Finished: Chevron High-Low Hem Dress

May 2, 2012

pattern: The bodice is from Simplicity 2497.


  • lengthened the bodice CF 2″ and the CB 1″
  • added 1″ to the CF neckline
  • created a skirt by lengthening the bodice sections
  • slashed and spread the back skirt piece to make it fuller – adding 6″ total to the hemline.
  • sewed the skirt and bodice pieces together then made a casing for elastic.
  • totally made up the high-low hem. I think there’s a difference of 5″.

fabric: cotton from Nuttall’s. I’m not sure it’s necessarily an ikat, but the stripes are woven, not printed.

Soooo, I like this dress. It only took a few days to complete, it’s finished nicely and I’ll wear it often. The part that I don’t like is the elastic casing. It tends to shift around and I feel like I’m constantly adjusting the waist. Next time I would sew a waistband and create a fuller skirt.

Which is exactly what that Simplicity pattern consists of…

I was so excited about the french seams and pretty finishings that I forgot to sew in the pockets! They’re still cut out on my desk. I’m a huge fan of pockets because otherwise I’m not really sure where to put my hands. Shootz.

My love for edgestitching OBVIOUSLY has no bounds.

I have so much to show you guys that I’m kind of freaking out about it – two more dresses, a dyeing project and can someone please tell me how to sew crepe de chine?? I’m working on a Tiny Pocket Tank in the most amazing silk fabric and there have already been tears. Do I need a stabilizer? THANKS.


  • Cirque Du Bebe

    Just so wonderful, great fabric, great dress, great photos. So very spring.

  • Amy

    So cute, fun, happy, and wow, that stripe matching and your seam finishes – amazeballs. Good luck with the silk – I’ve never tried crepe de chine either and I have a lovely one waiting to be used but it’s a bit intimidating.

    • stephanie

      Walking foot + edgestitching foot. I would be a mess without them.

      Oh man, It’s impossible. I have a few cuts of silk that need to be used and now I’m terrified of them. I guess in order to push myself and grow as a seamstress I should just be patient and pick an easy pattern to start.

  • kelli

    what a great dress! and I love all of your perfectly finished seams and hems. So impressive. Great job.

  • Sophia

    Wow, this is beautiful! The quality of your sewing is superb! I’ve been itching to make a chevron dress

  • sallie

    Wow!! Another great summer dress! Such lovely edgestitching – you should be very proud! Hmm… some tips for the crepe de chine… Since I’m not sure what problems you’re having I’ll just give some basic advice – try hand basting your seams first instead of pinning. That will help stop any shifting. Start your seam a good 1/2 inch in from the cut edge so your machine doesn’t eat the fabric (backstitch just a bit – but stay clear of that cut edge!) I’ve never found stabilizers to be super helpful – but some people do use a bit of spray on starch to make the fabric rigid, and thus “easier” to handle. My problem with them is they can sometimes set the fibers off-grain, which just ruins everything.

    • stephanie

      Thanks so much! Those are great tips. I was having issues with my machine eating the fabric, so that was really helpful. I have all of the seams sewn and now it’s the bias bindings that are making me cry. I think basting will work.

  • mokosha

    fabulous.. i always enjoy seeing how incredibly neat your garments are

  • Lizz

    This dress is incredible. I’d want to live in it. And look at how neatly it’s sewn – there’s not a single mismatched stripe!

  • Ginger

    How amazing is this dress?!?! LOVE! It looks fantastic!

  • Amy

    This is such a perfect summer dress! The colors and finishings are just gorgeous. I love those little facings for the sleeves and neckline. I’ve been meaning to try something like that on silk, rather than a fold-over binding.

    Ahh, the silk crepe de chine. I don’t know if this would be helpful to you, but I tried to get used to the feeling of sewing crepe and charmeuse without pins. I would get so frustrated with silk that I realized some of it was the way I was handling the fabric. I did some practice on long scraps to get the hang of it, and maybe would pin a notch here and there just to feel it out. With a lot of pins the fabric wants to do all kinds of wonky shifty things, and it’s tempting to stretch it. I align the layers every couple of inches with my fingers and then gently guide or ease it into the machine, trying not to stretch or pull as much as possible. If the top layer is creeping too much (as in, ends up longer than the bottom layer), you can either try decreasing the pressure of your foot or using a walking foot. When all else fails, I baste (just a smidge inside the seam allowance so I don’t get needle marks).

