My second dress for this month's #wardrobebuilder took a lot longer to make than my first, but was definitely worth the effort. I've had this fabric sitting and waiting to be used for a while, not being able to decide on a project. Do you ever have a fabric that you love so much you can't bear to cut into it? This was one of those. All I needed was some inspiration which I found in ready to wear fashions.
I had seen floral chiffon dresses online and in stores that I liked the look of, and in typical dressmaker's style thought to myself 'I can make that!'. So, I've made myself a dress for a summer's evening - perhaps I'm wanderlusting for a holiday and some balmy evenings after a sunny day? As I was making this the Shirt Dress Challenge was also launched so this is my submission for that too!
Thinking of making your first dress but not sure where to start? This post is for you!
'How do I make a dress?' ranks pretty high in sewing questions asked on Google because it's often the aspirational starting point for those taking up sewing and garment making. It can seem somewhat daunting at first but there are some simple choices that will help lead to a successful first project. Knowing what to pick appears obvious to most people, but it didn't to me as a beginner. I had literally no clue about what to pick for my fabrics and it's taken a while to understand what will really work. These are the main questions I had that made a difference and can help get you going quickly towards successful first dressmaking projects.
As you all know I'm a Sew Over It addict. Last year I bought the My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break eBook and have made a Molly top, a Molly dress and a pair of Mia jeans. I did want to make an Alex shirt for my February #wardrobebuilder, but never was able to get around to it then, but had a lovely weekend of sewing that meant I could really get on with this long awaited project. This is also a toile of sorts as I'm hoping to make a shirt dress for April's #wardrobebuilder too.
As I said in the monthly #wardrobebuilder feature post, I was already pretty set on the Day Dress pattern by The Avid Seamstress for at least one of this month's make. I could see that I would be able to make either an evening dress with sleeves or a nice work dress from this pattern, depending on fabric choices. It has a fitted bodice, short sleeves and a gathered skirt with pockets. I suppose that in the end I've created something that actually could do both evening and work wear, but I'm intending to keep this Day Dress for evenings.
I think dresses are my favourite sewing project. I am constantly drawn to fabrics and patterns that I think will look fabulous as a dress. However, I don't end up wearing them very often. In fact I have made dresses that have almost, or actually, never been worn. I even swore to Rachael (my fellow sewing addict) that I would leave off them for a while, such is my addiction! For me, the challenge this month is to make dresses that I will wear, and that fill a gap in my wardrobe, rather than be guided just by what I want to create.
(Notice 'dresses not 'dress'. Taking full advantage of this month's theme to indulge).
Last week I posted my progress on my project for this month's #wardrobebuilder. It's not often that I spread my make over two posts, but it seemed appropriate given the amount of prep work that was going into trying to make sure that these jeans turned out really well. You can also see that I've been heavily researching successful jeans making from my '5 tips for sewing your first pair of jeans'. I've been taking it slow and steady and am pretty pleased with what I've ended up with now.