Following on from Basics

Standard

Following on from my previous post and the mission to get a return on investment with my pattern selection I have taken New Look 6356 a step further by deciding to lengthen the top into an A line tunic/shift dress.
One of my favourite items in my wardrobe is a dress I purchased many years ago from Wallis. It is comfortable, easy to wear and hides a multitude of sins which I really need following the walnut whips!
Original
I took this dress as my base for lengthening the body of the dress and the sleeves. I measured the circumference of the dress, the length and then measured out a point on the pattern.

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Point A is the length of the dress as I wanted it indicated by the blue line, the green line is the original length of the pattern and the rather wavy pink line is the new length where I calculated the width as ¼ of the circumference of my original dress. As you can see this is rather a simple pattern! I did the same for the back and used the same principle for lengthening the sleeve where I took the length and sleeve circumference from my original dress. This is not very complicated pattern drafting by any stretch of the imagination.
I also designed my dress as I wanted to learn some new techniques – welt pockets and exposed zipper.

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What do you think of my drawing capabilities? Don’t be too impressed as I purchased this wonderful title from Amazon:

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This sketchbook is packed full of croquis just waiting to be your muse! There are a variety of on-trend poses and a garment encyclopaedia. The good thing is the outlines disappear when scanned or photocopied. Of course the figures have fashion industry proportions and certainly bear no resemblance to normal women especially ones who have a diet packed with walnut whips!
Anyway cracking on with the dress I found 2 excellent sources on YouTube for exposed zipper and welt pockets which I will share with you:
Sewing an Exposed Zipper
Double Welt the Pocket
Anyway here it is:

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Looks just like my sketch doesn’t it :)
I had some issues with this dress – firstly the exposed zipper. I ironed on some fusible interfacing before putting in the zipper as instructed in the video but when I turned my zip over a lot of the interfacing was exposed outside the zip on the front of the garment so then spent an hour or two unpicking it – not the easiest or the best job in the world!
Secondly the collar was a nightmare from start to finish – it did not sit well and when I put it on it was too short as it didn’t match in the front which was a surprise as it was the same pattern as my previous top but then I think that putting in the exposed zipper had lengthened the neckline but to be honest I could not be bothered to draft a new one so I left it and put in a brooch to cover the gap. The collar does not bear close inspection as it is wavy and has been stitched to the dress in a last ditch effort to get it to lay flat. In retrospect I wish I had just abandoned the whole collar thing.
The only other thing is that I wish I had made the welt pockets a bit longer as they are a bit lost in the expanse of material but I was really pleased with my first effort at doing a welt pocket.
Well that dress looks like an old sack on my dress form so here it is actually on me:

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The photo was taken at work – yes I actually wore it out in public – by my friend Isobel although why she made me stand in the corner to have it taken is anyone’s guess!

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Me and the original drawing/vision well we could be twins!!!

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3 responses »

  1. Very very cute dress! I love how you brought a sketch into real life. I love people who modify patterns and make them their own. Also great that you used it as an opportunity to learn something new. These are all added value to an already adorable dress :)

    • Thanks Kat – I think I surprised myself. It certainly makes me think about exactly how many patterns you need to have. I remember reading that all you needed was a basic top, skirt and trouser pattern and the world was your oyster. I certainly learnt something making this dress. I have made another one which I will post about soon.

      • I completely agree. I was just reading a Threads last night (bedtime reading!) that had an article about just that – taking very basic patterns and modifying them/using different fabrics to create everything from jackets to dresses to blouses. After making my block, this became very apparent to me. I no longer needed a new pattern for an A-line skirt because drafting it took me all of 10 minutes for a perfectly fitting skirt! And it’s not that hard! Anywho, looking forward to seeing your new version :)

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