I didn’t set out to make this a real dress. I drafted it in my pattern making class with Sarah’s help, and used three different scraps of fabric to make a toile. I then lost my mind and started making all sorts of changes which led me to keep the dress, although I’m not sure how much wear I will get from it, but I took it to India with me on the off chance that it would be useful, and I thought that some of my followers would be interested in the construction. This is the view from our room in Delhi.
The process of making this dress is the same as for the aforementioned hacked top, except, instead of drawing a straight line to the hem, we shaped it into my waist. I was a bit worried that it would be too fitted, but it actually feels quite flattering.
The construction went like this:
First I cut the top part out twice, as per the original pattern, shaping it as per the hack, and I cut out the body part of the dress and the sleeves.I had found a small piece of fabric and really wanted to use it to bring the colours of the top and bottom part of the dress together, which is where it moved from being a toile to an actual dress. I began by cutting a strip to put in the join between the top and the bottom. and sewed it in between the seam.
I then decided that the front of the dress was a bit transparent so cut another front out – eliminating the need for the hack, but never mind!
Then I sandwiched the top of the dress and the contrasting band between the two fronts that I now had. This worked well, but the band stuck out. I trimmed the seam and topstitched the band down so that it would lay flat.
To join the back of the top section to the back of the dress I used the “burrito” method, where everything is rolled inside and then the seams are stitched right sides together. This is the technique I use for shirt yokes as it gives a really neat finish. You pull the dress out through one of the side openings. If you haven’t used this method before, have a go, it is fun.
To tie in the little band across the front I added a wide band at the bottom of the dress, which had the added benefit of making it longer. I once again used the burrito method so that all seams were captured tidily inside so that it looks as neat on the inside as on the outside.
Finally, I added large patch pockets with my last piece of the patterned fabric. I thought I would be bothered that the trim cuts me straight across the middle of my bustline, but for some strange reason, it doesn’t worry me at all. Having said that, I might consider moving the seam up a bit next time.
I did finish up wearing this dress in public. It was cool and really comfortable and although it is quite shaped, it doesn’t hug my – ahem – curves!
The orange and patterned knits are left over from other makes. The yellow is from a large piece of knit that I found in an op-shop and bought with the intention of dyeing. It is high quality, but thin, and I suspect that it came from Knitwit, as I’m sure I’ve seen it there. I still have some left… The sandals are Merrill, but if I wore this dress at home I would wear heels and then I perhaps wouldn’t look quite as frumpy.