Georgia Dress Sewalong #1: It's all in the fabric

georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Yoo hoo sewalongers!! Who's ready to make some seriously sexy knockout Georgia Dresses?? In this first Georgia Dress Sewalong post, we'll be talking all about fabric and notions, and helping you to make the best choice in order to get the most out of your Georgia Dress. We still can't believe our luck that New York's designer fabric mecca that is Mood Fabrics so kindly offered to provide us with the fabrics for our sewalong! We'll be making three variations (including a secret Valentine's Day variation to be revealed next week...):

Variation 1: Wide collar straps, mini length - we chose this adorably floral Laura Ashley-esque stretch cotton, which we'll be lining in this blush cotton voile.

georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Variation 2: Skinny straps, knee length - what's hotter than a classic LBD? Why, an LRD of course! This lipstick red cotton could not be more perfect for the Georgia Dress.

georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Variation 3: Bonus strapless variation - inspired by the classic strapless gownettes of the early noughties (think Rachel from Friends) we'll be showing you how to make your Georgia strapless. We've gone for this beautiful pastel cotton brocade, plus a few metres of easy sew boning. This beauty will be fully lined in the same blush cotton voile as above.

georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

To make the Georgia Dress, you will need:

  • Up to 2 metres of your main fabric for the knee length variations, up to 1.7 metres of your main fabric for a mini variation and 0.5 metres for your lining fabric. Please check the back of the Georgia Dress folder for more details on how much fabric you'll need depending on its width. We've recommended medium weight fabrics with a little bit of stretch - such as cotton sateen, twill, drill, poplin, upholstery cottons, denim, courduroy, silk noil, brocade and jacqard. The most important things to bear in mind is the stretch and the weight of the fabric you choose
  • 3 metres of easy sew boning (if you're making the bonus strapless variation)
  • A 16" invisible zipper
  • Other various dressmaking supplies - pins, tape measure, tailor's chalk, fabric scissors, matching thread, an invisible zipper foot, a regular zipper foot, tracing paper, hand sewing needle, hook & eye.

georgia dress sewalong - by hand london


Due to the structured shaping of the Georgia Dress - not only at the bodice cups but also throughout the panelling of the skirt - we really need a medium weight fabric that will hold its own rather than falling flimsily off your body. Avoid cotton lawn and quilting cottons, rayons and slippery silks. If you can, go for a natural fibre as opposed to polyesters; they press way crispier, last way longer and feel way better against your skin.


A little bit of crosswise stretch goes a loooong way with the Georgia Dress. This will enable the fabric to shape your curves, adding a little lightweight bodycon action. Go for fabrics with up to 8% lycra or spandex.

georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Can I make the Georgia Dress in a knit fabric?

Short answer - yes you can! 

Long answer - there are, of course, a few things to consider when making a dress recommended for woven fabrics in a knit fabric. First things first, a lightweight, drapey viscose jersey will not work. You'll need a stable knit, such as ponte or double knit to maintain the structure of the Georgia Dress. Secondly, you probably won't need a zipper - hooray! And finally, you might want to go down a dress size as even a stable knit will have more stretch to it than a stretch woven. Needless to say, when experimenting with new fabrics, it is always a good idea to make a toile first.

That's all for today folks - for the rest of this week we'll be getting all technical on yo' asses - talking about sizing, adjusting, tracing and cutting, so you still have plenty of time to get your pattern and supplies if you haven't already. Ciao for now!

  • Elisalex de Castro Peake
  • AW 13-14dressfabricGeorgia DressGeorgia Dress SewalongSewalong

Comments on this post ( 2 )

  • Feb 27, 2014

    Hi Lauren, I wouldn’t say it’s a bad idea to use a fabric with no stretch as such, just that you’ll have a harder time getting a perfectly figure hugging fit. Spend a little more time making a toile you can tweak (with a cheap fabric of equally no stretch) before you cut into your lovely broderie x

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Feb 14, 2014

    Hi! Would you say it’s a bad idea to use a medium weight cotton that has no stretch? I’ve got some black broderie anglaise which I think would look great, but it has no stretch whatsoever.

    — Lauren

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