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Monday, 2 March 2015

The Ralph Pink parachute dress with robots

I have this little soft spot for Ralph Pink patterns. Although, I’ve made only two garments from his patterns to date, but there are eight more which I’d like to sew, including a pair of high waisted trousers, a couple of shirts and a few dresses. Later this year, I will try to make one of his corsets too! His designs resonate with me and they represent garments  which I would like to wear on a daily basis.

When I asked for your opinion on the party dress patterns, you almost unanimously suggested to use the Ralph Pink panelled dress! It grew on me so much that now I can’t wait start working on it. I will share some of the construction moments in future blog posts, but I've just got back fro my holiday in Thailand, enjoying the weather and yet another Ralph Pink’s dress: the parachute dress.


The story of this dress started with the pattern. When Ralph Pink released his new pattern collection at the beginning of last summer, I was immediately smitten by this dress and its interesting design. In general, I try to avoid shapeless garments. Shapeless dresses do not look flattering on my figure due to my prominent sway back which causes the fabric to catch and wrinkle in an unflattering way. But hey, shapeless garments provide such comfort that I can’t help favouring them.

Despite being quite baggy, it provides enough space for movement, but at the same time, it accentuates the waist and hips.




When I was in Japan last October, I found the perfect fabric to match the pattern: neon pink and navy knit fabric with robots. To my deepest regret, the fabric was not wide enough to fit the entire front and back panels, so I cut the back panel in half and sewed in the centre. This fabric was a real treat to work with and I felt like my sewing techniques with knits has improved. Look at the self-made bias tape! :) In reality, you don’t need to cut this “bias tape” on bias, I read about it on Rae’s blog and believe me, this woman knows a lot about knits!

Sewing it was like a dream. As my fabric was quite thin, I went for a delicate finish. First, I sewed a straight stitch using the walking foot and knit needle, with a 1cm seam allowance. Then I surged all the seams using the three-thread stitch. The advantage of using this particular finish, is to create a delicate looking stitch which does not show through, in comparison with a regular four-thread stitch! I learnt this tip by watching a Craftsy lesson, Sewing Fashion Knits with Linda Lee, and to be honest with you, I use the three-thread stitch most of the time because it creates such a neat finish! To execute it, I removed the left needle from the surger in order to create a narrow flat seam.

Also, I added 5cm to the front and back panel to make the dress more fun!


This dress turned out to be a perfect beach (or rather a swimming pool) dress! Too bad the armhole openings are too low to make this dress wearable in the city. I’ll have to see whether I can tweak the pattern so I can make an urban version of this parachute dress. Meanwhile, I will certainly wear this dress at home when the weather becomes slightly warmer since the dress provides so much comfort! Also, I won’t lie about how much I like the robots.