Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sewing Project: Pattern-less dress

I'll let you in on a little secret: sometimes my projects don't work out well. Oh, that's not a secret? My bad. Today I'll tell the tale of a well-intentioned dress gone wrong. I LOVE the tutorials featured on iCandy, and they're always showing up on Pinterest. Last summer, I attempted to follow the tutorial to make this maxi dress, with some modifications (pockets, for one!), and well...sad face:

Ignore the socks.

This dress suffered from many issues, first being my fabric choice. This jersey knit is wonderful, thick, soft, striped on one side and solid purple on the other. It's from Girl Charlee. They don't have this particular fabric any longer, but their tonal knits are pretty close.

As lovely as this fabric is, it's too heavy for the dress I designed. The hot mess of a top was my attempt to copy a RTW shirt that I love:

Last summer, at a minor league baseball game.

It has a draped neck and the back neckline is a casing for the binding which encases the armholes (confused yet?). I love this shirt and it's great for nursing. Although I wore it recently and apparently it's TOO drapey...AB was able to pull the front down and the people in the library parking lot would have gotten a show if I hadn't been wearing anything under it. I think that's Mom Lesson #65: always wear layers. And seriously, if you had ever seen the people in our library parking lot...anyway!

I successfully copied the shape of the RTW top, but it's too low-cut and the fabric is way too heavy to also work as binding. The back is cut too wide, the sides are too wide, it's just ill-fitting and blah.

The binding was a B to apply, so once it was on and I realized my problems, I was not going to remove it. So I shoved the dress into my closet and tried to pretend it never happened. Until now!

It may be too heavy for an essentially halter-top dress, but the fabric is perfect for a skirt with a yoga waistband. When I originally constructed everything, I left a ton (like, 4 inches!) of seam allowance in the waistband in case I needed to adjust the fit. It came in handy in this refashion. Sorry I don't have any pictures of myself wearing it, but I'm still trying to determine what tops I have that will work with a purple striped skirt. I might not get a ton of wear from it, but I was getting none from the dress, so if I even wear it once it will be a successful refashion. Does it count as a refashion if I was the one that made the garment in the first place?

Oh and by the way, I did try to save the top part and rework it, but it was still a disaster and I gave up. Into the UFO pile it goes! Have you ever had to rework something you made yourself? Make me feel better!

Pick Your Plum is KILLING me this they have adorable customized buttons! I wish that being an affiliate meant I got one of everything from them regularly!


  1. I recently convinced myself sewing is a skill I can master and bought a beginners sewing machine. Boy was I wrong, several failed projects later I have lots of to-be-completed projects, to-be-reworked and to-be-hidden-from-prying-eyes piles. How long can you officially call yourself a beginner? Your post is encouraging. I hope to redeem something (anything really) from the pile.

    1. You can do it! I still have failed experiments all the time. You can always try again. I learn a lot from my failures, usually more than from my successes!


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