Margot needed a new dress. As a home sewist with a little girl, this is not something that’s said very often; dresses are the most tempting item to sew and consequently Margot usually has plenty to choose from. But, due to my lack of sewing (discussed in my last post) and the fact that my kids now wear school uniforms, the dresses are suddenly in short supply!
Planning the dress
I knew exactly the kind of dress I wanted – something that could be worn now (with layers as it’s still quite cold here), but was equally suitable for hot summer days.
I knew exactly the overall feel I wanted – dusty pink, muted Liberty fabric…a nod to springtime without turning Margot into a pastel easter egg!
All I had to do now was figure out how to sew what was in my head!
One of my goals for 2015 is to be more deliberate and thoughtful about the clothes I make in order to achieve my own vision for a garment – rather than just following a pattern, unthinking. To help me with this I’ve started to be more disciplined about using two tools:
- An online mood board. By putting all my inspiration into one collage-like view I was able to get a clearer idea of what I wanted for the dress.
[Question: This mood board was thrown together quickly in Photoshop – does anyone know of a good mood board app? Pinterest is the obvious one but I want something that allows you present it all collage-style.]
- A fashionary sketchbook. This is a great place to write down all the planning stages of a garment. The book has very faint outlines of people on the pages so you can sketch the clothes – or feel free to just write over them if necessary. The first few pages are an excellent reference tool for everything from pattern and garment shapes, to body measurements and sizes, to typography, to online colour generators!
And, although not quite as detailed (or outlandish!!) as the drawings above, I used my book to map out what I wanted for this project.
Making the dress
Now, with all this inspiration floating around it was time to actually make the dress. Not wanting to buy any new books or patterns, I limited myself to what I had on hand.
The top part of the dress is a sleeveless version of the Mara blouse by Compagnie M. I wanted the yoke to be more of a square shape (similar to the Tova top) but, due to time limitations, I decided to leave it as it was.
The skirt shape and length, as well as the pockets are from the Oliver+s Jump Rope Dress (view B).
The main fabric is a gorgeous shade of dusty pink that my husband bought for me from Purl Soho when he was in NYC in 2012! If you ever want to know if your husband/partner truly loves you then send him/her to NYC (while on a business trip if you want to add even more pressure!) with a list of fabric shops and tell him to “just pick out some things I’d like”! He chose really well!!
The pockets and piping are Liberty print – from my stash.
Once all these details were decided upon, the actual sewing was quite straightforward. As I’ve made both patterns before I was comfortable with all the processes and it came together pretty quickly! The only time-consuming part was making the bias binding as well as the piping.
So, we’re almost into April and Margot has one new dress. It’s a start but I need to get a move on before the really warm weather comes!
What is your planning/sewing process for a new project? What are your go-to patterns for customising? And finally, what dress should I make next? I feel I’m on a bit of a roll now!
Hope you’re all sewing up something lovely on this sunny spring day!
Thanks for reading,