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The Charlie Dress Sewalong kicks off soon!

Another sewalong is upon us and we can hardly wait! Kicking off at the end of August, the Charlie Dress Sewalong will be the perfect back to school project. If you're new to sewing, then let us hold your virtual hand as we guide you through every step in the making of a Charlie Dress, from what fabrics to look out for to the many different ways you could hem your dress, and everything in between. There'll be plenty for the more seasoned sewist too, and above all, it'll be fun! Keep reading for all you need to know...

Hell yeah, I’m in! Tell me more…

The first post will be going up on MONDAY 29th AUGUST, so if you haven’t already, you still have time to get your pattern and supplies. We’ll be publishing three-ish posts per week, aiming to have our frocks finished by the end of September. As well as going over some customisation inspiration and potential Charlie pattern hacks, as usual we'll be delving deep into the world of pattern adjustments and alterations, covering everything from full busts to sway backs, giving you the tools to create a made to measure garment that fits and flatters.

How do I get involved?

Really all you need to do to get involved is just sewalong with us! Obviously, we love nothing more than seeing your By Hand London creations out in the wild, so if you’d like to share your progress with us and the rest of the world – sharing is caring after all – please feel free to post on your blogs, show some love on our Facebook pagetweet us or Instagram @byhandlondon using the hashtags #byhandlondon and #charliedress.

How will the posts be broken down?

  • #1 - Gathering supplies - choosing the right fabrics and notions for your Charlie Dress
  • #2 - Pattern hacking & styling - talking inspiration, how to style your Charlie whatever the weather, love children and hopefully whetting your appetite for future Charlie frankenfrocking adventures!
  • #3 - Finding your size and printing the pattern
  • #4 - Pattern alterations - we'll be covering FBA's & SBA's (Full & Small Bust Adjustments), sway backs, gapey necklines, lengthening/shortening the bodice, and more!
  • #5 - Cutting, marking and stabilising your fabric
  • #6 - Assembling the bodice
  • #7 - Assembling the skirt - Variation 1
  • #8 - Assembling the skirt - Variation 2
  • #9 - Bonus post 
  • #10 - Joining the skirt to the bodice; inserting the zipper
  • #11 - Hemming; finishing touches

I can't wait. What do I need?

  • The Charlie Dress pattern.
  • Fabric. Please check the fabric requirements on our product page for advice on how much fabric to buy. A smorgasbord of woven fabrics will be suitable for your Charlie: light to medium weight wovens will work best - Variation 1: quilting cotton, chambray, lawn, cotton silk, viscose rayon etc. Variation 2: as V1 and also, flannel, linen, eyelet, crepe. Please make sure you pre-wash your fabric before cutting! Nothing worse than spending all that time making something beautiful only for it to shrink in the wash… Been there, folks. Never again. 
  • A couple of spools of matching thread – it’s always a good idea to get this when you get your fabric (or bring a swatch of your fabric with you) to get a good colour match. 
  • An 18" invisible zipper and an invisible zipper foot.
  • Various dressmaking supplies: a sewing machine, fabric scissors/rotary cutter, paper scissors, tracing paper, pens & pencils, pins, a hand sewing needle, a tape measure, tailor’s chalk, an iron.

That's it from us for now - we're off to overdose on inspiration and start sourcing our fabrics! Have a wonderful week everyone and see you back here soon...

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