Gemma's Stevie Tunic

Picnic in the park is one of the first things that spring to mind when thinking of summer (although perhaps more cautiously with British summer weather!)

When planning your summer makes the list tends to feature dresses and loose fitting clothing, perfect for warmer times and lots of food! Having this as a theme means receiving fabrics that are colourful and light, and Hayley didn't disappoint with the choices in this box!

I had a really hard time deciding what to use, as each fabric is so lovely! My box contained a beautiful blue cotton gingham embroidered with little flowers - nothing says summer picnic quite like a gingham print! It's a lightweight cotton, so perfect for a summer dress. I wanted something that really shows off the fabric, and instantly knew a Tilly and the Buttons Stevie dress would be the perfect match.

Stevie is a great staple dress, especially for warmer weather, and also a really simple make. It's a boxy fit with round neckline and grown on sleeves (brilliant, as I really dislike inserting sleeves!) and no darts or zips to put in. The back can be closed with either ties or button closure, so even though it's a simple design, there are ways to make it unique.

I decided to make my dress with all the added features - front patch pocket (which I cut out in the opposite direction to my main front piece, making it stand out and be more noticeable) back neck ties and cuffs on the sleeves. Working with the fabric was a dream - it sewed and pressed easily, and did not fray too much.

I also want to give a shout out to the matching Gutermann thread included in the box - I have to admit this is the first time I have used Gutermann thread and I am converted! It threads through the machine so easily and doesn't catch or snag - for the first time ever I had no problems with thread bunching up in my machine! Well worth the investment, so thank you for introducing me to this delight!

Because of the simplicity of the dress, it sews up fairly quickly - I had this made in a morning. I have also added my own cheeky extra - in seam pockets! I love pockets, every make should have pockets in my opinion, and I will add them to everything I sew if possible! To add them to this dress, I used my pocket template I tend to use on most garments - its from Tilly’s book Love At First Stitch and is the pocket piece from the Clemence skirt. It's the best fit I’ve found, big enough to stash my phone but without adding bulk to the garment. I lined the top of the pattern piece up with the notch for the waistline on the front and back bodices, and sewed them as part of the side seams.

I love this dress! It's the perfect summer picnic dress, the fabric is so beautiful with the little embroidered flower details and the blue is such a great shade. Going simple is such a good idea, as it really lets the fabric do the talking. Its light and airy, perfect for the warmer temperatures, and very comfy, so I can eat all the food - because who doesn't love a summer picnic in the park?!

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