I first spotted this Micheal Miller Gnomeville fabric several months ago on Frumble and fell in love instantly, I had to have some! I found a remnant for a reduced price on their eBay shop and…sort of forgot about it for a few months. Then one evening I spotted it peeking out of the fabric drawer and realised I needed to make something ASAP before the little one grew too big.
|Front of the simple wraparound design gnome dress|
The design is intended more for soft furnishings, so the Gnomeville scene is a border along one edge of the cloth, which meant that folded in half the top part of the fabric was perfect to be used as the lining. Given the very limited amount of fabric I tried to think of a design that would use as few separate pieces as possible, which is how the idea of a single piece design came about. With every piece of fabric seam allowance needs to be allocated, which can quickly eat into an already limited piece of material.
I decided to use buttons down the back and on the shoulders so that I could cut a single piece of fabric for the front of the dress and another for the lining. To help the fabric go a little further I kept a small scrap of lining fabric to sew into one edge of the back seam to make a place to secure the buttons, a handy way to ensure I could use the full width of the remnant I had to make the dress without losing any of the gnome design where I affixed the buttons. I simply cut out two long strips and sewed right side to right side together, leaving a gap to turn it the right way round again and top stitching it ready for it to be sewn into the back seam for the buttons.
|The back seams meet flush with the extra button strip concealed behind|
Once the fabric pieces were cut I simply had to put them right side to right side and stitch all around the edge, being sure to also affix the extra strip for the back buttons into the seam as I went, leaving a small hole to turn everything the right way afterwards. To close the hole I top stitched around the edge afterwards, which also made sure the fabric lay flat.
All that was left now was sewing on buttons and stitching button holes. I decided to use a variety of different coloured buttons down the back to reflect the range of colours in the design, although on the shoulders I used white buttons to match the white spotty design across the top and the lining. I like to use 20mm acrylic round buttons, they are very cheap and come in a fantastic selection of colours.
|Some of the many buttons I have in my toolbox|
This is the perfect example of how choosing a decorative fabric means that the finished design can be really plain, as the fabric speaks for itself. This dress/tunic is perfect with leggings and a long sleeved Babygro underneath, but in summer could just be paired with a little pair of shorts underneath and a sun hat, and I can confirm it definitely gets lots of compliments when out and about!
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