Samantha's Simple Sew Charlotte Dress

Hi everyone, Samantha (@theruralsewist) here with my latest autumnal make for the Sew Sew Sew Blog. I wanted to make a dress for a Christening at the end of October and when I saw that Katie had this fabric in stock I knew that it was the perfect fabric for the dress I had in mind and perfect for this season.

The Christening I attended was at Bolton Abbey Priory, near Skipton, on a beautiful day which also meant I had an amazing back drop for my blog post photographs – hope you agree.

Simple Sew The Charlotte Dress

The Fabric: I chose the Autumn Cotton Sateen – 100% Cotton Sateen. It is lightweight and doesn’t have any stretch.


The Pattern: I received the Simple Sew Charlotte Dress in last year’s Secret Santa swap, so thought this would be a perfect match for the fabric and perfect for my style as I love pencil style skirts and dresses.


Simple Sew The Charlotte Dress Pattern and Fabric

I cut a size 8 bodice and a size 10 skirt according to my measurements so had to grade the skirt at the waist. As I am 5’9” I also added 2” to the length of the skirt having compared the pattern piece to a similar skirt pattern.

There are 4 darts on the front bodice which add shaping at the bust and waist. However, the waist darts on the bodice didn’t line up with the skirt waist darts but they are easily moved.

I made a toile for the bodice in a calico before cutting into my fabric and noticed that the shoulders hung over on me (at the shoulder point) so I took them in by 2 cm and graded to the original armscye. I transferred these amendments to the original pattern pieces before cutting out my main fabric.

The Charlotte Dress at Bolton Abbey

I made a feature of the navy zip down the centre back and made the sleeves so they are in between ¾ and full length.

Back of Simple Sew Charlotte Dress

As the fabric is lightweight I figured that I should line the body of the dress to give it more weight, structure and warmth for the autumn season. The pattern doesn’t call for lining so I just used the same bodice and skirt pattern pieces and basically made a replica of the outer fabric. Therefore you don’t require the facing pieces and once you sew the outer and lining fabric together it gives a really nice finish to the neckline and no need to worry about what your finished seams look like. In the end I didn’t line the sleeves and simply finished the armsyce with the overlocker for a neat finish.

Lined Charlotte Dress

Finally, I added a belt to tie around my waist as an extra detail with the spare fabric I had. I cut a simple rectangle measuring 150 cm x 16 cm (for the fabric and interfacing) and used a 1 cm seam allowance. I am happy that I did as I think it adds a nice touch.

Belt detail for Simple Sew Dress

The Rural Sewist wearing her Simple Sew Charlotte Dress

So was the Charlotte Dress a “Simple Sew”? Yes she was, the construction is relatively easy especially if you are comfortable with centre back zips. I made it more complex adding the lining but the end result is a perfect fitted dress for my body shape and I absolutely love the fabric print and beautiful vibrant colours. What would you make with it?

Thanks for reading and happy sewing.

Samantha xx

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