Tuesday 2 July 2013

Canada Day Dress, 2013 :)

 "All the nations You have made will come and worship before You, Lord; they will bring glory to Your    Name."

      Psalm 86:9

    For we Canadians, our country's "Birthday" falls on July 1st. The very lovely & talented Erin, of "I heart fabric", inspired me to make a special dress for Canada Day. Erin is from Australia, and believe me, she looked *far* more patriotic than I in her "Aussie Day" getup earlier this year. Check out the link to see her costume, very cool! I got quite a kick out her crimped hair (being a child of the 80's after all ;)

   I honestly didn't have any crazy plans for Canada Day, but I wanted to sew up something for the occasion (any occasion is good enough reason for me to make a new dress ;). I thought it would be nice to make something I could wear throughout the summer as well :) My review on P.R. here

Our Canadian flag :)

I think it would've been nice to incorporate the red maple leaf somehow. I may print one of those "iron-on transfers". I was cutting it close to July 1st as it was however, so I chose a simple red & white theme in a pattern I've already used, McCall's 6243.

McCall's 6243 :)


I made this denim-look, knit fabric, version earlier this year and I liked the pattern a lot. I love the angled seams, and thought it would be a great pattern to use for the red white version I had in mind. My review on PR here.

Chewfoot on my pattern :)

The white cotton/lycra fabric I used seemed a little too transparent, so I interlined the white sections with the same fabric. Too keep the layers from shifting, I gave it a little spray between the layers and then pressed the area lightly (keeping the hairspray can away from the iron, watching out for those explosion warnings! :)

No sooner did I prep my white fabric, did Boris make himself comfortable on the red stuff :) I almost felt guilty shooing him off.

  This McCall's pattern is rated "Easy", and I think that's a fair rating. *However*, if you're using cotton/lycra, it can be testy. The last dress I made with cotton/lycra, behaved very well. I don't know if its because of this fabric's weight (its much lighter weight than the last material I used) but it was a little more challenging to work with. I had to unpick a few (long) seams and resew. I was very determined to finish this project (telling friends and co-workers about your intended project makes me that much more motivated to complete it!).

   One thing I didn't like about this pattern though, is how they instruct you to finish the neckline and armholes. Just a narrow hem. Seems lazy to me :/ I think I'll try a facing next time (and I'm pretty sure there will be a *next* time). This is one of those patterns that, for me at least, is too good just to use once...or twice ;) I used "steam a seam lite 2" on the neckline and armholes and then topstitched with a double needle.

Double needle topstitching :) I was going to use all red, but opted to use white on white, and red on red. After I "steam a seam"ed the armhole and neckline (to hold it in place and give it stability to prevent unsightly "tunnelling"), I topstitched the white areas and then changed the thread to red and topstitched those areas.

*Note* the pattern instructs a 5/8" narrow hem
 (pressing under 5/8" and then turning the raw edge
under to meet the crease, then topstitching. I just
turned the fabric under 5/8", and trimmed the inner layer of white, used "steam a seam"( SAS), then topstitched. By this time it was nearing 2 AM July1st, so I just wanted to be done!

I like the look of this better than contrasting thread, since at the front seam sections I topstitched in red, but the line is just barely noticeable.

Pressed seams before topstitching...

Closeup *after* topstitching. :) It's subtle, but I think it adds a nice touch :)

**I must add: Since I interlined the white areas, to reduce bulk, I pinked the inside layer of white fabric and pressed the outer red and white seam sections open and again, used SAS. I tried topstitching without and I got some puckering (not flattering :/). SAS really made a bit difference!

Here, I show the inside of the dress, white seam allowances pinked and seam pressed open. Then SAS'd it :)

Dress hem with the help of SAS and a double needle :)

I went over to Aunt Isabelle's Canada Day and she was a big fan of my latest creaton ;) She took a few photos to share on FB :)

  Dan took the outdoor shots. I'm pretty happy with how this dress turned out. I can say with confidence that I'll be wanting to use this pattern again...and again ;)

Thanks for reading! :)


  1. Another very pretty dress!! Even though it fits for Canada Day it looks really great I would be wearing this all year around hehe.

    1. Oh thank you so much Erin! :) I must say, I was pretty excited to see you were the first one to comment (since you inspired me to make this one up in the first place! :) I'll be wearing this all summer!!

  2. Love BOTH your dresses! And thanks for the thorough review. I have used knit stay-tape but not steam a seam 2 lite before. I will have to try that next time.

    1. Thanks Angela! :) Yes, steam a seam lite2 is so handy! I always seem to find lots of uses for the stuff!

  3. Sleek looking dress on you. Happy Belated Canada Day!

  4. I love your dress! How did I miss this pattern? You've made me want to run out and get the pattern and make a color-blocked dress! Your's looks fantastic on you!

    1. Thanks Shannon! :) Yes, you should make a color block dress too! ;)

  5. A stunner as usual! It fits you fabulously!!

  6. Great post, its really great seeing so much detail of your work in progress. You did a great job with the top stitching and reducing the bulk of the double layer pieces.

    Love the dress and the fit is amazing. Have you got your next version planned already? How cool would it be with the zipper details!!!

    1. Thanks so much Eve! :) I just love this pattern and wouldn't mind having a few more of it! Yes, the zipper detail would be really cool! Glad you enjoyed my "progress" info, I do like writing about my experience and hope it'll prove helpful :)

  7. I absolutely love this dress on you. what a great job. I have this pattern and never thought to do a color block like that... just wonderful!

    1. Thanks Myra! Yeah, this pattern did make it easy to color block, I just love it! :)

  8. Oh for goodness' sake - I did see you in F'ville, Hfx. today (I had to come back to check). I recognized the dress, but was not sure. I guess I should have said hello. You see - the dress is memorable - & it looked great. Cheers!

  9. Oh wow, thanks so much Kathleen! This comment made my day:) I would love it if you said hi next time:)