Just a quick one to share a tutorial for altering the Claudia dress to include asymmetric colour blocking, with an offset button band on the front. I used Lamazi’s viscose linen for this version of the pattern (my third) and it’s great to have a little variety of my print Claudias with the same summery wearing ease. I didn’t even bother with real buttonholes as it pulls on – just sewed the buttons through both layers.
- Remove the side split/hem facings from the front and back pieces: you can keep them if you want, but they aren’t necessary for walking movement as the button band will provide a vent.
- Trace the front onto pattern paper (including dart and notch markings), flip it along the centre front and trace again so you have a full front piece.
- Draw a line where you want the button band. Mine was 3″ away from the centre line. Cut the pieces out.
- Cut a 2¾” wide strip of pattern paper and tape it flush along the length of both cut edges – this is the button band extension. Notch the original cut line as the button band centre mark (where you’ll place buttons), and next to this mark two more notches 0¾” and 2¼” away from this – these are the fold lines. (This makes a 1½” wide finished button band.)
- Trace both halves of the back as above and cut a new off-centre seam line – I aligned this to the strap marker notch. Add ½” seam allowances.
- Cut the wider front and narrower back pieces from one colour, and the narrower front and wider back pieces from the second colour. Don’t cut the facings as we’ll bias-face the edges instead. Cut a strap in each colour!
- Construction: after sewing the darts, sew the side and back seams. Then pin the back straps in place, make bias binding and finish the top and front armsyce edges, catching the straps in place.
- Finish the button band corners: press the button band to the wrong side along the notches at ½” and 1½”. Now fold the band back to the right side and stitch at ½” parallel to the top edge. Turn the corner out to the right side. Repeat this at the hem edges.
- Press the rest of the hem allowances under by ½”, tucking the raw edge under by a couple of mm too, and topstitch the hem, button band and top edge all in one pass, catching and securing the front end of the strap in place as you go. Finally add your buttons (real or faked!).