Another Trillium Dress, Made-by-Rae Patterns

Will the Trillium Dress (formally known as the Washi Dress) work with a stretch fabric?

I recently bought some fabric from Pound Fabrics labelled as 'Chinese Rooster Cotton Sateen'.

A printed cotton mix sateen fabric with a lovely sheen featuring a gorgeous animal print.

Source: Pound Fabrics

I've not used fabric like this before; it has a smooth finish with a medium weight and isn't drapey or fluid. It's actually a cotton and polyester mix with a slight stretch of approximately 10% across the grain. It washed well and didn't need pressing, my only small disappointment is that the reverse is white.

I felt that The Trillium Dress would be the perfect match and that the bodice design would lend itself particularly well to the Chinese Rooster theme. The Trillium is drafted for woven fabric but I felt that the stretch in my fabric was so minimal that it would be ok. Also, this fabric is quite substantial so I knew that it would be compatible with the cut out neckline and pleated skirt.

A sweet dress or top featuring a cut-out scoop neckline, pockets and shirring in the back for an easy, comfortable fit. Choose from two lengths (dress or top), scoop or cut out neckline, and sleeveless or cap sleeves to create a number of different styles. No zippers or closures are needed, making this a wonderful project for the confident beginner or intermediate sewist!

Source: Made by Rae

I have made quite a few Trilliums in the past - see my reviews HERE and HERE and it has been updated by Made by Rae a number of times. It now has an extended size range, additional bodice pieces for fuller busts and the Pdf has layers.

The neckline of The Trillium Dress is finished with facings. (You could use bias tape if you were just doing the scoop neckline without the cut out.) I don't know if it's a change to the instructions or if I've always just missed this step but there's the option to double topstitch the facing to the bodice. Once you've sewn the facing to the neckline and turned it out you topstitch around the entire inner neckline edge followed by topstitching around the entire outer edge of the facing. I tacked a line with red thread as a guide to follow with my sewing machine. I quite like the effect this gives and facings that don't lay flat are always a nuisance anyway.

The Trillium Dress has shirring at the back to give some shaping but this time I thought I'd add an elastic casing instead. This is explained in Made by Rae's Blog. Essentially you sew a casing of fabric on the inside of the back piece and thread a length of elastic through it. I used elastic 1" wide. I'm happy with the outcome and it was a lot easier to do and less faffy than shirring but the shirring does cover a wider area so can give more flattering shaping, I think.

I wasn't quite sure what needle to use - stretch or standard? I tried stretch at first and although the stitches looked good at the front there were skipped stitches at the back. A standard size 80 needle seemed to work better. I did find that when I was sewing in a certain direction that the stitch holes were more obvious - you could see the white from the reverse coming through. A finer needle didn't make a difference although a blast with the steam iron seemed to make a very small improvement. I'm not sure if that's just a feature of this type of fabric or if I should have persevered with finer needles?

Overall, I'm really happy with my finished Trillium Dress. The sateen fabric does make it feel more of an 'occasion' dress though so I'll have to find an 'occasion' to attend! The slight stretch to the fabric didn't have a detrimental effect on the outcome but I think that's because it's quite a substantial fabric. Also, this dress is so comfortable to wear! No zips or fastenings means that it's easy to get on and off too. I have more than a metre left of this fabric and I'm undecided what to make with it. I'd really like something such as The Elevated Blazer but that is drafted for fabric with at least 30% stretch so I could end up with a jacket that I'm unable to move in!

Geordiehandbag's Sewing Adventures


Welcome to my Sewing Blog! 

My name is Joanne and I love to sew. Here I'll be sharing my hand-made makes and giving my honest opinion on pdf patterns and how easy they are to understand and construct.