Today in the Chelsea Party Dress sewalong we will be talking fabric and supplies. Including some extra tips on color blocking and print mixing to get the most out of your Chelsea Party Dress!
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In addition to your sewing machine, fabric, thread, scissors/rotary cutter, iron, etc., there are a few extra supplies you will find helpful in completing your Chelsea Party Dress.
- Loop Turner – you can probably get by with turning the bodice right side out using your favorite chopstick or other method, but my loop turner is one of my most used sewing supply purchases I’ve made. It makes pulling those back straps right-side-out a breeze!
- Clear Ruler – if you plan on making any fit adjustments to your pattern, a good clear drafting ruler will definitely come in handy.
- 1/4” Elastic – I like to just purchase this by the roll so I always have some on hand!
- Baby Hem Foot – If you are using a nice, light drape-y fabric like challis or crepe, this foot will really speed up the hemming process.
- Invisible Zippers – something else I like to buy in bulk and keep on hand!
- Invisible Zipper Foot – yes, its entirely possible to install an invisible zipper with a regular zipper foot, but these just make it so much easier.
- Hook & Eye
The Chelsea Party Dress calls for light to medium weight fabrics with good drape. The Drape is key to getting that dreamy, flowing skirt look and feel.
However, I made my early samples of the Chelsea (short version) in simple cotton sheeting and they turned out great! Just know that using a stiffer fabric will alter the drape of the skirt, and I wouldn’t recommend it for the maxi version.
In general, you should also stick to using fabrics of the same weight throughout the dress, especially with the skirt pieces. One exception is the bodice. You can definitely get away with using a more sturdy fabric in the bodice and waistband paired with lighter, flowing fabrics for the skirt. It may even help keep you supported up top! For the Chelsea above, I used a fat quarter of quilting cotton for the bodice and a silky crepe de chine for the skirt.
COLOR BLOCKING TIPS
Don’t be afraid to play around with this! Print out a few copies of the pattern cover included in the print at home file and color in the line drawing with different color combinations to get some ideas. The sky is the limit with possibilities!
If you are nervous about color blocking or print mixing but want to try it, here are a few general guidelines to help you succeed:
- Follow the color wheel – stick with color combinations that technically compliment each other and you can’t go wrong!
- What Would Katie Kortman Do? – Check out Katie’s instagram story highlights for a refresher on all the color theory she taught us during #sewhappycolor
- Go for ombre – you can never go wrong with an ombre scheme. Pick a color you love and choose fabrics in varying shades of that color to create a faded look up or down your dress.
- Pay attention to scale – when mixing prints, this is key. Use a small scale print for the smaller bodice pieces and larger scale prints for the skirt pieces.
- Use prints with the same color scheme – it can be a bit much for the eye to register mixed prints AND color. Choose prints that have similar colors to tie them together.
- Stick with a fabric collection – many fabric designers design fabrics in collections. They are made to be used together! You really can’t go wrong with this technique!
On that note, here are a few fabric collections I’m really loving right now, that would be great combined into a Chelsea Party Dress, listed in order for bodice, skirt, and hem from left to right:
I hope you are now feeling prepared & confident to jump into your Chelsea Party Dress. Tomorrow we will talk about sizing and fit. Getting the fit right in the Chelsea Party Dress is super important – you don’t want to miss this one!