    • stephanie

      Thanks Amy! It’s incredibly helpful – practicing on scraps is a really good idea. I’m used to working with cotton and stable wovens and I think I have a tendency to manhandle the fabric.

      I’m working on the bias bindings now and I tried to sew them like I would cotton, but it’s not going to work out. I think I actually need to do the fold-over method. I can’t believe I forgot about that.

  • elizabeth rehmer

    The inside of the dress is as gorgeous as the outside! wow! very amazing…

  • Amy

    What a lovely dress, and what lovely craftsmanship to match! The little chevroned stripes are perfect.

  • Neus

    It’s so nice!! I love the shape and the print!
    You look great 🙂

  • Julie

    Oh my! That stitching is dreamy. What are your edgestitching secrets/tips/etc? That bias facing is to die for!!

    • stephanie

      The #10 presser foot for my Bernina is my secret. I feel like I can conquer the world with that thing. Seriously.

      And I baste quite a bit – mostly seamlines. Probably an unnecessary amount, but I can’t get it right otherwise!

  • Maddie

    This looks so great and you finished it so well on the inside. That is too too funny that you forgot to sew in the pockets because you were so excited about the seams!

  • Crystal

    Beautiful dress. I like seeing the bodice of the pattern without the ruffle – it’s quite nice. I’m impressed with your matching and loving the chevron, just like everybody else. Seems like a summer dress you will want to throw on all the time.

  • Jodi

    Gorgeous dress. And so beautifully finished inside!! Great matching! Impressive work.

  • Thewallinna

    This dress is screaming: SUMMER! Lovely fabric & neat work! I like the pictures too, are they taken at the sea side?

  • Ginger

    Hey, this is a featured project on BurdaStyle today! Congrats!!

  • dixie

    That fabric is to die for! love it love it love it – the hem, the chevron, the color, the elastic waist.

    Oh, and working with slippery silks – hand basting is your best friend. The tiny pocket tee is small enough and has so few seams that basting would be quick and easy!

  • Inspiration: Dresses with Assymetrical Hems | A Good Wardrobe

    […] One of the many reasons why I love reading sewing blogs is at any moment, a project could come across my RSS feed that makes me stop everything and make one myself. That is exactly what happened when I came across this chevron high low hem dress. […]

  • Lavender

    Yowzers! Gorgeous, Steph! Absolutely. The finishing is incredible, and I’m totally gaga over it. Do you do the proper method for bias binding the edges, as in with double-fold bias tape, stitched down unfolded, then turn the raw edge under and edgestitch? It’s divine. Maybe I shouldn’t do my cheat method (single fold in half wrong sides together, stitch, turn to inside (or outside, whichever I fancy), then edgestitch).

    • stephanie

      Ahhh! I always forget about the fold-in-half method!! I guess I do it the proper way, which isn’t a big deal with cotton, but absolutely effing impossible on silk. Now that you’ve reminded me, I’m going to try that way out – thanks!

  • louise

    wow, that is some impeccable stripe matching…
    gorgeous dress, if only i had summer enough weather to justify something so lovely and breezy looking!

  • Amanda

    Hi there! Came here at the link from Lizz from A Good Wardrobe and had to comment because a) that is the most PERFECT stripe matching I’ve ever seen, and b) your finishing is IMPECCABLE!!! I just adore how perfect this is, and had to say so – bravo! 😀

  • Kara

    Wow, this dress is amazing! It looks way more professionally done than most dresses you see in stores now. I’m loving the French seams too!

  • Jen

    WOW this is such an amazing, well made, super cute, totally wearable dress I am in love with it! So funny about the pockets, I think we’re all guilty of those sorts of mistakes. I just now realized that you moved your blog after finally getting to my reader, it looks amazing too! You are really knocking the creations out of the park!

  • Daughter Fish

    This chevrons are so perfect! And I’m drooling (just a little!) at your seams. Very nice:)

  • Adri

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!! keep on blogging!!!

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