Gifted, Dared, and Delivered!

Self-drafted Dress

Hold on to you hats, folks – I made a dress, and it’s NOT made with knits! (Gasp, shock, horror!) 

In June, Leila from ThreeDresses and Heather, aka KnitnBee aka Handmade by Heather B, sent me the most amazing gifts for my birthday, including 3 m of some beautiful stretch cotton woven from Gertie’s online shop

Seriously, look how well this matches into my stash?!?

Self-drafted Dress


So when I had to attend a baby shower and the dress code said “pretty summer dress”, I knew just which fabric to use!

Rather than have to muslin a new pattern, I thought I’d pull out my bodice sloper, muck around with it, and finish off one of my …

Sewing Dares

…at the same time! Way back whenever, someone dared me to try rotating darts, so here’s my first attempt! 

Self-drafted Dress

Step 1: Trace my sloper onto tissue paper, and rotate the side dart to the shoulder. 

Self-drafted Dress

Step 2: Cut off the shoulder and make it into a yoke, and change the new shoulder dart into gathers. (I’ve been really jonesing after dresses with a yoke and shoulder gathers for a year – can’t quite believe it was this easy to draft my own! Next time though, I want MOAR gathers!)

Here’s how it turned out: 

Self-drafted Dress

And the finished dress: 

Self-drafted Dress

(Excuse the photographer’s thumb, please!) 

I was all set to try out the gathered Cambie skirt and dub this my “Dolly Clackett Dress” for it’s deliciously over-the-top girlishness… but I chickened out. I love Roisin’s look on her, but I worried that I wouldn’t feel myself. (My only ever attempt at a girly gathered-skirt dress was my floral Cambie, which has never been worn and lives in the UFO pile even though it’s not a UFO!) Instead, I went with the a-line Cambie skirt, and I’m much happier!

Self-drafted Dress

I used up some pinky-red vintage bias tape that had been kicking around my sewing room to highlight the pockets and the yoke. (BTW, a few people asked how I did my piping – I learned everything I know from this wonderful tutorial by Susan over at Sewing Cake!) 

Self-drafted Dress

I scooped out the back to add some interest and make it more of a sundress… totally inspired by everyone’s beautiful Elisalex dresses, I admit!

Self-drafted Dress

This was my very first time sewing a stretch woven, and wow! I’m converted. I want all my wovens to stretch! This dress doesn’t have a zipper, but the double-layered waistband still holds it snug. It was also perfectly comfortable to wear for hours in the car! Leila and Heather, you really chose the *perfect* fabric for me – Thank you so much! 

So ‘fess up: How often do you sew something new for an event? I’ve got about 15 dresses I could have worn, but noooo, had to be something new! Does pre-party sewing usually work out for you, or end in tears and disaster?

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