Harnessing the charms of post-war efficiency and English garden idylls, Cath Kidston designs continue to captivate the imagination. With Amanda Walker’s sheath project, you can quickly turn a favourite print into a moving work of art. Constructed using simple pattern pieces, minimal darts and a concealed zip, it’s an easy way to go bold with flattering florals as spring beckons – plus, the bow collar adds a cute fifties twist to its striking silhouette. Trust us, everything’s coming up roses!
- Main fabric, 1.1m
- Lining, 1m
- Concealed zip, 56cm
- Use a 1.5cm seam allowance throughout, unless otherwise stated (except for the neckline where 1cm is used)
- Front: Cut one on fold in both main fabric and lining
- Back: Cut one pair in both main fabric and lining
- Collar: Cut one in main fabric
- Bow: Cut one in main fabric
Download and cut out the pattern. Match the vertical waist dart dots, fold the fabric from the top point and base, then match the dots at the centre. Pin and stitch from base to point, then repeat for the other side and press. Stitch the bust darts and press, then repeat for the lining. Insert waistline darts to the back and lining as for the front.
With right sides together, match the front and back shoulder seams, pin and stitch, then press open and repeat for the lining. Sew the centre back seam, neatening the edges. Pin along the seam as far as the top of the pleat, right sides together, then stitch from the top of the pleat to the zip notch. Clip the seam at the top of the pleat and press open. Repeat for the lining.
Neaten the edges and lay the back on the front, right sides together. Pin the side seams, then sew. Press open and repeat for the lining. Fold and press the allowance along the back opening. Open out the allowance and, with right sides together, place the zip down and pin. Stitch to the top of the centre seam using a zip or concealed zip foot, leaving a 3cm gap in the zip base, then do the other side. Thread the pull to the right side and close.
Stitch the collar to the neck. Fold the collar in half along the length, right sides together, then sew across the ends. Trim away the corners, then turn out and press flat. With the dress turned to the right side, match the raw edges of the collar around the neckline of the dress, then stitch so the ends of the collar run in line with the zip.
With the collar still facing downwards, place the unturned lining over the top of the dress, then match the necklines and sew over the top of the previous stitching line. Clip the allowance around the neckline, then push the lining back inside the dress; the collar should now stand up after being sandwiched between the dress and lining.
Place the lining inside the dress, which is turned to the right side. Run a hand up in between the lining and dress at one side seam and pick up the ends on both layers. Pull out so the dress is turned to the wrong side. Pin the ends, then stitch the front armhole as far as the shoulder seams. Trim the allowance and clip the curve. Pull the front armhole to the right side, then do the same on the back part. Repeat for the other armhole.
Turn up and hand-stitch the hem. On the lining, press the allowance back so it continues from the centre back seam, then sew the allowance. Turn and press 1cm around the base of the lining and press up another 1cm. Pin, then edgestitch. Overlock or zigzag-stitch the base, then press a 3cm hem.
Fold and press the left-hand side of the pleat along the centre back line, so the right-hand side of the pleat sits underneath. Fold the hem onto the right side of the skirt on the corner of the pleat. Stitch close to the edge of the hem, then turn the hem back onto the wrong side.
To the left-hand side of the pleat, fold the pleat onto the right side of the skirt, then stitch along the fold line made while pressing the hem. Turn the hem and the pleat to the wrong side. Sew the top of the pleat to the back of the skirt. Hand-stitch the hem, then the lining along each edge of the zip.