This is the second post in my “Go with the flow” capsule – collection that will use all the 8 patterns in the new book: SEW BEAUTIFUL. Make Stylish Handmade Clothing with Simple Stitch-and-wear Patterns by Kennis Wong.
The book is on pre-order at the moment. I was a pattern tester and will share a free flowing collection of all the garments from this book. The plan is for them to use this color palette: purple, grey, white & black.
This post is all about the MORNINGTON TOP AND DRESS. I have made 3 versions and really love the easy to wear style and think it’s easy to fit and sew.
The Mornington top and dress have a relaxed fit. The top reaches the full hip and the dress above the knee. These lengths are all customizable with the shorten and lengthen lines.
There is a center back seam with shaping. Both options are fully lined and clean finished. The V neckline is easy to sew with the lining fabric. You can sew the sleeveless option or the flared sleeve option.
What catches my eye the most are the shaped waist ties. They are not a rectangle and they finish in a point. They are too cute and you can wear them tied as fitted or as loose as you prefer. For sure the style can be sewn without them too, if that’s not your thing. I absolutely LOVE them.
The Mornington top and dress is fully lined, so it’s best to keep the fabric weight light to avoid bulk. Depending on your choice, this garment could work well for all seasons.
You can see good choices in the diagram above. Depending on the weight of the fabric, you could self line or use another very light weight fabric to line the garment.
If I chose chambray, linen or rayon twill, I would not self line for two reasons. Firstly, the fabric is not too light and I’d prefer a lighter lining layer like cotton voile and secondly, these fabrics can be pricey and I would not want to use them as lining when they won’t be seen.
I have made two self lined Mornington top and dress. One is a purple satin backed crepe and the other a printed chiffon.
My third dress is UNLINED and made with black/white bubble crepe. To finish the neckline and armholes, I used self bias tape to bind the edges. For the V neckline, I used a super cool technique with a “V”.
Other alternatives… thinking out of the box: If you make the dress with a light baby corduroy or wool suiting and lined it with cozy flannel, it could be a lovely winter “pinafore” worn over a fitted long sleeve knit top. This option does not apply to me, but it could apply to you 🙂
The Mornington top and dress is available in sizes 00-20 US and is drafted for a B/C bust cup size.
I chose a straight size 14. The design is not loose, nor fitted. The design comes from a base with a bust dart where the dart volume has been transferred to the waist.
If you have a sewing DD cup size or above, I would suggest you make a quick muslin. If you note gaping on the sleeveless armhole, you might need a FBA. What I would do is pinch out the gaping dart on the armhole and rotate that “armscye dart” to the side to create a bust dart with that volume. This would not increase the bust circumference… just give the bust the shaping it needs. Darts are our friends and when we need them, they make a difference.
I didn’t expect many, if any, fitting issues. Length is always a concern because I am taller. I did flat pattern measurements and needed to add 1″ at the skirt shorten and lengthen line.
For the top, I also measured the pattern and made mine 1.5″ shorter. I prefer my tops to reach the mid hip… personal preference.
The position of the ties on the sides seams has a reference on the pattern piece, but I suggest basting and pinning them on to check they are correct on your torso. I have a short torso and I placed my ties a tad higher than the reference.
The seam allowance is 1/2″ for the whole garment. The ties are easy to sew. You cut 2 pairs, mirror image. Sew them right sides together, flip them right sides out and serge the raw edge to neaten it and have it ready for later.
About the lining technique:
- It’s super easy!
- I’m self lining (using the same fabric)
- The neckline and armholes of the LINING are stabilized with fusible stay tape or self cut strips of interfacing
- The neckline and armholes of the MAIN fabric are stay stitched.
- I serged all the raw edges for both the main fabric and the lining fabric to have it done and out of the way. I will press all the seams open for less bulk.
- The shoulder seams are sewn together for the MAIN & LINING.
- Sew the neckline and armholes right sides together, 1/2″ SA, grade seam allowance and snip.
- Flip it all right sides out and VOILA! then under-sitching needs to happen.
- The back center seam is sewn first, this includes the main fabric and the lining in one continuous seam.
- Then the side seams are sewn in the same way, with the ties sandwiched in between. You will see a video embedded below and at minute 05:42 you can see the lining technique.
- This technique will wok on any top or dress that has a center back seam
V neckline bias binding
- This is an alternative technique to finish a woven V neckline that will not require a facing or lining, and it looks just as nice and neat.
- You might want to trim away the 1/2″ seam allowance from the pattern if you want the original neckline and armhole depth.
- I left the neckline the same, and it looks a little higher, but ok. I trimmed away the 1/2″ from the armholes.
- I made self bias tape with a 25mm bias tape maker. You need a bias cut strip 2″ wide by the length you need for the neckline and armholes, about 1.5yd.
- The neckline is stabilized with fusible interfacing, the V section stay stitched and snipped into.
- I sew the binding onto the WRONG side of the neckline. This is “in reverse” to the traditional binding. Sewing it in reverse will have the binding wrap over from the back onto the front of the garment and the edge-stitching will be done on the RIGHT side of the garment.
- This is best SEEN on video. It’s not hard, I promise! See it at minute 21:50 of the video. There’s a little triangle to sew… shown in red below and then a little snip is done as shown with the yellow dashed line.
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PURPLE SATIN BACKED CREPE TOP
Purple is a difficult color to find! so many colors in all types of fabric, but for some reason, purple is extra special and treasure. I really love this rich tone and the sheen of this satin backed crepe. I have left the “shiny” side inside as the wrong side of the fabric.
I have paired my Mornington top with a very old denim skirt I made in 2009. As my capsule collection grows more pieces, you will see this purple top styled with more variety.
The neckline and armholes have no visible top stitching. The under-stitching does a great job at keeping the lining tucked inside. The look is so sleek and neat. To keep the same look, I have done the hem by hand.
PURPLE PRINT CHIFFON DRESS
This crinkle chiffon fabric is totally sheer and this Mornington dress is self lined. I am wearing a black slip underneath for more cover because the two chiffon layers are still see through.
This is dress that’s a dream come true. I feel amazing in this dress!
BLACK/WHITE BUBBLE CREPE DRESS WITH V NECK BIAS BINDING
This Mornington dress is unlined and the neckline and armholes are finished with bias binding. I am also wearing a black slip underneath with this version. I like unlined dresses also, because we need less fabric 🙂
I decided not to trim away the seam allowance on the neckline because I felt that the V neckline depth was ok and not too high. You might notice the difference?
Making it again? YES! I will make the Mornington top and dress again without the ties for a relaxed look and will definetly make them lined and unlined, depending on the fabric and my mood.
You will see these dresses again throughout this series paired with the Taktsang dolman and the Carlsband Cardigan.
DISCLAIMER: The links to SEW BEAUTIFUL book are amazon affiliate links. I was a pattern tester for this book and received a complimentary copy in exchange for my feedback on instructions and fit. I purchased all the fabrics for this series. I produce sewing content independently from pattern brands and share my unique way of sewing with you. I don’t necessarily follow instructions rigidly. My opinions are honest, especially around fit and sewing techniques.
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