Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Panelled Toni


Neglectful, that’s what I am. I’ve been sewing nearly everyday since the beginning of July and I’ve hardly shared a thing with you. So time to stop sewing, take a few photos as proof and start blogging.

Style Arc’s Toni dress has been on my To-Do list for months: I printed the PDF way back just waiting for the right fabric to find its way home to me. Surfing the net turned up some hits and misses with this pattern – let’s just say it’s not your regular dress and most of the misses are just not getting the drapes right which is not the sewer but the fabric. Style Arc sell both paper patterns from their online shop in Australia: they are also on Etsy for immediate PDFs.

The simplicity of this pattern is the key to this designer dress. The wide side drape falls softly into the narrow hemline. You will love the flattering collar that sits high on the neck and continues into the front “V” insert panel. This is such a comfortable, easy-to-wear dress with a designer look. STYLE ARC 


Loose and draped and long and with the best collar ever, Toni encapsulates the classy art teacher; the confident woman; the I’m not buying M&S again this year; the individual.

Let me show you these:



The Needle Works (double)

Material World

Pattern Review



Now, let’s step away from Toni for a moment and go to Mezzo  Couture and her ingenious use of bordered fabric. We all love a border print fabric but are often at a loss to make the most of it.


A very lightweight rayon from Croftmill, vignetted white to pink with line sketches of flowers and roots in black. I bought 3 panels. The most obvious way to use this fabric is to have the graduated tint running lengthwise down the body, white at the neck to pink at the hem. Let’s turn it 90 degrees instead: now we have one colour at the front and one colour at the back.

Of course, nothing ever goes to plan and there’s a major problem to be solved……….


Once the panel is folded for cutting it’s 5″ (10cm) short! There was a bit of patching and hacking and make-it-up-as-you-go-along style of sewing and I got the width needed to make the dress. NB: you need at least 48″ wide fabric for a single cut.


I’m only standing in front of the laundry just to show you that sometimes the sun does actually shine here and  it can actually get very warm. Having said that, white on white is maybe not such a good idea….


The drapes at the sides might need a weight stitched in to hold them down but this fabric is so lightweight that I’m wary of doing that and am happy to let things flow.


There’re pockets – but you all knew that already


I absolutely adore the collar but my little dumpy not-ballerina neck is not the best to showcase it. Just as well it can be worn folded down.

Indulge me enjoying the sunshine – you look at the dress and I’ll document this historic weather moment; the sky so blue it is reflected in the white sheets.


A Jekyll and Hyde dress this one – white on front and pink on back. Just a different way to use a panelled fabric.DSCN6419

Construction is fairly simple and straightforward: two fronts and backs with centre seams and remember StyleArc use 1cm. Collar and revers are the most complicated and really they’re not that complicated – take your time and mark the notches as you cut – the notches are very important. The side pockets are inseam and attached just above the flare for the ‘almost’ drapes’.


One of the last things to be sewn closed is the centre front, which got me thinking……

DSCN6411What if I didn’t sew up the front?????

36 thoughts on “Panelled Toni

  1. What fun! I could use that dress about now as our temps have been ungodly. Love the dress and that fabric is fantastic.

  2. Adore your decision to use the border fabric! Wonderful summer dress!!

  3. Love it! Border prints are so much fun.

  4. This is a pretty fabulous dress, and almost, maybe one that I could get into for myself. I liked it on Catherine Daze’ blog too. Your fabric is great. But you know that pink is gorgeous and I feel kinda bad that you don’t get some of that on the front. If you don’t sew up the front you’ll be flashing people. How wonderful to have reached an age when you can do that proudly and without embarrassment 🙂 You go grrl!

  5. Do you live in the US? You can get this pattern and many other via amazon. It’s a printed pattern sizes 4-16 and 18-30. Love your fabric and the very clever use of it!

  6. I’ve been looking at that pattern for an age. It’s time to invest methinks. Your version is gorgeous.

  7. Love it. Summery, different and pink! Love the blue sky too.

  8. It’s fabulous and suits you to a T. Enjoy!
    Joyce from Sudbury

  9. What an interesting fabric! It looks great in the Tori!

    • Fabric was lovely Shams. I’m not too sure I made the most of it but with a border panel some of it will always have to be sacrificed due to the pattern. Thank you.

  10. That’s come out well, I like how the flowers cluster at the edges and hems on the front.

    are you thinking of making this into a jacket? I have been wondering about a version with a front zip.

    And thanks for the shout out!

  11. What a clever gal you are – this is a lovely use of the print – and I would be tempted to just hang that border and gaze at it. You look like summer and sunshine…

  12. This dress just makes me smile! I complimented a lady wearing what I now recognized as this pattern (she had a cardi that covered most of it) and she took no credit for it. Your fabric is so special, clever arrangement of pink and white. Love it!

  13. Looks wonderful and cool. We’re in extreme heat alert, 29C here and I wish had one of these to slip on! Lovely job and very creative with the border.

  14. Thanks so much for the round up of everyone’s versions of this dress. It looks good on all of them as well as you. I think the collar makes it more important. And your idea of making the back and front from different ends of the fabric is brilliant. Well done.

  15. Ooh, I actually got a little jolt of excitement when I read the last line. The possibilities! You’ve made a gorgeous dress and I think the fabric you used is a perfect weight. Enjoy the sunshine!

  16. Pingback: 40 Shades of……. | corecouture

  17. Oh I only wish I could find more border prints in my local shop. I am going on a trip soon, maybe I shall look there. Your fabric and dress are lovely!

  18. Lovely fabric, and the dress suits you well. I made two, and got rid of both. The drapes just didn’t drape, I felt that they couldn’t decide if they should sag in or out of the folds [if you see what I mean?] Not for me unfortunately. Looks lovely on you though!

  19. Love it. What fabulous fabric. Oh god I was the Marks and spencer shopper (in fact I bought a tee shirt there last week). Am I the equivalent of a Marks and Spencer sewer? I would like to have a bash at this one, but I think it might not be too good on the shorter woman. Would it be difficult to shorten? X

  20. The Toni is a wonderful canvas for your print. It is just delicious!

  21. Ooo! This is brilliant! I love how you used the colours in the fabric, and the drape, pockets and collar are fab.

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