Two pussy bow dresses

Subtitled: a lesson in fabric choices.

Pussybow dress

These dresses are both the pussy bow dress by Salme patterns. I really like the aesthetic of lots of Elisa’s designs: unfussy and wearable but with interesting details, and I just love a blousy, elastic-waist fit as most of them are. Easy to sew, easy to fit, easy to wear. In theory anyway…

Salme pussybow dress
Salme pussybow dress

My first one is made from a lightweight mystery (polycotton I think) from Chapel Market – £3 in the remnants bin. Perhaps predictably, it was a nightmare to sew with because it frayed like a beeyatch. Sewing on the bias binding and creating the collar/tie piece without it unravelling before my eyes was painful. I wore it yesterday and the overlocked side seams started disintegrating! I really should have invested in a finer needle and/or French seamed the whole thing, but eh, I am an impatient sewist.

Salme pussybow dress

That aside, the construction is a bit tricksy anyway. The neckline involves tedious pressing and topstitching to get the collar and ties on with no seams peeking out. Given that I was working with a poly that really didn’t want to retain its ironed-in fold lines, this was a pretty big ask. I ended up cutting a few versions of the ties and trying different techniques until I found one that just about worked and looked fairly neat. I went for longer skinnier ties to make the neckline lie a bit flatter and let me adjust the way it can be tied in the front – a waist-level knot or neckline bow.

Pussybow dress

The second one is made of equally cheapo fabric – a border print ‘slinky jersey’ from Minerva – but, back in my beloved stretch fabric comfort zone, it went much more smoothly. I honestly don’t get why people are so scared of sewing stretch fabrics – sooo much easier to fit, finish and seam!

Pussybow dress

No need for any bias fiddling: I overlocked the armhole and neckline edging (cut on the cross-grain), turning inside-out when I hit the end of the neckline to form the ties. The join isn’t quite as neat as on the first dress, but if I tie the bow high you can’t see anything. I entirely forgot to sew the bust darts into this one, hence the slightly odd pulling around the waistline.

Pussybow dress

I took the effort to centre the pattern on the front and attempted to match it at the side seams. On this version I actually cut the entire front and back as continuous pieces (bodice and skirt connected) and added the elastic waist afterwards.

On both dresses I shortened the bodice by about 4 inches to sit on my natural waist and took in the bottom of the armholes a little to avoid bra-peekage. I really love the basic shape of this dress, so it’s a great little pattern to have in my collection.

2 thoughts on “Two pussy bow dresses

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