This is one of my favourite dresses….Cecily! Here I’m out and about in Brighton and on Worthing beach, near where I live. Below shows some Cecilys in different African wax fabrics….Here are some more sensible options….This Cecily dress is made in fabulous Italian 100% fine linen pinstripe fabric (bundles available on my Etsy shop) Ive turned the fabric on its side for the bodice, so the stripes run horizontally and then vertically on the skirt section. I really like the effect it gives and I have to say, I do wear this a lot when Im going somewhere special.
You can buy Cecily Dress pattern from my Etsy shop here is a link……
When I wear Cecily dress, I feel amazing, like I’m making a real statement about who I am, so I tend to make it in bold prints but it also looks great in more subtle fabrics such as the Kaufman railroad denim or the grey pinstripe linen (shown above).
So this is a time to show yourself off….. you are amazing….. as we all are!
You can make this frock with or without the tie belt, but I prefer it with one (I just love a tie belt). This pattern has cap sleeves but on the latest addition of Cecily I have added a short sleeve template for those of you wanting a slightly longer sleeve.
Cecily is designed to be loose fitting on the waist so its more comfortable to wear, it has a side concealed zip too, but I can pop mine on without undoing the zip, so if you feel that inserting a concealed zip is beyond your skill level, try making it without. Of course, having a side zipper does make it easier to get on and off, and inserting a concealed zip is for some people easier than a standard zip. I have popped a concealed zip tutorial link below, so have a peek to see what you think or why not have a go, you will never look back if you conquer this technique.
PREPARATION/ADJUSTING THE PATTERN
Its a good idea to check your measurements against that on the pattern. If you are, like me, a bit top heavy, go for the larger size that fits your bust measurements, you can always adjust to fit afterwards. The pattern is suited to a bust cup size B. If you need further bust adjustments, see these useful guides for a bust adjustment:
You may also need to lengthen the shoulder to waist length so measure your body from these points and adjust accordingly. Its a good idea (especially if you are using expensive fabric) to make up the bodice section in cheap fabric or calico first to see how it fits and to determine whether the pattern needs adjusting. It doesn’t take long to do and like that you can feel more confident, secure in the knowledge that the fit will be right. I want you to make lots of Cecilys (like I have), so tweaking it at the outset will give better results in the long run.
You will also need a 30cm concealed zip and 20cm of lightweight fusible interfacing
Seam allowance is 1cm.
Finish all raw edges with an overlocker or zigzag stitch.
Here is an over view of the pattern instructions included in the pack with a few extra tips, it will give you a taster of how to make this charming frock:
Start by inserting the darts.
Sew the upper back pieces together.
Join to the upper front at the shoulders. Press seam allowances towards the back.
Block press your facing pieces on to fusible interfacing
Join at the sides. Press. Finish the outer edge.
Pin to the neck edge of the upper front and back.
Nick the curved seam allowance. Tip: reduce the bulk of the side cross seam allowances.
Press over to the wrong side. Pin.
Stitch evenly all around, go carefully as this stitch line will be seen on the right side so it’d better be good! I like to take it slow at this part.
LOWER SKIRT SECTION
Mark out your pleat position with pins on the front and back skirt section at the top edge.
Fold the box pleats.
Hers a diagram to help you.
Machine tack stitch
Sew to the upper front bodice with the right sides together.
Press. Tip: why not top stitch on the right side close to the seam on the bodice side.
Pin to the left side of the skirt (see template for the position). NB if you are left- handed you may prefer to insert the pocket on the opposite side.
Press away from the skirt. Top stitch.
Insert the side concealed zipper here. Here is a link to my tutorial about how to insert a concealed zip with either a standard zip foot or a concealed zip foot.
After sewing in the zip, pin then sew the seam together below and above the zipper.
Join the front to back at the side edges from underarm to lower hem all around pocket.
Sew the sleeves together at the sides. Press.
Hem the lower edge.
Pin to the armhole, align the back section of the sleeve to the back body. Hand tack.
Sew, make sure you have no puckers!
Fold over and press 1cm to the wrong side of each long side.
Stitch along each long side close to the edge. Press over 1cm each short side.
Pin to the body 2cm in from each side. Stitch down with a small rectangle at each far end.
Join the tie pieces at the short sides with the right sides together. Press seam allowances open.
Fold the tie piece in half with the right sides together. Stitch down the long side and at a 45 degree angle at each far end to make a point, leave an opening of 4cm approx at the centre point. Trim the seam allowance to 5mm and Nick the corner point. Turn inside out through the opening.
Press. Topstitch all around which should close up the opening at the same time.
Tie a big Esme tie at the front on your lovely dress.
There you are! You can also wear without a belt if you prefer. Now time to pose!