Monday, January 19, 2009

I think I'm getting the hang of this

I've been in a sewing frenzy since returning from my holiday break, and I've made more progress on my sewing skills than the past couple years combined! Isn't it great when all of a sudden you finally start to get something?

This weekend I took a long wrap skirt that I bought in India and turned it into an adorable dress. The wrap skirt was perfectly nice, but I haven't worn it in years, as long skirts aren't really my thing, and wrap skirts make me nervous. It also had a prominent tear on the front that I did a terrible job mending. The fabric is this great handmade, hand printed fabric from a store called FabIndia. If you are ever in India, I'd highly recommend finding on of their stores. The fabric is beautiful, and the clothes they make are catered both to Indian and Western tastes.

The skirt, before.

As I mentioned before, I recently chose New Look 6824 as my 'it' dress. My idea was to really work on this one pattern to find the perfect fit. I started out by doing some pre-cutting work. I measured myself very carefully, then loosened the tape measure at each location to figure out how much ease I liked at each location. I made sure to move around during this process to get a good idea of the minimum ease necessary. I then took the tape measure to the pattern pieces and carefully calculated the finished garment measurements at the bust, waist, and hip for each size in my ballpark. This took a while, but was totally worth it. I ended up having to cobble together three different sizes at four locations, and added 5/8" to the length of the bodice. This clearly demonstrated to me that going by the finished bust measurement just won't cut it. I was a bit unsure of my frankenstein pattern adjustments, but honestly I couldn't be happier with the finished result:

New Look 6824 with straight skirt, no sleeves, and soft small cowl collar.
(Click any image to enlarge)

I think this dress came out so cute--it's very classy, yet has a certain vintage and lively quality to it. Also, I wanted to thank the nice ladies who left comments on my last dress post about invisible zippers. Although I've been using invisible zippers this whole time, I never knew I was installing them wrong. This goes to prove that it's always a good idea to show detailed shots of your shoddy work in public for others to comment on. Perhaps you'll learn something very very useful! I came across this wonderful invisible zipper tutorial, and as a result have the best looking zipper I've ever installed. I also experimented with making a full lining for this dress. It was very experimental, and worked better in some locations than in others, but I'm happy I did it. Perhaps if I read a bit more about linings I'll be able to improve this skill as well.

My sewing confidence is improving dramatically. I'm loving this.


2WeeMonsters said...

Here from WR... This is so cute! Congrats :)

BCN - UNIQUE designer patterns said...

Meghan .- I never was in India, but I have brought tissues there. A yellow linen used for trousers, and some printed silks. The transformation of this skirt was perfect, really. enjoy yourself.

greetings, Paco

Sam said...

Hello, I lurk on Wardrobe Refashion, but I love your dress, so I had to visit :-)
It's very interesting to read about how you altered the fit of the pattern.
I'm hoping to learn to make clothes this year, so this is very useful.

Anonymous said...

I love this dress, all the time you took getting the pattern right has really paid off, the fit is fab.

isolada. by design said...

I was in suspense, from the first word, but I wouldn't scroll down because I wanted to take it all in, each detail, every description. It was worth the wait. The dress is FAABULOUS, adorable, classy, sophisticated, FUN! Great, great job. Your passion and attention to excellence is inspirational. Enjoy yourself!

Hilary said...

SO CUTE! Looks like all the effort paid off -- it fits you absolutely perfectly!

Philigry said...

beautiful dress. so classy!

dana said...

Very cool refashion. You did an awesome job on the dress.

Camille said...

I love your dress! Thanks for sharing your creative process with all of us!

Cennetta said...

Great job on transformation.

Anonymous said...

i love love the shirt and the skirt!!
anna13 on ravelry

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post.
I just bought this pattern and love the look, but I am a self-taught sew-er (notice I didn't say seamstress!) and I was curious about how this pattern actually came out. Your dress looks great and I thank you for all the tips and advice you posted on this as well as your other posts.
As a sew-er wanting to learn more, I appreciate your blog :)