Going local can really push you to your limits if you make clothing. In our town we have a lot of awesome indie quilt shops and no fashion fabric shops.

Last June, while our roof was getting replaced, we took a trip to North Dayton and I got to visit Bernina on North Main. It’s a little shop that primarily sells Bernina sewing machines and a small selection of quilting cottons. They also have a small place in my heart because when we started Sew Dayton they were nice enough to loan us sewing machines.

When I saw this print I fell in love although I had no idea what I was going to do with it. The possibilities are limitless because this could be made with fat quarters, large scales, sewn together handkerchief and so much more. If I could only pull it off.


I was thinking pants in the beginning but the print was way to large. If I made pants I knew parts of the large print would have to be cut and would be inappropriately pointing out of my crotch just screaming for attention!

Each square roughly measured 20-22″. That prompted my first design idea of having a square for the front and a square for the back. The squares were long and loose enough to make my bodice drop waist.

The first thing I did was cut my neckline.

I sewed the shoulder seams together and finished them.

I simply serged the neckline and topstitched it to the inside.

This left me with one block and here is where the fun begins. I cut it in half and made mock sleeves.

For the skirt of the dress I sewed three of the blocks together, gathered the waist and then hemmed the bottom.


I knew too much white would throw the design off so I tried to use very little and in most cases only to break up the black blocks where needed.

This dress has no closures and is loose enough to fit over my head so the sewing went really fast. The best part was how much fun I had playing with the fabric.

Behind the scenes~

My next class is November 2nd.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!

Tracy McElfresh