Thursday 11 July 2013

Winging it

I had a bit of a challenge inadvertently thrown my way last week, to make a dress just like the one someone gave me to 'copy'.

I think that people who don't sew imagine this to be far easier than it actually is - especially when you will have nothing more than the dress and the measurements of the person to work with, not an actual model to try on a muslin or toile.

The finished result and the sample I worked from
So measurements and dress in hand I set out to make a replica of the dress on the right using the fabric in the finished dress shown on the left.
It's for a promotional gathering so all the staff involved will be wearing garments made in the same fabric.

On looking at the yellow dress I noticed that it was quite shaped - with darts at the bust and in the back and so not knowing how to recreate these on my own I flicked through a few books before deciding to use the bodice of the Truffle dress from the Colette Sewing Handbook.

Very happy with the position of the logo on the bodice

I traced off the bodice in the appropriate size and then lay the pattern over the sample dress and cut the pattern pieces to fit the shape of the neckline that I wanted, preserving the darts.

I did this for both the front and back.

Then I created a skirt for the dress by extending the back bodice pieces (and darts) down to make the back two pieces, while I chose to make a skirt in the front that attached to the bodice as I felt this was the easiest way to manage the shaping.

Exposed zipper in blue for fun.
For visual interest I decided to add, you guessed it, an exposed zipper.

In hindsight I am not sure this was the best option as it was a bit bulky for the fairly soft material, but you live and learn!

The whole thing was lined in lightweight cotton to keep it cool and comfortable.
The zip was hand-stitched to the lining.

I haven't heard how the fit was but I am hoping it has been a success.

This was a great lesson for me in making up things to suit - in creating a pattern from an existing item, and not being afraid to 'wing it'.

What do you 'fear' when sewing?? Zips, buttonholes, following a pattern or making one up for yourself??
Name your phobia!


Bronwyn said...

I could name all four if those as phobias lol! What is the fabric you used? It looks like wet suit fabric but you said it's soft? I hope the recipient lets you know soon how thankful she is!

Bronwyn said...
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ARTwendy ... said...

wow - you are so so clever!! am v impressed! phobia .... it is button holes but i have a thing about not wearing buttons anyway so i just steer clear i guess .... otherwise i'm all good to just 'learn' .... i get 'blocked' sometimes but the fear of the unknown but that's a little different to a phobia ...

rachelmp said...

You did a great job with the problem solving and sewing on this one. What a challenge!