Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sew Weekly Reunion: Self-Drafted Fall Dress

I'm a pretty tidy person. Not tidy as in I like to clean, but tidy as in if I'm wearing a white pants suit, I will totally order spaghetti, eat it all, and not get a single splash of tomato sauce on me.

So when I wore this dress out to get photograhed today for the first time and got a rather large grease spot on it, I was naturally upset. However, that's just how it seems to go with this dress. It does not want to be made.

I swear, the fabric just wants to hang out with me while I touch it all day rather than become something super comfortable for me to wear. The fabric is amazingly soft jersey and I probably could carry it around all day and be happy.

But I digress. I've been working on this dress off and on for over a year. I blogged about how awful it was behaving last February, but when I saw the colors involved in the Sew Weekly Reunion, I knew I had no choice but to figure that mess out.

 And I did! Kind of.

So originally I drafted a simple dress but somehow everything was misaligned when I put it together. That should have been an easy fix, but I'm using jersey and I used a reinforced stitch which meant that I had to rip each individual stitch to get it out (aka hours of work) AND I had to be super careful because I didn't want to rip the jersey.

I actually sat and very patiently ripped out the stitches because I was afraid I wouldn't have enough fabric and then, right at the end, I ripped a huge hole in my bodice.

So I rummaged through my Suitcase of Scraps, luckily managed to find large enough pieces, and redrafted the bodice. I also cut some gray jersey for more interest.

Franklin is in charge of the Suitcase of Scraps.

Originally I gathered the bodice underneath the bust, but my sewing machine and the fabric talked and decided that no matter how many times I sewed it, they did not like the gathers there. I ripped it out and re-sewed the bodice 3 times before giving up on the gathers.

I also may have talked to my father at that point in time and he hinted that I might be getting a serger for my birthday so I decided I would just wait to re-sew and/or change anything about the dress until after my potential new serger arrives.

Of course, I still needed to gather the top before I could wear it out. The sewing machine failed me again so I gathered the top by hand. I rather like the look actually. (And ahem, I should probably have pressed this dress before the photoshoot. Ah, details.)

I was originally thinking of adding a gray panel to the bottom. I'm not sure if I was just feeling lazy or what but I decided I there was enough gray and it was fine as is.

So yeah, the dress didn't turn out exactly how I thought it would in my head, but I am so happy with how it anyway. I love the colors, and I might add sleeves when it gets cooler out.

I'm also ridiculously pleased with myself for drafting all of this. Last year when I drafted it and it came out terribly I felt so demoralized and I haven't drafted anything since. But I'm feeling much more confident, probably because my sewing skills have improved so much over the last year.

I also bought a 1920s draping and 1930s drafting book for myself and I can't wait to learn more and improve this dress and all future self-drafted patterns!

Sew Weekly Reunion Info:
The Facts
Fabric: jersey
Notions:  n/a
Pantone Challenge colors: Turbulence and Vivacious
Pattern: (post a picture of the pattern): self-drafted
Year: 2013
Time to complete: 2 afternoons
First worn: today!
Wear again? yes, definitely
Total Cost: $10-20


  1. Great work, even without pressing it! :) The colors is lovely! I need to get started on my SWR project, but it shouldn't take too long. Hopefully, I don't have to eat my words!

    1. Thank you! Can't wait to see your project!

  2. I love it! The gray and purple look great together, and the pleats in the skirt are so cute!

    1. Thank you! I was a little unsure of the pleats when I started, but I think it turned out so well!

  3. Looks great! I love the colour.

  4. Oh, nice job drafting it yourself AND finally getting it finished! A nice accomplishment. I think it's beautiful, looks great on you. Just sew on a patch where the grease stain is. :) I LOVE the colour, as well. I just blogged my Sew Weekly Colour Challenge guessed it! I used Vivacious. Even the name is fabulous.

    1. Yessss I need to figure out something about that stain...

  5. hellz yeh self drafting! i agree, it looks beautiful... maybe if it doesn't want to exist in the world, it wants to be in your closet next to the future serger version that does :)

  6. You look happy and beautiful!
    Lovely dress and sewing is a skill we learn over time. With doing it we become better and always more confident!
    I really should take out my boxes my sewing machines and take action!
    Wish you a beautiful day and lots of love

    1. Yes, I know moving can be hard, but setting up always helps me feel more normal. Thank you for your lovely words - I hope you have a wonderful day as well! xx

  7. Cute dress, love the purple! :)