Monday, November 21, 2016

Dress #3 ~ Vintage Strawberries

Yep, I did it.  A dress made out of quilting cotton.

I've read different discussions about the pros and cons of using this fabric for apparel.  The reason for the debate:  The fabric of quilting cotton tends to be a bit more stiff.  It doesn't drape and hang along the body the way a softer cotton might.  As a result, the finished item may look a little odd.

Yet despite this issue, I had to try it anyway.  I found this adorable Riley Blake fabric design, "Vintage Market Strawberries," and I just couldn't help myself.  

How could I pass this up?

Furthermore, I've noticed that the quilting cotton section of has a much wider selection of fabric designs that appeal to me.  I knew that if I could get this particular fabric to work, I'd open up a big door of possibilities in terms of fun fabric for future dresses and skirts. 

Sure I've read the comments from some about how they can easily spot a dress made out of quilting cotton, and that it looks so "homemade".  I understand their point.

But I'm not entirely sure I care.  This fabric is so darn cute, I am willing to be chuckled at by whatever (probably teeny) percentage of the population that might spot my quilting cotton and judge.


It's pretty fabric that's easy to work with.


As predicted, it is indeed a little more stiff.  I can even feel the difference when wearing it.  I must note that Dress #1 made out of softer cotton seems to move a little easier with me, so I was able to do a bit more with the shaping in the bodice without feeling constricted.  I might be able to adjust quilting cotton dresses by giving myself a little more room in the seams (by 1/8" perhaps), thus providing a little more "wiggle" room overall.

General sewing thoughts on this project:

Argh, I goofed up the top of the zipper by installing it too high.  This doesn't hurt the function of the zipper at all, but had I lowered the zipper just a 1/4" or so, the neckline and the zipper top would have been aligned a little more neatly.  I managed to make it look decent, but I will need to remember this for future items.

Irritated by the neckline interfacing I had purchased ~ it's way too stiff, and I hate handling it ~ I elected to skip using it completely.  This means I made my neckline facing just out of the dress fabric alone.  It looks fine, but it naturally lacks structure.  It doesn't really bother me...seems fine and finishes the neckline appropriately...but I haven't figured out how to tack a neckline facing down so that little stitch marks don't show on the front of the dress.  So for the third dress in a row, I have a floppy neckline facing that needs to be smoothed into place when I first put on the dress.

I do love this dress though!  I will have to be careful wearing it to work ~ this fabric is going to wrinkle.  I'm considering experimenting with another quilting cotton dress, perhaps with the addition of an underlining to see if that helps the drape and wrinkle issue.

Also, the stiffness of this fabric may be better used in another type of pattern.  I will be doing more homework on that.

Simplicity 1537 in Vintage Strawberries ~ no regrets!


  1. Beautiful dress and of course, you. . You're brave to have tackled this pattern in quilting cotton. My dress making days are over. Both my grandmas sewed as did my great-grandma. They taught me all my skillzzz. One grandma worked in a coat factory. I sure miss them.

  2. Thank you, again! Oh, you must have a wealth of passed-down knowledge. :o)