The Juliette Dress

Meet my new dress – Juliette:

She is made from a printed cotton sateen from Global Fabrics, and according to this photo needs strap retainers!  (And I need ironing mitts – I’ve burnt my arm on the iron twice this week!!)

Juliette has a contrast neckline, waistline and underbust band, with a ruched upper front panel and gathered skirt:

And there’s a CB invisible zip – invisible of course!

I think I will make a petticoat.  What do you think – the fuller skirt looks prettier doesn’t it?  I have a few other things I could wear a petticoat under, plus it means walking home from work across the windy bridge won’t be so hazardous!


In my recent post on Grainline Vs. Printline, StephC asked what to do in the situation of off-grain stripes – and whatdoyouknow the next thing I cut was this fabric, essentially an off-grain printed stripe!  I did the opposite to what I did for my orange all-over spot – I cut ensuring the horizontal ‘stripe’ was horizontal, rather than the lengthwise grain being straight.  
Why?  Well, here’s the method to my madness:

  • This print is more dominant than the spot, and if the lines aren’t horizontal it will be more obvious in the finished garment.  On this dress imagine the bustline, skirt waistline and hemline on a slant – eeeky.
  • A slight skew in the lengthwise grain will be negligible in this design.  The bodice pieces are short so any skew is minor. On the skirt, any skewing of the lengthwise grain is going to be hidden amongst all those gathers and won’t affect the hang of the skirt.  A straight skirt might be affected, so I didn’t try to make a shift dress out of this fabric.
  • It comes down to a question of which is worse – off-grain fabric or off-grain print.  Every design is different, and the most appropriate compromise needs to be made – you get to decide where!

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Designer, Patternmaker, Blogger Of All Things Sewing. Follow as I share projects, patterns, and my favourite tricks of the trade.

49 thoughts on “The Juliette Dress

  1. Fabulous! So reminiscent of the 50s that to me a petticoat would be the finishing touch. I also agree with you about keeping the horizontal line straight in this case. It would have been so noticable even if it was only slightly out. I love it!


  2. Oh my goodness, I love this dress!!! It is so flattering on you. Is this your own pattern? I really love it.
    And yes, I think a petticoat would work really well with the dress


  3. Gorgeous dress Sherry! Forgive me for saying this (in case it's too cheeky) – but this style is very flattering on the girls ;)! Makes them more prominent, but not at all in an overt c-leavagy/s-exy way, and the waist definition of the style coupled with that makes me think I should give a look like this ago sometime… which pattern is it please? 🙂


  4. I think it's a lovely dress. A wide petticoat is a possibility, but avoid making it so puffy that you would look like a teacosy. I don't like the socks under the dress.They make your legs look so short.And those windy bridges………………… Do you know in the fifties we had sometimes small lead strips in the dress- seams to avoid that shame


  5. Sherry, it is so pretty. I love the color & the super graphic-ness of the print. As always, the details are wonderful–the contrasting bands & straps.

    How is your class going? (the one you're teaching?)


  6. Oh, I love it! I want one! Definitely with the petticoat, in my opinion.

    And thank you for the insight about grain vs. print. It's so obvious when you say it—and yet we often need to hear the obvious, don't we? 😉


  7. Lovely dress. Yes to the petticoat. Everything is better with a petticoat. I love the fabric and the shelf bust. It's kind of disappointing that Global Fabrics, who I think are pretty expensive compared to say, Spotlight, would sell prints that are off grain. That said, you made it work and it looks fabulous.


  8. Hooo weee! You look hot in that dress! Stunner. You will be beating off the boys in that one. Rather awesome sewing talents too. Just had to delurk to make sure you knew how much the dress suited you. 😀


  9. what a gorgeous use of that fabric – and quite unexpected too! Love it – now can we have some warm weather please?? What is wrong with this summer ??? I imagine you might need some thermals too for that bridge crossing…


  10. This is sososSO beautiful on you. I hope it never sags or pulls out of shape, because this dress photographed so wonderfully that you should feel like a fashion model every time you wear it. My wish is you should get a long and gorgeous life out of this garment. Love this.


  11. Pretty! I love that it's kind of plaid and kind of not. The contrast bands look great. And I agree that going with the print rather than the grain was a good call on this one, it would have looked kind of odd otherwise!


  12. This is absolutely gorgeous!! A friend and I were at The Fabric Store the other day and I pulled this fabric off the shelf… Both of us read your blog and we had a little “Sherry!!!” moment.

    I generally choose to go a little offgrain if necessary… Woven in stripes are my favorite, sometimes I really let myself go playing with grainline and stripes… Lovely lovely work.

    And of course, I'm a fan of the petticoat. 🙂


  13. HI, very lovely dress. the contrast band really brings the dress out. i see this is self drafted but can you give tips on how to make the upper ruched front panel. is this an easy or difficult thing to do/draft.


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