SEWING A RIXO INSPIRED DRESS WITH S.O SEW DRESSMAKING
Hi everyone, I’m Sharlene from S.O. Sew dressmaking (@sosewdressmaking) and welcome to my guest blog post for The Rag Shop.
When Lady McElroy first stocked the extended colour range in the infamous “Dotty about dots” viscose I knew what I would make with it. I have had this Rixo dress pinned on my inspiration board forever and this fabric would be perfect for recreating it.
I decided to use the Marsha Style Sia dress pattern as it had a lot of the same features and I already love the pattern! Trying to decide on colours was a little more tricky so I printed out a few line drawings and grabbed the kids colouring pencils. After a few different options I settled on the white, black and bottle green colours.
Changes to the pattern:
I made View B and lined the bodice. I cut the front waistband in 2 instead of on the fold so I could have 2 colours here. I added a frill to the bottom of the skirt, similar to the original Rixo style. To do this I traced the shape I wanted onto the skirt pieces and retraced these pieces onto another piece of tracing paper. I decided to make the ruffle flare out a bit so added a bit of volume using the ‘slash and spread’ method, then added the seam allowance onto the top of the ruffle and bottom of the skirt. I also removed the button placket on the skirt.
Cutting the pattern pieces:
This was something I had to really take my time over. I cut most pieces with the fabric flat (not folded) and laid them all out as I was going to ensure I got the layout right. In the white fabric I cut
- Front bodice RSU (right side up)
- Front lining WSU (wrong side up)
- Back bodice WSU
- Sleeve RSU
- Right hand side of the front waistband
- One pocket bag lining RSU
Once I had all these pieces cut I laid them out as they would be on the final dress. I could then check them when I was cutting the opposite pieces in the bottle green.
If you want to give this a go make sure to check the fabric width before buying, the original white was wider than the other colours. I made a size 6 and used 1 meter of the green, 70cm of the white and 80cm of the black. I would definitely order a little more if you are planning this, just to take the pressure off if you cut a piece the wrong way!
Tips when sewing
I used fusible stay tape on the neckline and attached it as soon as the bodice pieces were cut. This method is stronger than typical stay stitching. From making this pattern before I knew the bodice was likely to stretch a bit. Fusible stay tape can be used on the centre back seams too where you will be attaching the zip, as the fabric is quite delicate.
I stitched the white bodice pieces first using white thread and then switched to a dark green for most of the rest of it. I left the white sleeve until the end (which I admit felt a little strange) as I wanted to avoid seeing any dark stitching through the light coloured material.
I am absolutely over the moon with this dress and so happy I got the opportunity to make it for The Rag Shop blog. It will be perfect with my go-to black biker boots and Sienna maker jacket for an everyday look. But really I can’t wait for the opportunity to dress it up with boots or gold heels and wear it out to dinner.
I did cut the waist tie but decided to leave it off. I am happy I did as I think the finished look is perfect and the tie might have been a bit fussy. I love the added flounce at the bottom too, it was a close call between the green and white for this part. Given that dark green is my favourite colour I knew this would be a safe option.
Thank you for reading this and a massive thank you to Steph for asking me to write this blog.
If you feel inspired by Sharlene's dress, you can find what she used listed below.
Want to see more from Sharlene? Follow her on Instagram here.