Journal: 7 April 2014

Since my last post, I made a whole bunch of scrunchies, patched my wallet, and thought a lot about designing clothes. Since I made posts for each of those activities, I’m not going to talk much about them. However, since making the design paper dolls, I have been a little obsessed with the first design I drew on them.I had a couple yards of leftover sage-color cotton from lining another dress (slightly long story), and I had a pretty good idea of how to make the pattern because this idea had been percolating in my head for a while—all I really needed to get started was the confidence boost I got from drawing them out.

dress sketches


For the pattern I started with Simplicity 3750, which I’ve mentioned here before and is one of my favorites, and traced all the pieces onto some large-format newsprint. I knew I wanted to curve the neckline, so I fused the bust and shoulder-front pieces into one; I converted the gathered bust into a darted bust, and I extended the lower front and back pieces so they would reach my knees and have the asymmetric look I’d drawn. I also made the back flare a good deal more, end in a belled shape, and scoop a bit at the neck. I did it freehand, which was a little challenging, but came out well enough that I didn’t feel the need to try again with curve guides.

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Pattern pieces, sketches, and half-finished dress

100_1163 (449x1024)I didn’t have any light-green thread on hand, and the fabric is a little translucent, so I decided to line the bodice in front and back and have all the stitching be on the inside except for the bottom hem, which I will just do my best to do invisibly. As usual, I’m doing all the stitching by hand. To date I’ve done all of the tricky stitching—the darts and neckline and all—and just have the long side seams, the hem, and the gather in back left. I had a non-blog-related reason to pin it up, do a fitting, and take a bunch of pictures of it today, so I thought I’d share. Unfortunately I got a lot of shots of neat poses that were blurry, and boring poses in the clear, so along with the decent photo to the right, you get a bunch of poor photos (below). The back gather for the fitting—the finished piece is going to have a fabric-wrapped elastic at the bra-strap level to make gathers in back—was done with an ordinary rubber band stretched between two safety pins, which innovation I am rather proud of.

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Bust darts detail

I am beyond pleased with how this one is coming out; even on pins it feels and looks good. I am cognizant of the fact that it’s not very stylish, but that’s fine by me. Next time I think I will do something different with the bust darts, which don’t quite want to behave, but considering how much of this project was guesstimation and free-hand drawing I am pleased as punch.

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