Thursday, July 17, 2014

I'm Having a Blast Sewing

I realized I like designing, making clothes, way more than wearing them.  Crazy, but that's me.  Continuing the trend of making things even though I knew ahead of time that I may not wear it much, I made a dress that I think is so pretty.  So pretty that it wouldn't fit into my regular my wardrobe style.  But I really wanted to make it.

Days ago, I was antsy about sewing, so I looked through my stash and found this aqua print.  I thought, why not a dress?  Well, as it turned out I had only 1 1/5 of this 45" fabric. Hmmm. all of sudden I remember I bought it to make a skirt. Oh well, it wanted to be a dress!  So I dug out some yellow thin cotton I had for contrast waistband and shoulder straps.

The drafting part went quickly enough.  I re-measured myself to ensure better fit.  I didn't want the dress to be super tight, but it's woven cotton so there is no give.  There were only 3 major pieces of paper pattern involved, the top front, top back and identical skirt front/back. I just cut the shoulder straps and waistbands with rotary cutter to the width I wanted and adjusted the length as I sew.

One trick I realized I could do when cutting pattern was to cut out the areas for darts.  I truly dislike tracing points for darts and connect them by ruler, or other methods of doing it, all too tedious for my impatient self. By cutting out the areas, I just have to draw directly onto the fabric.  The paper I have is obviously a lot stiffer than commercial pattern papers.  But I can see using tape (the transparent kind for gift wrapping) to tape over the dart lines before cutting the the triangular darts away.  I'm so pleased with this method.  Yes, I love shortcuts like that.

I put the invisible zipper at the left side seam.  After a day of working on it I couldn't decide what to do with the bodice neckline to make it slightly more interesting without too much frills. I slept on it. The next morning I woke up to the idea of little contrast peek out color.  First try was using serger to finish that part. Wrong. after coupla tries, I realized I can top stitch the fabric to the facing with contrast color sandwiched between them. It took some time for me to figure that out, but in the end it was worth it.

I went for the gathering of skirt at waist rather than darts because I a less structured look. It ended up perfect and made cutting and sewing easier too.
The fit came out great, fitting but not too tight. The pattern wasn't perfect, I did do adjustments as I went.
Even if it's a too sweet for my wardrobe style, I like making it so much that I'm already getting the fabric out to cut for the second one.


  1. I love this dress!! It's a great colour combo and the style is awesome.

  2. It's very cute! I wonder if it would make it less "sweet" if you had a band of the contrast color at the bottom of the skirt- maybe 2.5 times the waistband?