Tuesday, August 2, 2011

i wish i was a dressmaker

The title says everything! I LOVE dresses!


I've attempted to make a dress a while back (my second sewing project ever- ambitious I know!). I sifted through the pattern packets at the local JoAnns and finally came across one I liked that was listed under 'easy'.... yeah... sure! Needless to say I cut out the pieces and that was it! They sat in my closet for about a year.... as did my sewing machine. I was so overwhelmed by the instructions and sewing 'jargon' that I put everything away- outta sight outta mind.

Then, one day, I decided that I was going to try again- but this time with some expertise! My mom! One weekend of sweat shopping in the kitchen and my dress was done. I think I sewed on the button details at the top and the hem- my mom did the rest (thanks mom!). I felt proud of my handmade dress, but knew that I NEVER would have completed it if it wasn't for my mom.


the buttons I proudly sewed on!


A year later and I'm still sewing :-)

With more experience and confidence, I decided to try again- myself! This time I ditched the pattern packet and instead, followed a tutorial I found online at one of the blogs I follow called Sweet Verbena. It's originally a shirt, but can be made into a dress if cut longer. You can see and follow the tutorial here.

This project was many 'firsts' for me, therefore it was a little more challenging than I thought. In the post it says this is a great first sewing project for beginners... Great! I thought 'this should be so easy'. Haha. In hindsight, I guess it was pretty easy, but during the process I definitely thought it was difficult.



It was my first time making a dress- by myself (and I survived!)
It was my first time sewing with a knit (I've only sewed with cottons, but I actually like working with the knit)
It was my first time using/sewing with faux satin (which was a pain!)
It was my first time hemming something on myself (thank god for my husband helping me out!)






In the end everything turned out better than I thought and I truly love it! It's a great  flowy, knit Summer dress that I can dress up with heels or dress down with sandals. And it's navy blue- one of my favorite colors!





A few things I did/changed from the original tutorial.

I originally cut the panels 30 x 36in (the 36 length because I was making it into a dress instead of shirt), but then trimmed them down to about 24 x 34in. I felt the panels were too thick once I tried on the dress so I decided to make them smaller.

Second I hemmed the sides by the armholes and the bottom- to make the look more finished.
I hemmed the bottom of the dress.




I am also planning on making another sash so that I can interchange them - this time with a printed cotton.




**UPDATE: new printed scarf- great addition! love it more than the satin scarf :-)**





topstitched to finalize the look!

28 comments:

  1. Wow, this is awesome!! I absolutely love the colors you chose. You did such a great job. I'm working on a dress version right now too. Thanks so much for sharing this with me!

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  2. thx Katy. You'll have to post your dress once your done! Can't wait to see it.

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  3. I love how you changed it up into a dress! And thanks for the tips, I gotta try this.

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  4. great job, you could probably also use various ribbons.....it looks very similar to a little girls Pillowcase dress..... Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Nice work! I made this dress after seeing the Sweet Verbenia shirt too! I agree - working with satin fabric is NOT easy. I like your color combo.

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  6. I love this! I am so intimidated by sewing and jargon...but maybe someday!

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  7. Love this- have made some for my grand daughters - I too am a beginer sewer but would love to do something like this for me! Great job.

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  8. I love this dress! I am putting on my to-do list immediately. It's summer here in New Zealand, so this will be perfect! Thank you for sharing :)

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  9. Love this! It is EXACTLY like the pillowcase dressed for little girls! So easy! I didn't even think of doing it in knit for an adult! I will surely be trying this...dress and shirt! Thanks for sharing.,

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  10. me encantan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  11. Thanks for posting this! Found it on Pinterest & made it today and I love it! I totally eyeballed everything and it still turned out excellent! Made it extra long just in case and pinned it up to a few different lengths, but ended up hemming it just above the knee, too. I just have to get some nice fabric to make a proper sash (presently using a scarf but hey, it works). And, I have enough fabric leftover to make a shirt too! Awesome....

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  12. That's lovely, I may need to have a go myself. First dress I ever made went quite well, despite doing it without a pattern, I even managed to sew a zip in. It was a backless spotty dress and took about 5 hours to make. I then wore it to my best friend's 18th and everyone said they thought it was a professionally made dress :)
    Beth xox

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  13. Interchangeable ribbons are an awesome idea for travel! Cute project!

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  14. so I'm not a sewer and so I hope that I can make it sometime this spring. However I am confused with the shirt link and the dress link. And then what fabric would be the best to use to make the dress? Thanks so much and I'm sure that I ask you more questions when the time comes down to it and I'm in the process of making it :) Thanks again for your help!

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  15. I like both!! But where is the pattern for the one with the buttons?!?! =)

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  16. can you make one for me?? i do not know how to sow and do not own a machine. I love this dress:)
    connie

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  17. This turned out really cute - another project to add to my list! I love the interchangeable sashes!

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  18. This was a great idea! It totally inspired me to get over my fear of knits. I made this dress today and blogged about it. I included a link to your page.

    http://mysticmandy.blogspot.com/

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  19. This would make a perfect summer outfit when paired with sandals! I love your new creation, congratulations on our first attempt sewing knit!
    -Samatha@Mens Slim Fit Suit

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  20. My mother had some floral lightweight material that was my grandmother's. She gave it to me. I made it into the dress version....it's soooo comfy.

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  21. I would totally buy that black dress with tan ribbons! Awesome job!

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  22. If i make a dress, i ll use sth like lace for the scarf. Thanks for ur tutorial <3

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  23. You look amazing in your dress :). I'd like to try it for this summer. I hope this isn't too personal a questions but what sort of foundation is right to wear under it? I'm afraid my straps would show, but strapless it a bit uncomfortable for such a nice and comfy dress.

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  24. I just found your blog from Pinterest. I'm learning to sew too! This looks like something I could try. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Amanda @ Running In Heels
    amandarollo.blogspot.com

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  25. Well. you really make a good example for me. i do not good at this at all, but you make it interest and easy, really like it http://www.edressyme.com

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  26. The informations are so lovely and so usefull so thank you very much. Be sure i will use all of them keeping in my mind.Have a goog luck. http://guncelyazar.net

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  27. Beautiful! What a lot of good information in one tutorial! you GO, girl! Thanks so much!
    bridal fabrics

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