Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sunshine in the form of a dress

I was asked by my dear friend Tiina to replicate her favorite dress, a dress she had bought on vacation that was now falling apart. 

The shape was fairly simple: the back consisted of one piece in jersey and the front was made by layers of jersey and a lighter fabric. Because of the jersey the fitting wasn't an issue, but the construction of the front was trickier than I expected. 

The beloved original dress, un-ironed, whoops.
I cut the dress apart and numbered the front pieces: jersey number five and chiffon number five go together and so forth.
I used the numbered pieces from the original dress as pattern pieces.

The front pieces are curved, which led to 1) they took up more fabric than expected and 2) the finishing of the lower edge caused a meltdown on my part. See the plan was to use a rolled hem, because the original dress had something similar. Well, this fabric wouldn't have any of it. I guess it has something to do with the edge being curved, but the finishing kept "falling off": the fabric ripped above the seam, no matter how many times I tried. By this point, something that was meant to be fairly simple turned out to be much more time consuming and the only thing that kept me from throwing the serger out the window was thinking about how much it would cost to replace it (I'm sorry Tiina, but that's the honest-to-god truth).

I added length to the dress by adding layers of jersey and chiffon. This involved some math which I got wrong had no problem with. 
Instead I finished the edge with the serger, pressed it under and topstitched. It actually looks better this way, and it wasn't difficult at all, but you all know how annoying it is when you don't get to do something your way.

One happy, beautiful customer!

It all came together in the end, and both Tiina and I are happy with the result. Any words of wisdom when replicating something? Mark the pieces! Apart from that - go for it! Chances are you will end up with something well-fitting and lots-of-wear-getting on your first try.

PS. Fall is here! And I'm still sewing summer tops, since I'm trying very very hard not to leave any UFOs behind. And also, because, just a little bit of denial.

PPS. I'm sorry about the blue-ish hue and smurf-like complexion in some of the pictures. Blogger wouldn't play nicely this time either and something evil happened when I uploaded the pictures. Was able to fix the worst though.


  1. Such a nice result … she looks great in it and the giant white dots on that yellow fill you with joy and warmth just by looking!

    1. My friend was really pleased with the dots too. They were a happy accident since this was the only yellow chiffon in the fabric store :)

  2. I love that yellow chiffon with dots :) the dress looks great.. it's good to see that someone else is still sewing summer clothes ;)

    1. thanks! Yep, can't seem to let go of summer sewing just yet :D Last weekend I finished two chiffon tops though, so my summer sewing is almost done... I still have one top left that I have promised my sister, so perhaps I need to push through with that one and then finally move on to long sleeves and jeans :)

  3. This looks better than the original! I bet she loves it!

    1. Yes, luckily she does :) The dots were an accident and now they're her favorite part of the dress :)