I was shopping at Armani Exchange, and saw a dress that looked pretty simple to construct. Of course I decided to try to do my own version, especially since I don't really *need* another dress, nor do I have anywhere to wear a new dress I've had the sheer fabric in my stash since forever, and I picked up some cheap china silk for the lining. I actually don't mind working with china silk. And at $0.75/yard it's incredibly economical! Here's my version:
I probably should've made the skirt fuller, but I really really really didn't want to hem the slippery fabric on a curve. I've yet to find a good rolled hem foot, so it would've been a lot of folding and patience (which I don't have a lot of)
I used Simplicty 2444 for the bodice front, but made it strapless. It was a terribly bad idea, since there was a lot of gaping. I googled around for solutions, and decided to insert some elastic into the top edge to pull it in. It worked!
The bodice is eyelet, and the skirt is some sort of chiffon-y like fabric. I dunno what it's called, but it's sheer and flowy!
I 'shirred' the back (is it still shirring if there's elastic channels?), since I couldn't imagine sewing a zipper into that fabric
Had to take a photo of the inside, because I actually finished it!!!
The thing I learned the most from this project is to use spray starch!!! I used the recipe here: http://foursquarewalls.blogspot.ca/2012/06/diy-spray-starch-eliminate-curled-edges.html and made my own spray starch. It made cutting the slippery chiffon so much easier!! It left no residues, and I could have worn the dress without washing it first. I washed it anyhow because I had the time Edit: pic from the wedding! I wore it with a belt before dinner, but took the belt off so I could eat comfortably
I bought this dress at a garage sale where the homeowner was an elderly woman who was downsizing. I think the dress was home made since there are no tags in it. Before:
As you can see it's much too large for me! But I really liked the pintucks, since I have no patience to sew this sort of detailing in my 'from scratch' dresses. After:
I removed the elastic waist and shortened the bodice. I also took in the sides and the arms and inserted an invisible zipper in the side seam. I shortened the skirt by quite a few inches and removed the pockets. When reattaching the skirt to the bodice I pleated it instead of the original gathers. Finally, I replaced the cheap-looking buttons with some buttons from my stash! It was a pretty easy project, and I am quite pleased with the results
My friend got married a few weeks ago. Since it was snowing, I wanted a dress that had sleeves, but I was not about to attempt full length sleeves. Despite living in a large city, the big fabric stores seem to be either super pricy, or not accessible by public transit. So I went to my local ethnic fabric store, which sells mostly turban cotton, linings, and synthetics that I don't know the names of. I found this purple satin which I was kinda wary (rightly so!) about sewing (originally wanted a cotton sateen or something similar). Anyhow, sewing the satin was a pain in the butt. It frayed, it creased, it puckered, and generally left me cursing. But here's the dress!
It's a highly modified coffee date dress pattern bodice (added sleeves, moved the darts, moved the neckline) attached to a circle skirt. The bow is just a removable sash. This was taken after coming home, so that's why it's rumpled. But I did get a few good twirls out of that circle skirt
At the end of last summer Walmart was clearing out plain bikinis for $1, so I bought two tops. Yesterday I finally took them out and added some simple beading to make them look less plain. Here's what I came up with:
Super easy, and super fast! Best part? Since I already had all the beads, I now have two fancy-er (well, than before) bikini tops for $2!
I started this dress months ago, but lost interest and put it into my 'to finish' pile. Now with summer actually arriving, I've finished it and quite like it! The fabric has tiny blue and white stripes on it, but it's hard to see in the pics. I used miasu's contour bust pattern over at burdastyle (a free pattern!) for the bodice, and the skirt is just an a-line skirt with pleats. The straps are just bias tape.
I follow a few sewing blogs on the internet. When I saw this scalloped collar tutorial via grosgrain, I knew I had to attempt it. The pattern drafting process was exactly that, a process. I flubbed it up a few times, but eventually I sorted it out. I used a self-modified version of the coffee date dress pattern for the dress. [btw, anyone know what happened to the selfish seamstress? her blog's been quiet for quite some time!]. The navy fabric is thrifted, it feels like a cotton-poly mix. The white part of the collar is from my scrap stasn (bonus!). I bought the ribbon trim from walmart after Christmas, when ribbons were 75% off, so it cost me around $0.25 for a spool. So, overall this dress cost ~$5, with almost half of that cost being the zipper (I haven't had much luck finding invisible zippers at the thrift store). The bodice is fully lined. I couldn't figure out how to attach the lining when a collar is involved, so the front half of the bodice is lined 'normally', while the back half is finished by hand. Probably the most labour intensive dress that I have made thus far. I can't wait to wear it out!
I've noticed a few dresses in this style in the stores. The construction looked simple so I decided to try one myself. This is my first unlined dress! I thought a lining would be too bulky, and I didn't really know how to/want to draft facings. I got the fabric at the thrift store for $1. I have no clue what fiber it is, but I liked how it was more flowy than regular cottons.
Anyhow, it's super simple. Just a baggy t-shirt on top and a rectangle for the skirt. The elastic is sewn into the seam allowance at the waist. I had problems with a gaping neckline, but I fixed that by handsewing a pleat at each shoulder, and at the center front neckline. Because of the patterned fabric it's basically hidden.
If I had any modeling potential I would pose better, but I'm honestly the most awkward model ever!
Where I live, spring is nowhere near warm enough to wear cute dresses. Or at least I'm not crazy/dedicated to fashion enough to shed my jeans and long-sleeved tees just quite yet. Two things led me to this dress. First, I was originally inspired to make a dress like Suzannah from Adventures in Dressmaking's grey engagement dress. When I went to my local fabric store, I found out they were closing . Sad, but I got to pick up some cheap patterns I used Simplicity 2579, view B, and adjusted the waistband so it was thinner and less curved. I also had to add about 2 inches to the shoulder strap length. I seem to have this problem often! It's just broadcloth. The top is lined with self fabric, and the bottom is unlined. I didn't have the correct colour zipper, so thats why the back looks terrible. I plan to rip it out and insert an invisible zipper once I buy one.
I plan on using this pattern again, using nicer fabric. I don't like how the bodice has so many gathers, so next time I'll try to adjust the pattern to decrease the amount of fabric up there.
Edited to add better pics. And to say that I did fix the zipper, but didn't take pics of that: This is how I styled it the other day (and didn't even freeze to death!)
I made an apron for my friend's bday which is coming up this weekend. Since it was a gift, I wanted to make it look nicer than something I would wear myself. I used the front bodice pattern piece from McCalls M5094 and the front skirt pattern piece from the Coffee-date Dress.
Close-up of the top
Usually my clothing items are pretty unfinished on the inside. However, this time I even covered all raw seams! I was lazy, so I just ironed on hem tape. I like the result, cause it gives the waistband some stiffness.