Jess’ Bianca Dress with Contrast Facing

Made By Rae Bianca Dress

Made By Rae Bianca Dress

One of my patterns that never really got its time in the spotlight is Bianca, which launched just months after Hugo was born three years ago. It’s a lovely pattern for summer sewing, and this dress version from Jess that features the facings on the outside and contrast hem has always been one of my favorites.  Bianca also can be made as a top, and is best suited to fabrics with drape or a looser weave, like this Nani Iro double gauze (a collection from a few years back). The contrasting facings and hem bands are Kaffe Fassett shot cottons purchased from Hawthorne Threads.

The Bianca PDF pattern includes tips for how to make the facing visible the way Jess did for this version, and she added the contrast hem bands for a fun variation.

Made By Rae Bianca Dress

Here’s how to add the hem bands:

  • The finished hem band on this dress is 3″ tall. For the same proportions as shown here, remove 2.5″ from the hem of  both the front and back pattern pieces. Bianca has a slightly curved hem, but it’s way easier to add a contrast band if the hem is a straight line, so measure 2.5″ up from the bottom edges of each pattern piece, connect those with a straight edge, and slice along that line.
  • For the hem bands, cut two rectangles out of contrast fabric that are 7″ tall, one as wide as the front and one as wide as the back.
  • For Step 6 in the pattern sewing instructions, choose option B to sew side vents, and sew the seam allowances as directed for a “Clean Finish.”
  • Fold each hem band in half lengthwise with right sides together and sew along the short ends of each hem band with a 1/2″ seam.
  • Trim the corners, turn each band right side out, and use a point turner to push out the corners. Press.
  • Pin hem bands to front and back hems of the dress with raw edges together (two layers of hem band, one layer of dress), and sew together with a 1/2″ seam. Finish these edges with a serger or zigzag stitch.
  • Press seam allowances up (toward dress) and top stitch 1/4″ above the seam you just sewed to hold the seam allowance in place.

Made By Rae Bianca Dress

Alternate instructions: View B of the Beatrix Pattern has detailed instructions to attach hem bands in a slightly different way, so you can refer to those steps if you have Beatrix in your pattern library.

Made By Rae Bianca Dress

Made By Rae Bianca Dress

7 thoughts on “Jess’ Bianca Dress with Contrast Facing

  1. Jess looks so happy in these shots and her Bianca is brilliant. This is the second time I’ve seen one of her makes with this smile inducing Nani Iro. Any remnants or scraps ;}? Hopefully Naomi Ito will reissue this print sometime. As a school librarian I’m making/finishing makes at record (for me). My first Washi top will be cut soon. Happy sewing All.

  2. A gorgeous Bianca dress – must be very lovely to wear in Nani Iro! The Bianca dress was the first garment I sewed for myself since I learned to sew in high school (and after a very long break from sewing anything). I made it in a lovely rayon – admittedly not the easiest choice when starting up again but I got a lovely dress I wore over and over till it’s literally falling apart. I always got compliments when i wore it. It’s so light and cool to wear – I’d like to make another one this summer (Southern hemisphere). Thanks for the great pattern Rae!

  3. I’m literally wearing my favorite Bianca dress right now, and when I put it on this morning I was trying to remember what it was called and I told my husband it was “underrated.” I LOVE this dress.

  4. Totally “underrated” 😉
    My eighth Bianca only needs to be hemed…. Such a comfotable dress for summer. And I don’t lie when I say I get compliments for my Biancas EVERY time I wear one of them. So if you have a bad day just throw on your Bianca and the sun will come up!

  5. The Bianca is a summer staple for me. I have a top and 5 dresses that I made two years ago 😊 that are still going strong and I just made the version with the visible facing with Loominous fabric and I love it! Jess’s version is so beautiful. One of these days I will win lotto and make all my favorite patterns in Nani Iro. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Great pattern!

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