The School of Making offers a wide range of sewing patterns—both in The School of Making Book Series and as standalone patterns—to fit many different body types and lifestyles. In the past, we’ve also adapted sewing patterns from other designers using our techniques and materials with beautiful results. Some of our favorites from the past are from Merchant & Mills, DKNY, and Vogue Patterns.
Our latest installment in this series is the Fen Dress from Fancy Tiger Crafts. Fancy Tiger Crafts has been one of our wholesale partners for years, and we recently had the opportunity to teach a One-Day Workshop at their headquarters in Denver. Fancy Tiger is a staple in the making community and has a range of sewing and knitting patterns available and an online store full of beautiful fabrics and yarns.
The Fen Dress is a fun take on a relaxed T-shirt dress with its drop shoulder, gathered skirt, and pockets. This pattern was originally designed for woven fabrics but, with a few alterations, it works just as well with our 100% Organic Medium-weight Cotton Jersey. (You may want to size down if you use a stretch fabric.) We made View B with the scoop neckline and short sleeves using Camel medium-weight jersey and Sage Button Craft Thread. To make your own hand-sewn jersey Fen Dress you’ll need:
Fen Dress Pattern (Printed version or Digital PDF version)
2 yards of 60”-wide 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
1 spool of Button Craft Thread
Basic sewing supplies: scissors, pins, needles, ruler, rotary cutter
The School of Making Book Series: These books contain the basic sewing and embroidery techniques we used to make our version of this dress.
We reduced the 5/8” seam allowances on every pattern piece to 1/4″ by removing 3/8” from every seam. Reduce neckline and hem by 5/8”. Hand-sew all bodice seams with a straight stitch, leaving 1/4” seam allowance, using a double strand of thread on medium-weight cotton jersey.
First, we constructed the bodice—sewing together at the shoulder seams and side seams—and then felled all seams toward the back.
We followed the instructions in the pattern to sew the pockets into the skirt then the side seams, which we also felled towards the back. Next, we gathered the skirt at the top edge between the notches indicated on the pattern. After gathering the skirt, we lapped the gathered edge of the skirt on top of the bottom edge of the bodice, 5/8” up from the bottom, and attached it using a zigzag chain stitch. You can use the stretch stitch of your choice.
For the neckline, we omitted the binding pattern piece included with the pattern and instead used our standard 1 1/4″ binding cut cross-grain. We applied the binding as instructed in The School of Making Book Series.