This winter, my go-to-dress is an A-line, long sleeved, velveteen dress, like the one above. The fabric cost under £10 and it takes about an hour to make. It’s cosy, warm and flattering. I’ve made myself two; one in burgundy and the other in taupe. Both look good with a pair of tights and chelsea boots. I dress them up with my collection of scarves, shawls and necklaces and bangles.
Because the velveteen is a stretch fabric, it needs no bust darts to get a good fit and the finishing is easy. You can make it on an overlocker, but it is just as easy to sew on an ordinary machine with a stretch stitch. My Juki machine has a walking foot but I don’t seem to need it for most stretch fabrics. Velveteen is surprisingly stable and easy to sew, unlike viscose/silk velvet.
I leave a 3cm hem allowance which I turn up and press with no-sew fusible tape. Then I give the hem two lines of stitching, 5mm apart to secure. Easy peasy.
I like the idea of wearing them over printed slips, in slinky jersey fabrics. The slinky jerseys make great base layers because they smooth away the bumps and lumps and allow everything worn over them to hang nicely. The sewing pattern is the same, but without sleeves, and a little extra hem length.
One of my favourite eBay shops carries small lengths of affordable, printed jerseys – perfect for the slip or the overdress. I’ve included some swatches of fabrics available right now.
I never get tired of this silhouette. With or without sleeves, it makes a great layer. I have fabric for a teal velveteen one, and a dusty pink jersey one on my cutting table. And I’ve just ordered some printed jerseys for exciting slips.
Am I ready to start thinking about Spring versions? Not quite yet.