Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress – Have you tried hacking yours yet?

Sew My Style is a year long sewing challenge which gets you to try a new pattern each month. It is hosted by Jessica Lorraine and you can find the information here. It’s up to you whether you complete the monthly project and I’ve made more projects than I have skipped. On the whole the projects will work with a variety of body shapes. The September project is the Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress.

Pattern Description:

The Fringe Dress is pull on dress or top with grown on sleeves with a gathered skirt. There are two options for necklines, a button placket or a sculpted neckline.

I’ve made the dress before and I haven’t work it much (mostly because I need to take it up a little). I thought I’d make a top version and knew I wanted to make one with a big waist tie and a few ruffles.

It was a really easy hack to achieve.

Pattern Sizing:

The pattern comes in Sizes 0 – 18

Fabric Used:

I’ve previously made it the Rifle Paper Co Cotton & Steel Fabric nearly everyone has used. This time I shopped my stash and came up with a red floral poplin I got from a destash group on Facebook.

I still have a decent size piece left over.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Well once I finished hacking it there was still some semblance to the original pattern. If you stick to the original pattern pieces it is true to description.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

The instructions were clearly written and the drawings help make things even clearer. I followed the instructions and it came together pretty quickly – I had it sewn up in an afternoon.

I would suggest taking your time when putting the neck facing on.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

For the sleeves I cut out the normal sleeve piece and the cuff. I extended the cuff piece by 2 inches. I inserted the sleeve piece without folding it in accordance with the instructions which meant the sleeve was twice as long and then gathered the cuff piece and attached it to the sleeve hem.

For the waist ties I cut 6 of the large tie piece. I joined two pieces together to form the two ties and the finished them in accordance with the instructions. Instead of inserting them into the back dart I added them to the waist seams to sit where my natural waist is.

The remaining two pieces were used to form the ruffle on the bottom of the skirt piece. Instead of cutting it with a curved hem I levelled it off.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

To make the pattern fit I had to grade up a size which was pretty easy to do. This was mostly to accommodate my bust. I didn’t worry too much about the skirt piece as it was a top and the gathering gives plenty of room to move. I also didn’t need to add any extra room to the sleeve and I like how loose they sit.

I”m really happy with the fit and how comfortable it is to wear. The only thing I am not sure about is the ruffle on the bottom. I just can’t be bothered to change so it will stay for now.

It is designed as quite lose fitting by adding the ties it helped cinch it in a bit.

Other great versions can be found at?

Bettina reviewed the pattern for the Curvy Sewing Collective

Meg at Cookin and Craftin

Chalk and Notch have just done a series on hacking the Fringe Dress


I’m hoping to get a bit of wear out of it with the upcoming summer party season with jeans and a nice sandal or heel.

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Whats better than one dress? – two dresses in one …

This is a post a year in the making. Last summer my go to dress was the Sew Liberated Metamorphic Dress. I lived in it and have even worn it a lot layered this winter.

Pattern Description:

The dress is a sleeveless dress with a gathered skirt which is reversible. One layer has a curved hem and the other is straight across. I loved the first one so much I made a second.

Metamorphic_croquis (1).jpg
Drawing from Sew Liberated

Pattern Sizing:

The pattern comes in sizes 0 – 24 and I made a size 22 bodice with a size 24 skirt.

Fabric Used:

In my first version I used a dark grey cotton slub and black rayon. In my second version I used an Art Gallery Voile with a Navy Rayon. I used about 2 metres of each fabric and still had some leftovers.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes. There aren’t a lot of pieces to it and it was as imagined. I may consider making a longer version.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Super easy to follow. The two dresses are joined at the bodice using the burrito method and it was the first time I had used the method and it came up a treat. There is also a YouTube Video to help visual learners here.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I loved how easy it is to style and how you can dress it up or down. All of Meg from Sew Liberated’s pieces are designed to mix and match and layer.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I cut the straps and neckline as an 18 to accommodate a hollow chest and it worked a treat.

I would potentially lengthen the skirt a little more.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I have and I will.

Other great versions can be found at?

Meg from Sew Liberated has a drool worthy collection

Andrea from Drea Renee Knits

Fancy Tiger Crafts


A summer wardrobe staple I couldn’t live without.

What do you do with your scraps???

My collection of bias binding.

The thing about dressmaking is you end up with scraps, lots of them.

For me I think of anything around 50 cm a scrap. I, as a general rule, only sew for myself and there are only a couple of patterns in my arsenal that takes a metre or less.

Contrasting bias binding on the hem

The thought of throwing the scraps out seems like such a waste. We don’t have a textile recycling drop off point anywhere near my hometown so I have started to get creative to use them up.

Contrasting bias binding on my Cashmerette Springfield

The most common thing I do with larger pieces is turning it into bias binding. I prefer to use a contrasting or coordinating bias to finish my garments and it has slowly become my go to finish with hems and necklines. I also found it great to finish the neckline on my Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress which I made in a ponte.

Contrasting bias binding on my Grainline Farrow Dress

I haven’t taught myself the seamless bias technique and I usually have lots of odd shaped pieces so I join my pieces all together. This works really well with thinner fabrics like lawn or a poplin. I’ve also tried with a drill and cotton sateen and they are best with a wider binding. It gives a quirky touch to your garments which I love.

The best tips I have is to use a bias binding tool (I got mine off ebay) and iron it with the fold side facing the ironing board.  I roll mine up as I iron which helps keep it neat and tidy.

Contrasting Bias hem on a dress

There are several great tutorials around but a couple can be found here:

Like a lot of people I have a pocket obsession I put them in all my dresses and I prefer to use a contrasting fabric for pockets and facings. I have recently used scrap fabric to line the bibs of my Pippi Pinafore and my Jenny Overalls.

Coordinated contrasting lining on my Closet Case Jenny Overalls


Scrap lining on my Pippi Pinafore

I have been meaning to cut a whole heap of pockets out to have a pocket stash. Then I can have very different pockets in my dresses.

I have also used scraps to make some clothes for nephew. Tiny human clothes take a lot less and it makes for a nice gift.

My nephews Christmas present 2017

But the biggest use of my scrap fabric has been my quilt project. I started it in October 2017 and do a bit each Tuesday at a Quilting class. Every now and then I do a bit at home.

It will be double sided and the back is being pieced using the jelly roll race technique.

A jelly roll race quilt I made for a colleague

Putting it all together is like having a momento of all the different projects I’ve worked on. It will probably take me another year to quilt it.

Its king size and perfect to prevent the great evening blanket war that occurs when you have two side sleepers.

Anyway these are some of the things I do to use my scraps. Sadly it hasn’t really made a great dent but it does make me feel like I am getting the best out of my fabric.

The Love to Sew Podcast have mentioned what to do with scraps on a few episodes so thats a great resource.

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