Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you plan and prepare, projects just come out of nowhere asking to be made. I had planned to work on a couple of fairytale dresses, but nevertheless found myself gravitating towards a pink ditzy printed cotton that I bought from Leicester Market years and years ago. Do you ever find that fabrics dictate when they’re going to be used and what they’re made into?
After I spotted these gorgeous examples of the Izzy Top (/Dress) on Instagram and Pinterest, I couldn’t help but dig out the pattern from my collection. I just loved the piping detail between the bodice and skirt, the prettiness of adding length and the use of floral fabric. Not that I needed much persuading, but when I discovered the perfect coordinating khaki in my stash, the decision was made: another Izzy top was in the making… but this time it would be a dress! The Izzy Top is a great FREE little pattern from Climbing the Willow which comes in sizes 18mos-12! It’s perfect for beginner sewers who want to start building their confidence with common dressmaking techniques, or for more advanced sewers who just want something they can whip together in a few hours. You can read all about my first attempt at it here. This time I made the pattern in a size 5, and added 20cm to the length to make the dress modification. I didn’t change much in terms of putting it together. I used the button tab from the pattern and hand stitched a buttonhole again (although I reckon I might just make a rouleau button loop next time). However I did add piping which I stitched to the bodice using my zipper foot before pinning my gathered skirt into place. I actually found it easier to sew over the gathers than normal because I could use the ridge of the piping as a guide!
As my final step to finish off the Izzy dress, I decided not to serge the bodice and skirt seam together as the pattern suggests. Instead I spontaneously decided to encase them in some homemade bias binding from the same khaki fabric I used earlier, which I slipstitched onto the bodice lining to hold in place. I really like the finish it creates and I’ll definitely be using this technique again. On a final note, I really like the colours of this dress. The pastel shades of the floral print make it perfect for Summer, but the khaki trim means that when teamed with tights and a cardigan, the dress can see it’s proud owner all the way through Autumn too- pretty and practical!