Tasmanian Blues Robe Dress and Nigella Blues Smock

Amelia Hoskins / Bespoke garments, Dress, Robe / / 0 Comments / Like this

Features hand dyed silk painted decorative collar of gold dyed silk from natural Tasmanian eucalyptus tree bark dye

Original silk painted samples dyed with eucalyptus bark dye on my photography site resonant-visions where there are the photographs of the nigella seed pods I used for the applique designs.

Tasmanian Blues Centre front print and applique details

BLUE Patchworks

Abstract with text print blue/white cotton-viscose.

Feather print navy-white cotton.

Navy blue lace lined on gold.

Stylised flowers blue-gold-navy cotton print.

Gold embroidered cotton.

Gold plant dyed silk.

PLUS – Leopard print blue-black-grey and  Chinese Bird of Paradise with gold texture cotton.

Applique Seed Pods Nigella 'Love in a Mist'

Robe Dress has applique lace pod dyed in eucalyptus dye bath after the collar piece. Colour took well, which is a guide to fabric content being cotton or silk. Dark centres to seed pod designs are cut from eucalyptus dyed silk (iron modified).  Light centre to pod is from bundle steam died silk with seeds and petals.  Nigella blues has variable on same pod idea.  A motif is a good means to join over a seam (smock left top). Also provides contrast to break up a solid dark or light area.


When there are enough patches prepared, another garment can be made.  Size and shape was dictated by the blouse used as an underlining, the colours of which were a perfect match, being cream brown and pale blue.  Short sleeves made in dark blue lace.  Coconut buttons with bound buttonholes.  Applique patches again created with eucalyptus dyed lace and bundle dyed silk.  Back hem is drooped lower.

Nigella Blues Smock – Bound buttonhole sewing – Click to enlarge

Tasmanian Blues Making Procedure

Lining (blouse) is put inside out on model, then outside patchworks pinned to it.  First cut blouse neckline according to style wanted) allowing extra cm for seams.

Short sleeve (blouse) as lining, needed lengthening with cream floral thin polyester fabric.  Fitted on dummy to check desired finished length of sleeve, before cutting length.

Llining of sleeve (partly made in patches), except small join at shoulder top which can remain after cutting open and flat most of the lining blouse.

Shaping sleeve top fit fit curve of bodice armhole.

Lining sleeve having patches added.  Bodice top right has outer fabric pinned.

Floral patch added to upper arm with blue lace.  Floral fabric used for top back bodice top. Leopard print added.

Sleeves layers visible ready for inserting into dress armhole.

The floral patch has gold in which was a pointer to add the gold dyed silk for collar

Fused vylene interfacing ironed onto inside of outer sleeve extension.

Blue and gold floral fabric used for decorative interest. Seam pressed 1cm away from outer hem, for added decorative interest, before cutting rough edges equal.

Pin in place cuff and upper sleeve (when open and flat).  Join seam down length of sleeves.

After outer sleeve patches also seemed to close sleeve, smooth down outer sleeve patches to lay behind sleeve cuff. (Cuff folded over first and pressed). Pin cuff to sleeve; machine or hand stitch down, all around sleeve.

In order to increase the dress size to 38",  to be larger than the lining, and to give a loose arm feel, sleeve inner and outer was left unseamed for 8 inches with 2 inch extra at armhole line.  Two gussets were cut, and added one to dress and one to lining. (see machining images).

Machining gusset side to dress side, from arm seam slit point to empire bust line bodice cut.  I used viscose weight for outer gusset to match with fabrics, and the blue lace for inner gusset, for light weight in the under-arm area.

Lace used for the inner gusset lining; also machined to lining down length of sleeve slit, and joining bodice front and backs.

Join patch pieces to form a facing (take shape from back neck centre, around to front, on dummy). Pin to cotton to make a pattern to cut vylene interfacing.  Or use two thicknesses of cotton tacked in.

Lining fabric (black/blue/cream floral) (interfaced) used as an upper back section to be inserted into a loose neckline.  Smart patch colours (with gold dyed silk painting) joined to form facing, which when turned outwards, becomes the open collar.  Note 'pointed angles' - when turned right way out, become collar points.

Patch pieces chosen  for outer collar. This may be difficult to follow for beginner sewers. Whatever shape is the front of garment (e.g. a basic round neck cut down centre front): this requires a facing fabric, so when top neck is turned out, it becomes a small faux decorative 'collar'. To have a proper back collar would need additional piece inserting around back neck.

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Images copyright Amelia Jane Hoskins Please email for use permission.