"" the girl who makes things: Self drafted dress pattern

Monday, 28 October 2013

Self drafted dress pattern

Hello Monday nighters! It's the beginning of the week and the start of a long slog at work. If you live in the UK, I hope you're snuggled up somewhere indoors, maybe wrapped in a duvet, hugging a mug of tea, away from the terrible weather outside. Or maybe that's just me. But let's not think about that! You might remember from a couple of posts ago that I managed to create my own pattern blocks and I wanted to use these to design a dress pattern. Well, I've been a busy bee and actually managed to make something wearable. I say wearable, not perfect. And here it is:

So let's go back to the beginning. Before I got started I had a good think about the sort of clothes I actually like wearing. I was very tempted to make something quite tailored, with a nipped in waist, sort of 1950s style, but then I realised that I don't actually find these kind of dresses very comfortable. They look beautiful but if I've eaten a big lunch or swigged down a can of Diet Coke then I bloat up (I am an unfortunate sufferer of food baby). I like dresses with elasticated waistbands and I think they look more casual. And I am quite casual. So elasticated waistband it was! I also wanted three quarter length sleeves so that I could wear it as a summer or winter dress. I took a bit of inspiration from this dress as seen on Rachel Bilsen too:

rachel-bilson sandro Gathered Waist Dress

Here's the original sketch I made of the dress:

Following the instructions in How to Use, Adapt and Design Sewing Patterns by Lee Hollahan, I copied my pattern block bodice on to a new piece of paper and then cut up vertical lines to the shoulder seams. I then fanned out the pattern to extend the waistline, as demonstrated in the illustration below:

I measured the width of the new bodice waist and then altered the skirt pattern to the same measurement. I stitched these together and added the elastic to the waist seam. I won't go into too much detail, but it involved stretching the elastic to the length and the seam and running it through the machine on a loose tension setting. This took two attempts to get right.

The poly-cotton fabric is from the bargain bucket in Samuel Taylors in Leeds. It cost £4.50 for at least 3m so I felt ok with using it to experiment. I also like the colour which is dusky rose.

I had a play around with looks and decided I liked this cardigan, scarf, belt combo:

I've already made a few adjustments to the pattern as I still don't think it's quite perfect. I've lengthened the bodice which is a tad short and made it slightly narrower so there aren't as many gathers. All in all though, I'm quite pleased with the outcome!

1 comment:

  1. So glad I've found your blog. Yay for a pattern drafting win!