After the navy dress, I felt a little hesitation starting this dress. I wanted to make a style that would be unique and push my design skills a little.
I had also been inspired by some of the Dries van Noten dresses which had panels which hung down past the hem. As I made the dress, I also decided to do it without sleeves so I can layer it over a turtle neck.
It was fun to put this together and the fabric is SO SOFT!
I also made sure I used the direction of the stripe threads to make the fabric face the same way throughout the outfit.
First I made a normal dress with a standard back zipper. From there, I played around with the plaacement of the front panel. To add flexibility to the fabric and give it a looser drape, I cut it on the bias (diagonal)
Last but not least, a great friend was in town from Saskatchewan and we got lunch! Afterward the Equine Immersion Program was having an even called Trail to Zero with NYC police officers and veterans to raise awareness and help prevent veteran suicides. They were riding 20 miles through the city because every day approximately 20 veterans across the country die by suicide. It was very neat to see them have such a unique event and it was great to talk to the people involved.
It was a great day! Now it’s time to kick off the process for a few new back to school dress shirts. Stay tuned!
Here was the game plan! I was so excited to whip through this dress and make a really nice classic look… but… it’s only been going “sew sew” (is that a pun? It’s supposed to be)
The first challenge was that once I was home, I wasn’t 100% sure if I liked this fabric after all…
It felt very classic and sort of like a polo/golf vibe. It’s a cotton men’s shirting fabric. I thought it would be neat to have a striped shirtdress in my wardrobe, but then I started to question if I actually liked it.
At first, I gathered the skirt but it had too much volume. It was not very flattering 😦 there is no picture of this, but beleive me, it happened and wasn’t good.
I tore it off and really thought about a way to achieve a less busy look. After some time, I decided that pleats could be the answer! I hoped the pleats will be flatter yet still break up the stripes and make a nice A line silhouette. It started to get better! I used an inverted box pleat.
Last but not least! I visited F&S fabric store to pick up some unique buttons and made a sash on the bias to finish it up. I also actually hand pick stitched the collar too as inspired by my sewing friend George who showed me a jacket he was working on that used this technique!
With the pleats, it was much easier to align the stripes between the collar, bodice, and skirt! This also makes the sash pop a little bit more since those stripes go diagonally.
Overall, I feel like I achieved the look I set out to create, but I will be a little more discerning with my in-store fabric choices so that I hopefully feel more confident throughout the project.
Last but not least, I’ve learned that the two daughters of my husband’s coworker have visited the blog and are going to be taking sewing classes! Just wanted to say HI! They are about 10 and I really can’t wait to hear about if they like their class!!! They have a very cool Mom for encouraging them too!
I made this over the weekend and didn’t take any in-process pictures. Oops… this is another version of the Vancouver Dress (although I acquired the Simplicity pattern in Chicago).
This is one of the lates fabrics I got at Mood. I wanted to make a dress with a slightly more businesslike print.
It’s hard to tell but I also beaded the collar and edge of the bow with little white seed beads. (Continuing to slowly use the remainder of my wedding veil supplies)
Since I didn’t take any action pictures, let’s do another quick vocab session. At least in my understanding of sewing so far, the design on a piece of fabric is called the print. The guided paper shapes that you trace to cut the fabric is called the pattern.
Within a print, there is something called the repeat and this is how often the design on the fabric copies itself across the whole piece. These can be direct copies or they can be put on slightly staggered placements to make it harder to tell the shapes are repeating. Another neat type of fabric which I use for scarves all the time is a panel. This is a single square or rectangle in which all the elements of the print design are tucked inside and it usually has a clear border. You have to be more careful with pattern placement.
It’s all fun stuff!
I made this dress so quickly, I am thinking I want to try and add some challenging pattern modifications to my next outfit. I want to keep improving my techniques.
As mentioned it was tons of fun to visit the local fabric stores and explore using my father in law’s sewing machine. He was the sewist in the family! Next time, I will take a few pictures of his projects!
I wish I had taken even more in progress photos but overall this was my first project drafting the pattern from scratch for someone else. It is so exciting to have an opportunity to try sewing for someone else and to see how different adjustments can make the design better for each of us.
It was really exciting to see how much my mother in law liked this dress! She is very into accessorizing – and I see why – she’s fantastic at it!
See more pictures below! And thanks for being such a great muse!
We met again and finished cutting out the pattern and started to sew!
We explained all the details like the graineline and “on the fold” symbols. From there we tested the tension of the machine and started to sew the first pocket in the side panel!
We finished it with french seams! We are going to finish the second pocket separately and get together to work on the bodice.
Also, there was a moment where her machine jammed and she mentioned it was getting really tight in the bobbin area. I looked at the bobbin, then looked at the top thread holder that moves up and down. The string had popped out of there!! Just like my epic sewing jam of the past. I fixed it like a pro and tried to explain how I only new how to do that after so much research when it happened to me in the past.
While I am also working on this Simplicity dress with my friend, I wanted to understand the fit of this pattern better before we completed the project. I hope that this will let her have the most positive experience and not be discouraged by any type of fit issue.
With that in mind! It seemed like a great pattern to use for the linen I picked up in Vancouver at Atex Fabrics.
I cut this fabric perpendicular to the graneline so that I could take advantage of the floral ombre effect.
From here – it was sewing time! This pattern is actually quite nice and pretty easy. I had never sewn with linen before and the weave of this fabric was definitely looser. This meant there was some chances to get wavy seams and cutting straight lines was a bit odd a challenge too. Through lots of pinning and pressing I managed to still make it through pretty quickly.
Next time, I may make this dress in an even lighter silk or a wintery fabric! Or crop it into a top! I liked this first version.
Here was a process picture pretty far in where I was double checking the fit ahead of finishing the french seams.
There was one other REVOLUTIONARY element of this project. I finally cut my bias tape for finishing the arms… on the bias. This has always seemed so wasteful to not use straight strips of fabric bit I realized I was starting to get wobbly necklines because the bias tape didn’t have enough give and stretch… I know it’s so obvious… this turns out to be one sewing corner you should not cut. The more you know!