Four Bianca dresses with lined bodices. The top three are inside out.
As much as I like the Washi pattern, I might like the Bianca even more. I made a Bianca blouse as a test version and made 5 more dresses last summer and wore them all summer long. They are perfect for work, they work perfectly under a labcoat, they fit perfectly without alteration and I can make one with less than 2 1/2 yards of fabric. As with many innovations, I started with a problem. The fabric I planned to use for my test blouse was very sheer and I didn’t want it to be see-thru. Since I had learned how to line the Washi bodice, I decided to try the same thing with the Bianca. I had some white quilting cotton and I cut a second front and back using the white. I cut them big enough to clear the channel for the elastic and sewed around the neck with right sides together as I had done with the Washi using Rae’s tutorial. Because of the stitching of the elastic channel, it wasn’t possible to use the sausage method that Rae demonstrates to get a clean line at the the armholes for her other patterns so I just turned the fabric under at the sleeve openings and stitched it as one would stitch a hem. Even though I didn’t finish the inside, I was really pleased with the results and I ended up with a cute, wearable shirt.
I then went on to make five more Bianca dresses over the course of the summer. The first was made with a Windham fabric line called Petite Fleurs. I lined it with Cotton and Steel fabric from the Tokyo Trains line. This time I cut the lining long enough to be able to turn it under and catch the unfinished edge above the top line of the elastic channel. Before I turned it under and sewed the elastic channel, I finished the edge with a zigzag stitch. I used a bit less than a yard of fabric for the lining.
I added 2 inches to the length as I always do. I am not only tall but all my height is in my torso so I need those inches. Then I found that the length was a bit on the short side even with the extra inches so I had the idea to create a hem facing to maximize the length. I cut a strip about 2 1/2 inches wide and sewed it to the bottom of the dress and turned it up and sewed it in place. I sewed two rows of stitches as I usually do when I machine sew a hem but I misjudged the width and my top row of stitches didn’t catch the rough edge. I added a third row of stitches and ended up really happy with the result. Now I finish all my Bianca’s this way. It is a relatively simple style and I think the extra stitching adds a little something. A couple of my Bianca’s actually have four lines of stitching.
Sometimes my stitching is more even than other times but I have found that having things not be matchy matchy can actually be preferable and give the garment a little more charm. The stitching in the linen-y version above isn’t exact but I am really happy with how it looks on.
Some detail pictures to show what the lining looks like and how I finish the sleeves. Isn’t this Anna Maria Horner fabric beautiful? It makes me so happy to look at it. Picking the lining fabric really makes me happy because you can go a little crazy since just a bit of it peeks out. How about these pandas?
Not much more to say other than I love this pattern and I wear these dresses all the time.
Now that it is cold in Northeast, I wear the navy version with tights or leggings and a sweater. The rest are waiting for warm weather. This is another magic pattern from MadebyRae. You cut a couple of pieces that are basically shapeless, you follow the directions, and you end up with a flattering dress.I don’t know how she does it but I am a fan !
Fabric from Cotton and Steel, Pat Bravo for Art Gallery, Moda, Anna Maria Horner and Joannes (the linen-looking grey blue above.)