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Topic: Organic cotton button front dress  (Read 15207 times)
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« on: January 19, 2012 08:46:55 AM »

This was one of those projects that was bouncing around in my head for weeks before I finally thought, screw it!, took the plunge and bought the fabric  Cheesy

Features run-down:
-organic cotton
-vintage cotton lining
-metal stag design buttons
-self fabric belt
-patch pockets
-gathered skirt
-princess line bodice
-topstitched fell seams

It's based on a dress I own that's more formal (it has a little collar, cap sleeves, and it's made from a cotton sateen with a satin lining) - it's been my favourite dress since I got it but it's just a bit too smart for day to day wear  Sad It was a bargain on ebay a couple of years ago, and for months now I've had the idea of recreating it in a more casual style bouncing around in my head.

So  I found some beautiful organic crossweave cotton on Ray-Stitch, and some gorgeous metal stag buttons on Textile Garden, and suddenly everything clicked into place! (I was actually really naughty and didn't even order a sample of the fabric beforehand. My gut said BUY IT! so I did  Roll Eyes )

After an hour with some paper, pins and the original dress I had my first pattern draft of the bodice, and three toiles later I had my pattern. I didn't make a pattern for the skirt... I just took a couple of measurements and ran with it  Wink

As the outer bodice came together, though, I realised a couple of things: one, the fabric was a bit thin, even layered up, to support all those metal buttons. And two: I REALLY REALLY WANTED AN OVERLOCKER. So, uh. I dug out a length of fabulous pink-and-red floral vintage fabric to use as lining... and I bought myself an overlocker.

OK, that sounds really blas. Fact is I've been wanting one for years, and I save hard. HARD. I deserve the odd treat, right?


It's far from perfect... the waist doesn't QUITE match where it buttons, for example (the belt covers it though, so DO I CARE? NO). And I think one of the buttons over the bust needs shifting slightly, 'cause there's a slight buckle.

Also, I accidentally cut a slight hole in the end of the belt late last night - I was sewing the final two inches of top stitching, WHICH WOULD COMPLETE THE MACHINE STITCHING FOR THE PROJECT, and my sewing machine started misbehaving. Tiredness + technical difficulties + poor light = frustration & hole in belt.


The epaulettes tied my brain in a knot, after I decided to line the dress. I couldn't wrap my head around how I might sew them into the seam, over the shoulder seam. I'm not sure it's possible. So I top-stitched them on at the end Wink

The skirt also tied my brain in a knot a little - I had planned to copy my first dress and pleat it. BUT I wanted patch pockets. How would that work? I pinned some pleats in place anyway, found that I couldn't pleat it (in the style that I wanted) in such a way that I reduced the waist to the correct measurement, then tried the skirt on my dress form and decided the pleats looked rubbish anyway. Then I tried to gather it instead by machine, and the skirt did not WANT to be gathered by machine. So I gathered it loosely by hand. And although still a little illogical, it made my beloved patch pockets a bit more do-able. (Well, I'd do them. They're sexy)

Anyway. If you've read this far you deserve a medal. I think this is the third garment I've ever made from scratch? Comments/constructive criticism/questions of any sort are very welcome Smiley
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012 08:48:40 AM by Maimy » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2012 08:56:22 AM »

Lovely! And very well made.

« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2012 10:06:10 AM »

It looks lovely on you and looks like it fits very well.  Well done!
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2012 12:26:49 PM »

Thanks guys Smiley

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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2012 12:38:46 PM »

It's super cute, and fits you very nicely.

Technically you could have sewn the epaulettes into the shoulder seam, but why bother? It looks great as it is.

I felt pretty guilty buying my serger when money was way tight, but it's paid for itself and is awesome. I use it just as much as I use my sewing machine... although now I've just bought a vintage Pfaff, so here comes the guilt again. It's the fun part of sewing, right?

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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2012 03:23:30 PM »

I absolutely adore this. It looks great on you.

« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012 03:33:02 PM »

I LOVE the fabrics!

« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2012 03:51:38 AM »

This is the cutest dress. Hands down. I simply love it. I mean, the style is simple but super cute. To die for.

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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2012 05:40:05 PM »

Ahh!!! This is amazing, what an amazing job!

~The angels have the sewing machine~
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2012 06:10:56 PM »

I absolutely love it! Its a shame that beautiful fabric is the lining though, its just as pretty as the outside.

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