Aura Dress in Linen by Two Sewing Sisters
We love sewing dresses. Growing up spending hours in our Nan’s sewing room, cutting out patterns, sewing, and playing dress-ups in the hundreds of dresses Nan had made for our family. For every special event, there was a reason for ‘a new dress’ to be produced to celebrate. Dresses are our ‘go to make’.
So when looking through the pattern collection at de Linum, the Aura dress jumped out at us. The Aura dress by Papercut Patterns who are based in New Zealand. It is a wrap dress with a wide waist tie and three-quarter balloon sleeves. There are many great features of a wrap dress, no fastenings and flexible sizing - and this dress is no exception! The benefit of the Aura dresses to other wrap dresses is that the neckline isn’t too low, and isn’t too high. The pattern also has a v-neck back which is a rare design feature for a wrap dress.
We looked through the hashtag on Instagram for Aura dress inspiration - and wow, was there some inspiration on there. From gingham, floral, stripes and block colours, people have made the Aura dress in everything!
de Linum suggests light to medium weight pure linen and linen blend fabrics for this make, and they have a lovely selection of options for this style. We decided on the Burgundy Check 100% Linen Fabric. It is 145 gsm a perfect weight for tops and dresses. The background colour is a cross between a raspberry and rust colour, with clean white line. This fabric is also 152 cm wide, which provides great flexibility for different patterns.
Alternative Fabric - Blue Check 100% Linen Fabric
There are wonderful things about checked fabric. It provides clean, bold and sophisticated patterns. However, sewing with checks is not without its challenges. Pattern matching is incredibly important.
Cutting out is the most critical step in pattern matching. It is the key to success. The best place to start is to make sure that the pattern on the fabric is laid flat and is lined up. In the case of stripes or checks, lining up the fabric’s selvage may not always mean the fabric pattern will be straight. Instead, make sure you line up stripe or check of the fabric. While less of an issue with this fabulous linen because it is of high quality and woven evenly.
For the pattern placement for this dress, as it is a wrap dress and that the front is in two piece the underarm will determine the placement of the checks. For the back, as it is all in one piece, it will be cut on the fold so we placed the dominant white stripe down the centre back. This draws the eye to the centre back V feature of the back design.
For matching up the sleeve pattern to the bodice, you want to use the notches on the pattern pieces to help place the fabric. Starting at the key pieces, centre front, side seam and centre back.
Once you have your pattern pieces lined up, the pattern matching journey doesn’t stop there. With every seam, you need to make sure that the checks are lined up. When stitching the facing on the back facing to make the centre back point, we stitched it from the facing side - this means that we didn’t quite get the point in line with the centre of the check. A little re-stitch, it was an easy recovery to pattern matching perfection!
The strap around the waist is cut in two pieces. This helps with the pattern layout when cutting fabric making the placement more efficient. It does mean for this checked fabric; we needed to join the stripes. To make sure it lined up (join on the bias of the fabric and lining up stripes - eeep!) to do this, we needed to make sure to line up the white lines on the stitch line. The key to this is lots of pins! We put a pin at the very point the white lines intersected, placing the pin through the line where the stitch should falling and manipulating the other piece to line up, so the pin also went through the white line. Once we were happy the white stripes lined up, we put the pin along the stitch line. We wouldn’t usually position our pins in this way, but this is an exception to the rule.
Once the strap is one piece, it is time to pull it through. This is usually one of our least favourite steps, as it is finicky and tricky to pull through straps to the right side. However, these straps are really easy to pull through. To make a point of the strap nice the pointed, we slide a pair of scissors (or another object with a blunt point at the end) to push down the strap through to the point.
With no fastenings, once the sides seams are together, sleeves attached and strap on, there is very little left to do - that is what makes the Aura dress such a great make! Attaching the facing and finishing the hems is the last step, and your fabulous dress is done.
We are so happy with how this creation turned out. The linen colour is vibrant, the check is bold, and the pattern is a flattering fit and easy to wear.
We had some assistance from our new sewing puppy Fergus our eight-week old Spoodle puppy (the left photo a little less helpful than the right) - it was his first of many sewing projects!
Aura Dress in Burgundy Check
Blog by : Two Swing Sisters
Fabrics & Pattern