Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Tale of Two Dresses

This is a tale of two dresses. Most people might not know that I started making my clothes in the fifth grade. I made all my clothes all the way through high school and continued to sew after high school and even after I got married. I even made my husband a double knit suit! That tells you how old I am.
For the last 25 years or so I have not enjoyed making clothes, except Halloween costumes or a baby christening gown or two. Sewing quilts and bag making have taken over.
Recently, with all the beautiful garments I have seen on Instagram, I have had the bug to make garments again. With a few tweaks you can get the best fit, especially when you have figure flaws that are not considered in ready to wear clothes.
Some of the indie patterns out there are really cute, but I do not like PDF patterns. All that taping together is tedious. I ordered the Bettine dress pattern from Tilly and the Buttons. It's a real paper pattern.
The first one I made is the grey dress. It is made of double gauze. The fabric is so soft and easy to sew. The drape is wonderful and this dress is so comfortable. I am really glad I made this one first, because if I would have made the linen one first, I would never make another dress again. That is a story for the next post.
Today I will tell you about the double gauze version.
Bettine Dress

Bettine Dress

Pattern: Bettine Dress by Tilly and the Buttons

Fabric: Charms Double Gauze-Plus Dots in Charcoal  by Ellen Luckett Baker for Kokka purchased at The Intrepid Thread.

Fit/Alterations: I used size 5, to get a good fit through the shoulders and bust.
-Bodice- I am short-waisted, so I shortened the waist length by 1".
I also added 1-1/2" to the sleeve length.
-Skirt- Lengthened skirt by 2" when cutting it out.
Following The Quirky Peach's suggestion I  moved skirt pieces 1" from "cut on fold" line, adding a total of 2" to the front and back (4" all over) due to complicated hip curve and pocket - I needed more room for my high, big butt, but didn't want to ruin the drafting by grading so far out. Gathered skirt slightly before attaching to bodice at waist
- Straightened skirt side seams so it goes straight down and doesn't curve in like a tulip skirt.
-To finish the sleeve and hemline I used a facing made from a 2-1/2" strips along the printed side of the selvage., and topstitched it down, instead making the cuff.

To Be Continued...


Leanne said...

This dress is cute and flattering on you and it looks so comfortable. How does it feel to be making clothes again, I toy with the idea. There are a lot of bloggers offering ideas and support for sewing now.

Anonymous said...

These are great Di! I have to admit that I smile a little bit thinking how a couple of years ago you claimed you would never sew clothes again. I'm glad you changed your mind since these are so pretty. I'm glad you mentioned straightening the skirt side seams. I think this dress is really cute, but I don't think the tulip skirt would be flattering on me.

Debbie said...

Impressive! It looks darling.

Christine said...

That is lovely and the colour really suits you

Susan Snooks said...

The grey dress looks fabulous on you Di! I am impressed with your ability to alter a pattern to give such a great fit!

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

I really like this style dress....and think it's great that you e made your clothes when younger!!!!

Geri said...

Such a cute dress! Looks great and comfy too.

LethargicLass said...

I have the pattern taped together (I hate doing that part but I do lol) and my fabric washed, now I am just waiting for the courage :) I do know I am planning on lengthening it a bit and raising the neckline a bit based on others, but I will take your changes for consideration as well :) It looks just lovely on you!

Unknown said...

This looks great, Di! Love it!

Anonymous said...

beautiful finish! This project really turned out perfect!

Run Quilt Knit Write said...

OOh , love this one too - and isn't double gauze just divine to wear!!