‘Love Never Dies’ inspiration taken from autumn floral printed T-shirt patch, used in dress centre front. A second version ‘Love Never Dies II’ is available, same patches, lined, with white fringed hem.
Bandeau top inspiration: slice cut from ethnic printed skinny stretch dress.
Patches made and joined in strips of three, then join those to make a length as shown in picture on floor.
Patchwork section attached to stretchy cotton bandeau top, by hand stretch back stitch shown in MAKING INSTRUCTIONS below.
Seams are overlapped one quarter inch – one half inch, and zig-zag machined to avoid bulky inside seams. 6 different patchwork fabrics are used making up a large rectangle of 11 patches x 3 patches. Keep adding strips (here strips are 3 patches long). Make strips until there are enough to join up around hips: add 2 extra patch widths to create fullness when attached to bandeau top.
NOTE: black lace patches are made by fixing over lighter fabric base. There are possibilities of using different backgrounds for lace, for more subtle effects.
When choosing fabrics, 6 seems to be a good number of alternative fabrics. They can be either contrasting, as here, or similar in tone. Dark – Medium- Light is a good mix.
Muted schemes are more satisfactory and versatile than multi-rainbow colour themes. The size of fabric areas cut from garments, dictates the size of the patches. In this instance it was the ‘Love Never Dies’ T-shirt print I started from, giving me two patch lengths when cutting.
I was originally going to position the patchworks in diagonal formation over a bias cut lining, but they weren’t cut square so it would look odd. I therefore turned it to straightforward vertical arrangement. Recycling 6 different garments, and cutting at least 8 patches from each, is a good start. I cut more if I like a scheme and want to make another similar.
These patches are 12.5cm x 18cm cut (approximately 7″ x 5″). Decide the length of garment skirt section needed, from seam under bandeau top, then divide by three for length of patchwork strips: to be either 3, 4, or 5 patches deep. 3 is enough for this short dress.
Close up of back, shows butterfly prints, and zig-zag seaming flat overlaps.
Zig-zag machining of patches: overlap quarter inch, making two rows at each overlap (note it is flat, no folded seams).
Pinning patchwork length equally along bandeau bottom on the inside.
The patchwork top folded over and pinned in place, ready for stitching by hand.
How the pinning looks after pinning one section to sew. More to follow.....
Hand stitched back stitch which gives full stretch result. Photo of stitch process omitted but IS SHOWN BELOW when attaching lining to this seam join. (Note: I could have machine-tacked lining to patches first, then stretch stitched them both together, but I needed to experiment)
Outer view shows small hand stitches (stretch back stitch) showing through. Quite acceptable appearance; could even be larger, as a feature.
Stretch back stitch: holding work this way, each needle insertion is towards you, hand underneath can test for flexibility of stretch, to ensure same stretch as patches fabric.
Working left to right, back-stitching into patchwork section above, and lining section below. This lining (taken from a dress), is on the 'bias' which aids stretchiness. It would need to be same width as patchwork section sewn to, to give equal stretch.
Needle comes back to lining back stitch from upper stitch. Needle goes in right to left, but stitches complete to the right.
Finished stretch stitch: inside of dress, just below where dress patchwork attaches (also stretch stitch) to bandeau.
Join strips of lace for hem trim. I used a neck frill and sleeve edges from a lace dress (4 cut lengths). Press quarter inch in then pin to dress hem.
Machining lace edgings to dress hem. Zig-zag.
Finished lace trim attached (inside view). NOTE: dress fabric was turned under and pressed towards front beforehand.
Finished lace trim showing front and inside back.
Fabric hem sewn to inside lining: to sit behind black lace.
Top of bandeau is folded over and narrow elastic inserted. Stretchiness is preserved by using stretch backstitch instead of machining.