I started with this dress that my sister loaned me in NY (notice I still have it, that’s what loan means to us):

I loved it – the wrap style top made it possible to nurse while wearing a dress, but without being as low cut and immodest as most wrap style necklines are. And while my sister hates 3/4 sleeves, I love them – they give that much more coverage without getting in my way while doing dishes, changing diapers, etc. Only problem was the length was too short for my taste so I decided to make myself a copy.

I don’t have photos of my process this time, but I just took the dress and laid it on top of some butcher paper and sort of stuffed all the parts I wasn’t copying out of the way, and took a pencil and traced one piece at a time and evened out the lines. Since this is knit, it’s very forgiving, so this process works fine. I find I just need to approximate. When making for myself, it’s easy to just try on as I go anyway.

I chose a solid, cotton interlock for the fabric since I had it in my stash and there was just enough. Unfortunately I barely squeaked out the sleeves, so for this project no 3/4 length. I love cotton interlock because it is sturdy and soft and easy to work with; the seams stay together when you sew and don’t slide all over the place or curl. For certain applications it’s just perfect. It’s a lot thicker than jersey or t-shirt knit though, so for some things it really isn’t what I’m going for. But in this case, perfect.

Just because I knew I’d be pulling them out of shape a lot, I stabilized the hemmed top of the wrap with clear elastic, which I think was a wise choice. First, I made the mistake of slightly stretching the elastic, which resulted in ugliness and left me picking out the seams, so I made sure to keep the elastic flat while sewing this time. I also had to sew with the right side of the dress down on the machine, or the elastic would grip the plate and feed dog.

The rosettes were a detail I added after the fact, since I had a couple hours before I needed to wear the dress. I got the tutorial here and was very happy with how they turned out. Each one a little different, but, I guess that’s handmade charm for you?

Here’s a photo of it on:

Hey, I match my Dali!

And ready for a night on the town.

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7 Responses to Copycat

  1. Rebeccah says:

    I actually love 3/4 sleeve- I am not a fan of plain short (non cap) sleeves. Lol. I love the dress- I think the sleeves need to be a bit more tailored (tighter) to your arm though for a more flattering look. And, I think with the longer length, the empire waist could be an inch or 2 lower. Also for a better line, and in light of the rosebud decorations, it could use a bit more distance from neckline. IMO
    Not to take away from the coolness and talent exhibited in both the post and the creation of pattern and dress. 🙂

    • Sarah says:

      I respect your fashion judgment and I was a little unsure of the placement of rosebuds… because of that i had to loop the tie through the sides and pull/cinch and tie in back rather than wrapping around front (which was ok i guess).

      that said, empire waist 2 inches lower is no longer flattering on me, as the reason I like this style is it glosses over my non-Beccah stomach… 😉

    • Sarah says:

      PS why did you give me a stack of 3/4 sleeve shirts saying, “I don’t like these 3/4 sleeve shirts so keep them if you want” – was that just a ruse to get me to dress to your fashion taste? ok if so… but do know I quote you so be more honest next time ;p

  2. Erin says:

    By the time I’m your age right now, I really hope I can sew like you! 🙂

  3. Meghann says:

    LOVE this! It looks great! (I love 3/4 sleeves, too. They are the greatest!)

  4. Rebeccah says:

    Ha! I think I said, “I don’t like these ‘shirts’ on me anymore”…if they’re the Ann Taylor ones, they didn’t look great on me bc the arms were too tight and the body too loose-I think…my brain is fried.
    Ah, re empire placement.:p

  5. Katherine Lauer says:

    Wonderful! Thanks for showing us how you made it. I love 3/4 sleeves too. I wish all my tops had 3/4 sleeves!

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