Simple Sew Zoe Dress

A near identical post has already appeared on the Simple Sew blog. You can read it here!

Hello! My Simple Sew make for this month is a nice and easy one! It’s the Zoe dress & top.

Simple Sew Zoe 1

I made this just before going on my holiday to Fuerteventura. I thought that a simple throw-over dress would be perfect to take with me to wear over my tankini. So that’s what I’ve made!

I chose a grey chambray fabric from Boyes (a local department store) and I think it was perfect for this project. The star of the show for this make though is the top-stitching. I have some pink top stitching thread which I’m saving for a pair of me-made jeans. I knew I had enough to squeeze this make out of it too. The Zoe dress is a great project to try if it’s your first time with contrast top-stitching thread. Just remember that your bobbin has your standard thread in it, i.e.the same thread you’ve used to construct the actual garment!

The Zoe dress is a very simple pattern. There are two back pieces and two front pieces and these join to create a centre front and centre back seam. These seams get highlighted with top-stitching.

To make sure my top-stitching was nice and neat I actually used my ‘stitch in the ditch’ foot for my sewing machine. It has a blade running down the centre of it which you position in a seam allowing you to sew straight in there. I nudged the needle over to one side so I could get neat top-stitching parallel to my seam line. Hopefully you can see it in the photo below.

Simple Sew Zoe 2

For the top-stitching I increased the stitch length to 3.5.

Simple Sew Zoe 3

Two parallel lines of stitching!

The neckline has a facing which you stitch on with a 1cm seam allowance and flip over. You then top stitch 3cm away from the neckline. Not only does this look good but it also catches the facing so it stays put and doesn’t flip over. Just to make sure that I’m accurate I like to draw on the stitching line. I use an iron-off pen for this. These are so useful but you sometimes get ghost lines on some types of fabric when you iron the pen off. As I was going over this line with thick stitching I wasn’t too worried about it.

Simple Sew Zoe 4

I tend to use whatever ruler comes to hand!

Simple Sew Zoe 5

Drawn on and ready to stitch!

Here’s a close of the neckline and the centre front seam in situ!

Simple Sew Zoe 7

I followed the instructions exactly and they were pretty good. There was no confusion at all. Just remember that the sleeve bands also attach to the dress with a 1cm seam allowance. That’s not stated in the instructions but it is stated on the pattern itself.

The one change I made was to shorten the dress. It came out a lot longer than I was expecting it to, so I lopped a good 20cm off the bottom of the dress. As I’m using it for hot and sunny climes I thought short was good!

Simple Sew Zoe 8

The dress is loose-fitting and you want it to be. I am slightly between sizes with Simple Sew patterns. As a size 14 can be a bit too big I cut a size 12. I probably could have done to size up as I do need to wriggle around to get the dress on and it is a smidge too tight across the bust but it fits nicely everywhere else.

Simple Sew Zoe 9

Simple Sew Zoe 10

So what do you think? I really like my new dress and I think it will be so useful! A perfect day dress for summer, but add a polo neck underneath, some thick tights and a pair of boots and you’ve also got a perfect autumn dress too!



Simple Sew Sophia Skirt (and top)!

If you’re in the UK you must have heard about the dressmakers ball. When this was first announced I looked into getting a ticket to go. And then my husband ruined everything by pointing out that it’s at 7.00pm on a Friday night in Leicester which is a bugger to get to on the train from Scarborough. Even if I left work the instant I finished I would be very late and stressed.  I’ve decided to be jealous of everyone who is going and just hope that they do it again next year (on a Saturday please so us workers from far away can go!). Continue reading

Simple Sew Anneka Tunic

Hi everyone! I’m here to show you my March make (I know, I know) for Simple Sew! It’s the Anneka Tunic which you can get here.  One of the reasons why I’m so late in posting is because I did manage to make a right meal of it.  I want to reassure you though that this is an incredibly simple pattern that is perfect for beginners.  I just got a bit blasé and overconfident with it because it really is so simple!  I’ll explain later…. Continue reading

Simple Sew’s Palazzo trousers tutorial

Well this is all very exciting and quite a big deal for our little blog because I am a Simple Sew blogger! There are a number of us who have been added to the blogging list (Nelnanandnora, the Wardrobe Architect, Crafty Clyde and Coolarama) and we’re going to share some tutorials of Simple Sew’s patterns. First up for me are these gorgeous wide-legged trousers, or Palazzo trousers. The pattern is available here.

Simple Sew

Fabric suggestions

You could use a number of Continue reading