My name is Tilly and I am obsessed with making double gauze Stevie smocks.
You may have spotted not one, not two, but THREE of them in our recent video on tips for sewing with double gauze, and I thought I’d show you in more detail what I’m living in at the moment.
They were all made with our Stevie add-on sewing pattern, a digital download which gives you the extra pieces and instructions to turn our popular tunic pattern into an oversized smock dress with large patch pocket and/or to add bracelet-length sleeves to the top, tunic or smock.
This pattern works so well with double gauze fabric. It is the epitome of easy-breezy, with no tight bits clinging to your skin when you just want to breeeeathe in the hot weather, but also cute with tights when it cools down a bit. Double gauze has just the right balance between body and drape, meaning you get a floaty dress that shows off the oversized silhouette nicely.
Here are a few more details on each of the three dresses, in the order in which I made them…
I actually made this blue version on a whim last summer, inspired by Jenny’s lilac version with a few amendments. Funny story – it was the week we were supposed to be going on holiday to Cornwall, but we didn’t end up going after my toddler headbutted me and accidentally broke my nose!! So instead I stole a couple of hours to myself and whipped up this dress. (Okay, so it wasn’t so funny at the time, but one to remind him of when he’s older!)
I then wore it sooooo much that the idea came to add the skirt and pocket parts to our Stevie add-on, along with the sleeve that so many of our customers had been asking for. The final skirt in the pattern ended up a little longer and slightly more shaped than this one.
The fabric is from Tomato in Tokyo, a multistorey fabric dreamland that I was lucky to visit a few years ago. It was sitting patiently in my stash waiting for just the right project, and finally the idea for this dress came along.
I didn’t want to add ties to this version as I knew I wanted to wear it with big necklaces, and I didn’t have any hairbands around (for obvious reasons) which is an alternative fastening explained in the pattern instructions. So I made a rouleau button loop fastening for the back with a scrap of fabric cut on the bias, turning it out using this nifty trick.
This second version is actually the sample I made for the Stevie add-on photo instructions, or “step shoot” as we call it behind the scenes, complete with bracelet-length sleeves. I was originally planning to unpick the sleeves after the shoot to wear it as a summer dress but, once I’d tried it on, I couldn’t bring myself to get out the seam ripper as the sleeves make it soooo snuggly to wear.
This turquoisey green is one of my all-time favourite colours – it makes me so happy. It has tiny white squiggles on it, which adds a playful touch while still being subtle. We are officially obsessed with this fabric at TATB HQ – we also used the coral version for our Alexa jumpsuit instructions, and both the green and coral version will make an appearance in a pattern and online workshop we have coming out early Autumn. You heard it here first!
Looking back at these photos, I really should have pressed the skirt a little better before getting the camera out, but naptime is a limited window so you gotta do what you can!
Last but by no means least, I made THIS beauty! While I adore all three of these dresses, this one is probably my favourite. The print can’t help but make me smile.
This amazing fabric is a Kenna Sato design gifted by Spoonflower who, if you don’t know, offer print-on-demand fabric from an enormous selection of designs on a wide range of substrates. This is their Organic Sweet Pea Gauze. At first I thought it was going to be see-through so I bought a white slip to wear underneath it, but actually it’s fine to wear without. While at home at least – maybe not standing on a mountain with the sun shining from behind!
The colours are just so dreamy and I love the boldness of the large scale print. For this version I kept the waistline on my natural waist (which is where it is in the pattern), rather than raising it as I did with the blue version. I also hemmed it at a slightly longer length than the blue pattern, at the bottom of the knee, again in keeping with the pattern. Being short, I usually prefer to wear shorter dresses, but actually I love this slightly longer than my usual style.
Look closely and you might spot that the sleeves are a little longer than the regular Stevie pattern. This is because I accidentally sewed the cuffs on a different way than in the instructions, pressed away from the sleeves rather than towards them (#notconcentrating, #listeningtopodcasts, #should’vereadmyowninstructions). I didn’t bother changing them though as they still work, and I like a longer sleeve anyway 😉
Have you sewn a Stevie smock yet? If not, I hope this inspires you to give it a go, whether in double gauze or another one of the many fabrics it works well in!
P.S. If you like this, you may also like Tips for Sewing with Double Gauze Fabric
Author: Tilly Walnes
Photos of blue dress: Jane Looker
Other photos: Tilly’s partner