This is a post continued from earlier this week about my recent versions of the Sew Over It Nancy Dress (click here to see Part 1 for more general pattern tips!)
The second Nancy Dress I made was for my mother-in-law Caroline. It was her 60th birthday, and I thought a 60s inspired dress was perfect for her petite frame and style. I’m always nervous about sewing gifts though, after making a shirt my husband didn’t like, so I cheated a bit. I didn’t tell her WHAT I was making, but I sent her a choice of 5 fabrics I thought would be suitable for the dress, and she chose a dark navy crepe with a white rectangle print. The only issue was that this fabric also happened to be a bit see through! I texted her and asked if she ever wears slips… but she doesn’t.
So! I decided to challenge myself to line this next Nancy dress! I’m not a huge fan of polyester lining, so I chose a white crepe fabric to match the weight and drape of the navy crepe on the outside.
Because of the way the Nancy is constructed, the front panel is all one large piece. I couldn’t just line the skirt or bodice- I was going to have to do the whole thing!
I cut out double of all the pieces except the sleeves. I assembled the dress the exact same way for both sets, until I got to the neckline. I debated just using the lining like you would a facing (instead of using the bias binding) but I didn’t want any of the white to peek through. I decided instead to construct it as described with the bias bound neckline. I placed both the lining and main fabric wrong sides together and then finished the neckline.
My next decision was to sew the lining and main fabric together on the side seams. A personal pet peeve is when the lining starts to pull up and inside out and you have to wrestle into your dress. I liked connecting the two pieces at the sides to make sure it stays in place. This made for some creative hemming at the end, but that’s ok! It was at this point I decided to give French seams a try, to great success! I would trim them down more next time so they are less bulky, but I think they looked pretty darn good.
I attached the sleeves as normal, but only in the main fabric (I didn’t think it was necessary to line the sleeves).
Like I said, things got a little dicey when I got to the hem, as I wanted to hem the lining and main fabric separately. I did this, because sometimes the fabrics shrink more than others, and warp the garment. I wanted to leave both hems free to account for this.
I sewed two lovely blind-stitched hems, only to realize that the lining in the back was longer than the main fabric! It had stretched out over the week I had let it hang prior to hemming. I’m so glad I did that, as I fiddled with some more folds, and re-arranged the hem so that it did not peek out.
I included one hook and eye at the top as a finishing touch!
You can see below, the dress fit Caroline nicely. I got her measurements ahead of time, and I’m so happy with the result. She can wear it to the Rod Stewart concert which we got her tickets for as the rest of her gift!
Happy Birthday Caroline!
Self-taught sewist, Knitter, Crocheter, and all round crafty person from Ottawa, Canada.