Completed Sewing Project: A New Year Dress (or A Dress That Fits)

Look at this look at this! I sewed something that fits!! See me, I can do it 😛

I first wore this for New Year’s, and boy does it have a story behind it…

Excuse the Bat Face, believe me it is better than what was actually taken.

Pattern: New Look 6857 c. 2003
Fabric: Hot pink stretch cotton drill from an Op Shop, Black stretch cotton drill from fabric store
Notions: Too short black zipper, 7 antique metal buttons from stash, both from stash
First worn: New Year’s 2012
Wear again: Yes, if I feel like ironing!

I actually cut the pieces for this dress way back, at the same time I cut the pieces for the No Cigar Dress. After I completed the No Cigar Dress and found that it didn’t fit, I folded up the pink pieces and put them in the cupboard. Maybe, I thought, I would sew them one day for someone else. Besides that, I actually ran out of fabric while cutting the pieces!! The back pieces were about 30cm shorter than I needed so I’d have to solve that problem as well!

Cut to the holidays and I’m looking for something easy to sew. The No Cigar Dress was easy, and I had since bought some black fabric to fix the missing part of the pink back pieces. I also remembered the Hot Pink Pencil Skirt (scroll to Thursday) and how that was a bit bigger than the others made from the same pattern because the fabric is stretchy… Maybe… aah what the hell, let’s do it.

So I did. And as it evolved, so the too did the appliqué black V on the front, and my button choices (Vintage – they came from my Nana’s stash, which she got of my great-grandmothers stash, so I don’t know how old these could be!). As I was doing the final pressing I couldn’t help but start to wish it would fit, while trying to convince myself not to be upset if it didn’t…

Finally it came to Modelling for Sweetheart time – After a careful nod he suggested a belt, and fortunately in my wardrobe I had one! Ta-da!

So now I have A Dress That Fits!


An exercise in Pattern Drafting!

What have I created in the last few weeks?

Nothing too small. I’ve been continuing with the star anise blanket (so it shall be called until I finish it) and it is growing nicely. I am now sure though I will run out of yarn and have to do a border in some complementary colour.

I also redrafted the pattern for the No-Cigar Dress! Basically I looked at the measurements on the packet this time and used my fantabulous drawing skills to enlarge the pattern by two sizes. This proved too much and I have now made myself an ultra-glamorous Potato Sack Dress! Awesome.

However, as you can probably appreciate making a dress too big is a squillion times better than making a dress too small.


And there it is in all its un-hemmed and HTC Camera Phone glory. This is after I took 2.5″ off each side seam! After I did that, it fit quite nicely apart from some unsightly bra-revealing gapes around the underarms and back neckline. The front neckline is also way too high. In this almost-done state, I added two small darts to the back neckline that helps reduce the back gaping but I wasn’t able to work out how to fix the bust gapes in a nice enough way. I found that by lifting it from the shoulders 1.5″ made the whole thing look better, but still gapey. As far as mending this goes, I think I’ll put it aside for now. I’ve learned a lot about patterns now and I want to try the pattern again!

As I was fiddling with it last night I made a list of 10 things I will change on my new, extra large pattern for version 3 of this dress!

And yes, this is from the opshop fabric I thrifted two weeks ago. It’s much closer to its actual colour here, plus you can see the lovely texture better.

I decided that, taking in to consideration my short attention span, it will remain un-hemmed until the bust can be fixed. I actually prefer the length it is now, so it might have to be a very narrow hem. Haha, depending how lazy and rich I become I might get a dressmaker to fix the hem while they correct my bust Bombala.

This is one for the UFO pile!

Close, but no cigar…

A month ago I taught myself to sew! I’d been trying to for years, but a month ago I found I had the time so I finally did it. I’ve collected a little stash while waiting to give myself the chance, so it was time to dig in.

After successfully making two full skirts and five pencil skirts in the space of three weeks, I decided to make myself try a dress.

However, I only had one dress pattern on hand: one my nana had used to make me a silly dress to wear for a Uni presentation seven years ago. Hmm… things have changed a bit since then, but the measurements suggested the dress would be snug, as the fabric I had picked up had no stretch. This was going to be an experiment at best!

Please excuse the photos, no amount of Photoshopping is going to save these photos tonight, and a proper model shoot with photographer boyfriend will be a few weeks off yet..!

I picked up the fabric for $4 from an op shop, and there was heaps! I had already made a pencil skirt from it, and there’s still a square left I’m pondering what to do with. The piping I picked up halfway through sewing the dress, I thought there was too much grey and it needed something to quirk it up 🙂

Here’s a close up of the seam. I pretty happy with how it turned out!

The pattern is New Look 6857, view B. It seems that number is for nurse scrubs now! When I originally bought it, Nana sewed it up in hot pink PVC, modified it so it was a mini dress, and fitted the darts herself. I didn’t know how to do all that, so I just made as the instructions said.

But how does it fit? Yes, well… um. I can get the zip up (bonus), but it pulls too tight across my belly and creates the coveted mono-boob effect. It also puckers a bit at the base of the front darts. That could be why Nana darted it herself all those years ago. But, in my closet it will stay, who knows, if I get to the gym often enough those problems might disappear..?

I’m over the moon at my first attempt at a dress. I’m a tad disappointed I can’t model it (yet? o_O ) but I have my five other pencil skirts to fill that void!

Thanks for looking 🙂