Fabulous Fiona

I’ve been really excited to share this make on the blog.  My make for Minerva Crafts this month is the Closet Case Patterns Fiona sundress in the dreamiest Robert Kaufman denim which was an absolute joy to work with.


You can read all about the dress itself on the Minerva Crafts site now.  But I thought I’d share a little bit more detail about the adjustment I made to the skirt here, as I haven’t seen many posts on this particular adjustment.

As I might possibly have mentioned, I’ve been trying to make better fitting trousers for some years now and have finally found an adjustment that makes a lot of difference for me.  I’ve heard it referred to as a full bum adjustment, which seems fair; it’s one of the politer ways I’ve heard my backside described!

The adjustment basically involves adding length to the centre back seam without making any adjustment to the side seam length, which allows for the need to go around rather more bum than originally drafted for.  It occurred to me that the same principal could be applied to skirt patterns and would probably stop skirts from rising up at the back. Rocket science, right?

To make the adjustment, you draw a horizontal line from the CB seam, somewhere around the hip, out to the side seam, leaving a pivot point there.  You then move the top section of the pattern piece upwards until you’ve added enough extra length to the CB seam.  I find that about 1.5cm works well as a starting point (it’s an amazingly small number for such a visible difference, right?) but it’s worth toiling if you’re unsure.

You place a piece of paper under the gap you’ve just created and tape it down.  In this instance, I kept the lower half of the pattern piece in the same place (so that the CB line was vertical) and continued that line straight up to the waist, adding the extra width created at the centre point into the width of the dart. And job done!

I’ve waxed pretty lyrical about the dress and the fabric on the Minerva blog, so you can see all the details there (topstitching! making buttonholes work on my machine! more topstitching!) but I can’t recommend this pattern enough.  I know it was released as a sundress but I think it works for cooler weather worn with a top underneath (and realistically, that was the only way I was ever going to wear that cross back)

I loved it so much, I wore it for Sew Up North last weekend; here’s a gorgeous picture Shauni took of Sally and I in our unintentionally coordinated outfits towards the end of the day!

Becca x


Pattern  Closet Case Patterns Fiona Sundress: below the knee length, cross over back

Fabric Robert Kaufman denim (LOVE!)

My Measurements: 

Bust 36, Waist 32, Hips 42

Size cut: graded between 10 on the bust, 12 on the waist, 14 on the hips

Adjustments made added 1.5cm to the CB seam as described above

Future adjustments? None, this is perfect as is

Make again? Oh yes! I’d be tempted to make a summery version of the alternative back so that I could wear it with a bra. I’m picturing a wax print version for next summer already…

7 thoughts on “Fabulous Fiona

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  1. First off, your dress is great – top stitching, buttons and bum adjustment all! Secondly, this has been hovering near the very top of my to do pile (I have both fabric and pattern) for a couple of months. I’m starting to wonder if we’re beginning to morph into the same sewist!!! Xxx

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