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.