Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Easter Sundress!

I planned to make this dress a very, very long time ago.  I bought the fabric well over a year ago (I was trying to decide what to do with it here), and it took me months to decide to spring for a pattern to  make it into.  I decided on this lovely Gathered Pocket Sundress pattern from Pattern Runway on Etsy, and FINALLY got the guts to cut into my beautiful, beautiful fabric that came all the way from Mood.



 The pattern photos looked like this:

Photo from Pattern Runway, found here
I KNEW I'd be making something that had pockets in it, and I loved the look of this dress even if I was a little scared to death in my heart about the invisible zipper, seamed bodice, fitted waistband, etc.

And it turns out I may have been right to be scared.  But it all came out okay in the end.  Here's my final result:


Not bad, eh?  And here's the back:

Not terribly exciting.  BUT look how well I matched up the pattern!
I don't have great photos of the pocket detail, but I did really like the way they came together.  There is slight gathering across the front of the dress, which continues along the contour of the pocket.  And I like the method used for binding the pocket, even if the way the pattern explained cutting out the bias strips was confusing.


However, you will notice that I am wearing a belt in all of these pictures.  I do like the way it looks belted, but that was not my intention as the dress already has a fitted waistband.  But I will only ever wear it with a belt, because of the issues I had constructing the dress.

I haven't sewn many things from patterns, and the things I have sewn were mostly for children and were mostly pretty forgiving, loose dresses.  So for this one I really paid attention.  I mean, I paid actual money not only for the fabric, but also for LINING FABRIC that you don't even SEE, AND for a PATTERN!  This one isn't turning out to be cheaper than buying a dress at all!  So I wanted it to be perfect.  I took all of my measurements and compared them to the measurements given in the pattern and cut out the sizes recommended for the pattern pieces.  I was really careful with my seam allowances.  And this dress came out HUGE!  I could tell after assembling my bodice that it was too big, so I took some fabric out of the back (about an inch on each side) while inserting the zipper, but it wasn't enough.  I had to take another inch out of the front and sides to keep things even, which made my waistband wonky--enter the necessity of the belt. I reduced the size of the bodice by over 4 inches all together, bit by bit, which was really frustrating.  Especially because the directions are mostly easy to follow and give you really nice finishes--so even more frustrating when you have to take it apart and hack it up.  I normally wear about a size 6, and according to the measurements in the pattern I was a size medium for the waist and hips, and a small for the bust.  I wasn't too worried about the hips, since it's a loose skirt, but I figured I should be pretty precise for the fitted bodice.  I guess this is why people make muslins, but ...I just don't have the time or patience for that (or the spare fabric), and, never having done it before, how does that even work?  After you get the muslin to fit, do you take it apart and use it for pattern pieces, or what?

OK, FINE, you can see my head.

Anyway, I still do love the fabric, and it feels absolutely lovely.  I lined the skirt as well as the bodice because I didn't want to worry about a slip, since the fabric is pretty thin.

And how about this--I swear, I did not even plan for our family to be so coordinated.  My red necklace was a last minute addition, and my husband's red shirt was a surprise to me.  But I am impressed with myself, as I sewed most of the garments in this photo!  Little Sister's dress is the Cece Dress from Popolok Designs (I did a pattern test for it), and The Boy is wearing an upcycled button down and a pair of pants modified from the Kids Pocket Pants from Made.


Oh, hey, if you have a minute?  I've entered this dress into the Project Sewn Sundress Week contest.  Would you be a dear and click over there?  The "sewalong" links are at the bottom of the post.  If you like mine best (YOU LIKE MINE BEST), vote for it!  I could win fame and prizes!  Voting opens on Friday, May 17th.

21 comments:

  1. Love the dress - great material. Pockets are such a must for me these days, too. I'll be sure to go back and vote when the voting opens! Best of luck!

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    1. Thanks Cakes! Hey, that's a good nickname! Can I start calling you that?

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  2. The dress is great! Fabric and style of dress are a great combo.
    Explored your blog---great tutorials. Can't wait to try some little girl dresses for my girls.
    Have you seen The Sewing Rabbit is looking for people to be on her team? I think you should apply....I think your work, especially all the upcycling you do would be a great addition to the site.

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    1. Wow Melinda--thanks for the heads-up! That IS interesting!

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  4. Beautiful dress! I wonder why it came out so huge? But you did a great job fixing it.
    --Jill
    Jill Made It

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  5. Love this dress and fabric! Great job.

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  6. GREAT JOB! totally doesn't look handmade... which is always a goal of mine when i'm sewing clothing! ;) love it!!

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    1. Thank you!! Of course, you haven't seen it up close...

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  7. I think it turned out great! And that fabric is awesome, what a find. I'm not a big muslin person either, but I do have one bodice muslin that I keep re-using as pattern pieces. It is handy, especially if you are going to keep making the same pattern (or at least the bodice).

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    1. Kathleen, you're a genius! I can totally get behind one reusable muslin!

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  8. This is so cute! It would be awesome if you linked this up over at our blog. http://shaffer-sisters.blogspot.com/2013/05/make-for-mom-link-up.html
    Hope to see you there!
    with love,
    Jo

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    1. Twist my arm, Jo! Got it linked up--and I just may add a few other favorites there too :)

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  9. Great dress...it was totally worth the work...and that fabric is pretty awesome.
    -liZ

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    1. Woot, I'm feeling big time now that you've visited! I guess I'll join more link-ups in the future! Thanks for the inspiration :)

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  10. I have a hard time finding a way to make sewing less expensive than ready to wear. The only way I can work it out is not to try to recreate the discount store brands. Instead I invest my time and money into something that will be as special as a designer or boutique dress. I think you absolutely achieved that with this dress.

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    1. That is such a good point, Jennifer--and thank you! It's not usually the way I sew--I'm trying to find a way to do things more inexpensively--but when the fabric or the pattern or the occasion calls for it, it really still will be saving me $$ over buying something that is as good ready-made.

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  11. Wow, what a great fabric! I love your necklace too, what a statement piece!!

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    1. Thank you! For as bold as that necklace is, it sure ends up going with a lot of things :)

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  12. I had the same issue with fitting (it was my first adult garment! eek) but eventually enough pinning and sewing created a nice wearable dress. So glad that I'm not the only one who has this issue! With the muslin I believe it's just a reference to what the changes in your pattern will be? That is how I've used it, and just scrap the whole thing at the end. Total waste which is why I usually use a fabric from the thrift shop& if I can make it wearable then it's a bonus. I mean, I'm no expert so if someone can correct me jump in on this lol!

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    1. That floral sundress was your first adult garment? It turned out great! I've just been perusing your blog and your kids stuff is adorable.

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