I often see a piece of clothing (either in store, online or on a stranger) and think to myself "I can make that". Does anyone else do that? Sometimes I will do this out of necessity; the item is sold out or cost prohibitive to purchase. Other times I'll do it to suit my preference of say a different color or print or to tweak the fit or design. Still other times I do it just because I can. This was one of those times.
This dress was inspired by a dress I saw Mimi G share from Urban Outfitters. I love a linen dress and this one is so cute I had to have it. Though I could've easily purchased this dress, I decided it would be more satisfying if I made it.
Since I've worked with Fabric Mart's Designer Linen before (here, here and here) I knew it would be the perfect weight for this dress. And though I thought of making it in one of the other 22 colors available (Urban Outfitters offers it in a lavender and two prints) the white just screams spring and summer to me.
|I did the whole shoot with out realizing that I didn't button up!|
This is an easy enough dress to draft from scratch, but I decided to use McCalls 7688 as a starting point (I'd previously sewn it here). M7688 had the basic shape I needed; crew neck and drop sleeve. Really any loose fitting drop sleeve top or dress pattern would work (M7712, M7721, S8529, S8656 are all good options). This would also be a great pattern to attempt to self draft as you really just need your bust, waist and hip measurements.
I did have to make some modifications and the biggest one was making a woven garment from a knit pattern. Though the reverse (woven pattern to knit garment) is typically quite easy, knit to woven can be tricky. I knew it would work here because I was looking to create a very loose fitting dress. Essentially I just went up a size (check your finished measurements) and cut the back piece in two pieces (don't forget to add seam allowance) to create the keyhole opening so I could get in the dress! Lastly I finished the neck opening with single fold bias tape because a neckband would not work.
To transform M7688 to the dress I wanted I also:
- cut the front and back hem 2-3" longer than the shirt length (view A)
- lengthened the dolman sleeve by 2"
- redrew the curve from the waist to the end of sleeve using a curve ruler
- cut two 5" x 36"strips
- cut two 7" x 57" strips
- added a chainstitch loop and button
I had to play with the sleeve length and underarm curve but after about 3 tries I got it how I wanted. Other than that it was pretty simple. After I sewed together the main dress, I finished both short edges and one long edge of the shorter strip, sewed the short edges together and gathered the unfinished edge until it was the same diameter as the sleeve. The bottom ruffle was created the same but I sewed the two long strips together in a loop before gathering.
I was going to narrow hem the ruffles but I ended up liking the serged edge exposed. I will likely make another on of these maybe in linen print, but a lightweight rayon or polyester would work as well. Maybe even a denim chambray or seersucker. Another change I thought of was to use ribbons for a tie neck closure instead of the button
For now I can't wait for someone to throw an all white party or maybe suggest a girlfriend brunch so I can wear this out.
See you next month,