cupcake_large

    May 3, 2011, 08.11 PMby frkbustad

    The shoulder darts are really flattering! Nice dress for spring.

  • Profile_large

    May 3, 2011, 08.04 AMby EllaLeoncio

    Gorgeous! I hope you work out the zipper because it would be a shame not to wear it. Great colour & shape. I ran into similar problems once & decided to slash a deep v back.

    1 Reply
    • Profile_pic_3_large

      May 3, 2011, 12.35 PMby daughterfish

      Thanks! Yeah, I hope I figure out the closure too! I love the shape and feel of the dress, and would love to make more bias-cut garments, so I’ve got to figure it out on this one!:)

  • 27539996_10211315329665812_8905316718000979598_n_large

    May 3, 2011, 05.12 AMby sewsweetviolets

    This is a really beautiful dress, much better than the original pattern. great job!

    The taking the zipper out and redoing it will not probably work. In college I worked for a alterations shop. The woman who owned it has all her mothers and grandmother’s sewing books, she had from the 20’s and 30’s when bias was really big. there were no zippers at the time, so they used to make plackets and them buttons or snaps, since the placket is not on bias you have less rippling. Try making one on a scrap of the fabric and see if it will work better. Believe me, I have hand sewn, invisible zippered, and plain zippered many bias garments and I never like it. Plackets work better and look so nice, they just take more time. I will try and find one in one of my old sewing books and post it if I do. it is why so many of them now are not made to fit smoothly, but have elastic instead.

    1 Reply
    • Profile_pic_3_large

      May 3, 2011, 12.34 PMby daughterfish

      This is great information! Thank you so much! I have suspected the entire time making this dress that a zipper was not going to work. I bought the lightest weight invisible one I could find and it still buckled. I actually altered the bodice so that the back seam, where the zipper should have been, is sewn from the neckline to just above the waist, and then inserted just enough zipper so that I could get in and out, but it still rippled. I’m going to try this placket idea, and I’d love to see any info you have from one of those old books. Great idea. Thanks again!

  • Dscn2036_large

    May 2, 2011, 10.27 PMby carlachan

    simple and beautiful dress, I love the shoulders darts :)

    1 Reply
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      May 3, 2011, 12.51 AMby daughterfish

      Thanks! Yeah, I think I’ll try incorporating shoulder darts more. My new favorite!

  • Enlarged_hilarity-copy_edited_large

    May 2, 2011, 05.28 PMby Testosterone

    Kudos for being daring enough to tackle bias!

    The shoulder darts are an enhancement.

    The skirt must move in a lively manner. Wear it with abandon, it’s beautiful!

    1 Reply
    • Profile_pic_3_large

      May 3, 2011, 12.50 AMby daughterfish

      Thanks! Yes, I felt sort of brave (and a little silly) tackling a zipper with such a thin fabric on the bias. Thanks again!

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