The Floral, Ruffled Home Dress [Cotton+Chalk or Kwik Sew 4156].

As we find ourselves in strange and uncertain times, we push on and create some kind of normalcy. Staying at home but ever more concerned about what’s happening, and connected to each other. For me, it is keep sewing, at my normal (slow) rate. International borders are closed and monitored, leisure travelling is off the cards. I look at the fabrics I bought from overseas on our previous trips and suddenly really want to use them! This is exactly why I chose this crepe to use, bought from Osaka, Japan in early 2018 (you can see it in my post here).

The pattern is interesting – Cotton & Chalk No. 2, Olivia Dress. It was a pattern that came with the Simple Sew magazine. Later, I found that it is exactly the same pattern as Kwik Sew 4156.

    • Pattern:  Cotton & Chalk No. 2 Olivia Dress // Kwik Sew 4156. Skill level rating 3/5 on the envelope. I made the hi-lo knee length version with 3/4 sleeves and waist sash, and the neckline without the contrast band.
    • Size made: Included was Size XS-XL, I made size XS.
    • Pattern pieces: 8 pieces.
    • Fabric used: Polyester crepe [100% polyester, 110cm width, 2.5m length, made in Japan, bought in Osaka, Japan].
    • New Techniques used:
      • First time making neckline with slit, all with neck facing.
    • Modifications:
      • Raised elastic waist channel by 2.5cm.
      • Reduced 7cm sleeve length.
      • Topstitched all the way around the sash, as crepe does not press well and I wanted crisp edges.


Cotton & Chalk No. 2 Olivia Dress. Pattern came with Sew Simple magazine (I cannot recall which issue).


I later found that the pattern is the same as Kwik Sew 4156.


This is the line drawing of views, provided by the Kwik Sew pattern. Pic from here. I made the View A dress length and neckline, with View B sleeves and sash.


The interfaced round neckline with a slit, viewed from the wrong side. The instructions were well written and I had no trouble constructing this, being my first time to sew this kind of neckline.


Neckline viewed from the front. Sleeves yet to be inserted.


Using bias strip (bonus that mine was a leftover from a previous project) as a channel for the waist elastic. I originally thread-traced the stitching line (you can see the white thread underneath the bias strip), but I decided to raise it by 2.5cm.


The ruffle on the dress hem was a little less than satisfying – I want pouffy big ruffles! This pattern makes a subtle ruffle, which is intended, I suppose. Personally I’d make them 50% denser if I make the pattern again (by lengthening the rectangular ruffle pattern piece by 50%, thus producing more gathering).


Finished garment, minus the sash. I like this kind of elasticated waist shaping. It makes the dress so easy to wear and fit.


The dip-hem with ruffles add interest to the dress.


I like the simple neckline here. Originally I thought about adding eyelets and lacing across the ‘V’, but decided against it as the fabric print is already quite busy.


Side view.
Due to the hi-lo hem, the wrong side of the fabric shows slightly. I’m glad I used a fabric where the front and back are similar.


Back view with the sash.


Front view with the sash. Alternatively, to add some contrast, I think a thick belt in a solid colour (RTW) would look nice here.



The air is cooler, the seasons are changing…the world goes on, nature goes on, and we adapt. We have to, we’re in this together…stay safe everyone!


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