I wasn’t aware fussy cutting could be used in clothing. It is mostly used in quilting, accessories, aprons and such. Fussy cutting is where you cut out a prominent fabric motif and showcase it.

Long story short, I needed to replicate a design just for the fit. It didn’t matter what fabric as it simply needed to be the same style, silhouette and have the same placement of the chevrons. I raided my stash and my trims.

Here is where I encountered my first problem solving moment! The fabric I chose was just too thin to support any trim, at all. Even if I underlined my fabric it still ran the possibility of draping incorrectly.

Necessity is the mother of invention. After cutting the dress I had a yard of fabric left. What if I cut strips of the stripes and mitered each angle?

It looked like it could be pulled off. The fabric was lighter than the trims. First my thin fabric would need to be underlined. I baste stitched each piece to a black taffeta looking fabric.

Still, I was worried my design would pucker and look quilted. I decided it was worth taking that risk.

To make the chevrons I cut the strips 1/2″ wider than the stripe. Then, I pressed the extra 1/2″ under. After I determined the length I would need on each side, I cut the strips, and placed the cut pieces with right sides together. Then I stitched a 90 degree angle down each chevron.

To be certain I would not have puckers I pinned every inch as flat as possible. I slowly topstitched each piece on to my main body of the dress.

To check for issues I pinned the dress to the form and let it drape overnight. I was overjoyed the next day when it draped nicely, it didn’t pucker. The underlining was my saving grace.

Mistakes I made include – I was 1″ short on the bottom row of the chevron and had to piece another piece over it, the dress is so busy no one tell and I am reminded again I am human… I also made the sleeves a little too long.

Behind the scenes~

It’s been really busy with alterations, thank you!

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!


Tracy McElfresh