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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This Time I Get a New Dress!

You read that right!  I made myself a new dress this time.  The way I figure it, Ella has a closet full of cute things, and I am way over due for something handmade to be hanging in my closet!  Check out what I call V's New Blue Dress!

Also, in a few short weeks, I will be headed to the Sewing Summit, and I wanted to participate in the Travel Handmade series for the conference. People are making all sorts of handmade goodies to bring along to the conference, including new clothes, handbags, travel bags, make-up bags, name tags--you name it!

Travel Handmade with The Sewing Summit

I don't usually sew clothes for myself--at least not successfully--but I wanted to give it another go and see if I could whip up something cute and comfy to wear.  As I told my family, the worst thing that could happen is that I would end up with a new nightgown instead of a dress!

I made the dress using Simplicity 2031.  I've had this pattern in my collection for a while now, but I've never had enough fabric to make it.  You see, I usually shop for fabric with no specific project in mind, so I normally purchase a yard or two of fabric that I find pretty.  Well, a couple of yards just wasn't enough for this dress.  It took nearly three yards to make this beauty!

I ended up using some super soft cotton Lisette fabric that I found on the clearance aisle at Joann's.  I really hated to spend too much on the fabric since I wasn't sure it would even fit well!  With the great sales they usually have going on at Joann's, I was able to purchase the yardage I needed for under $10!

This pattern was very simple to make as the cover of the pattern suggests.  I took my measurements and followed the sizing guide on the back (all the while trying not to get upset that the size pattern I needed to use was larger than my normal store bought clothing size)!  Total time to make it was under 3 hours.

This dress, or caftan, is so comfortable to wear!  The skirt part is made using three panels so the skirt part has a seam down the center back and one between the center front and sides.  Hidden pockets are sewn into these front skirt seams.  I love pockets!  Don't you?

Ella's wearing the Janey Jumper.  Read about it here.
One great thing about this pattern is that there are no sleeves to sew onto the main bodice.  The sleeves are cut out with the front bodice pieces and the back bodice piece, so the only sewing is at the shoulders and down the side seam of the bodice.

I did make a couple of minor modifications though.  First I overlapped the front slightly more than the pattern showed.  I don't ever wear camisoles or tank tops under my clothes, so I wanted to make sure I had full coverage on the top.  Secondly, I chose to shirr the waist area instead of using elastic.  I find the shirred waist to be so much more comfortable and the process of shirring to be so much quicker than making a casing and running the elastic through it.  Oh, and I made a narrow sash to tie around my waist.  You can see the bow and the two rows of shirring in the picture below.

I'm pleased with how well this dress fits me.  It may not be the most flattering design for my body type, but I definitely plan on wearing it a lot regardless.  Now, I just hope it won't be too cold to wear it around at the Sewing Summit!  Gotta run!  I've got a few more things I need to sew myself for the conference.


  1. Cute! I was expecting this to be the Made by Rae dress - you are impressive with two new handmade dresses in YOUR closet! :)

  2. Lovely dress, I so wish I could go to sewing summit, lucky you. I know what you mean by being upset at the sizes on patterns and how they relate to your real size, I think it has something to do with the sizes women used to be when they came up with the pattern standard!

  3. Great job on sewing something for yourself, Veronica!!! Why do we always put the kids first... LOL!!! The sleeves drape well and a bonus that you didn't have to sew them on. Lovely fabric, too.

  4. You look fabulous!!! Great job! I love blue/white anything!


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