Home Away from Home Dress

I made this dress while I was in California for a few weeks. We stayed at my parents’ house, and my mom has a sewing machine. It’s a Brother, which means that I fought with it the entire time. But at least I was able to produce a wearable garment using it.

I purchased the fabric from JoAnn’s the first weekend we were there because that is the only fabric store near them and I needed material to work on a project. There was less than 1 3/4 yards left on the bolt, but I figured I’d make it work. I was able to cut everything out, with the exception of the back facing.

I brought a couple sewing patterns with me. I used vintage Vogue 1046, pictured below, to make this dress.

I shortened the bodice and skirt, and added a bit more width to the skirt to ensure my lower half would fit.

I finished the dress and tried it on and the front of the dress gaped at the top. I couldn’t solve the problem by shortening the halter strap. So I transformed the halter strap into two straps and hand stitched the straps to the back bodice and bodice trim seam allowance. I had eeked out a belt from the material, but I had to cut it up to make the straps.

No more indecent gaping action, here. Ha! This picture…I meant to be blowing a kiss, but instead I look like I’m slurping oysters out of my hand or something. What a dufus!

The fit is by no means perfect, and I need to add a snap on the inside at the top front of the bodice, to keep things in place.

Side shot

Some adjustments need to be made next time I make the dress. The darts go to far up in the front, and  there is extra volume where the straps connect to the bodice.


This pattern had a lot of ease. The waist came out much bigger than I thought it would, and I even took it in a bit.

Without the belt

Frankly, the idea of taking the dress apart to fix any of the problems isn’t my idea of a fun time. So, I just noted the changes that need to be made the next time I use the pattern.

The shirting fabric is comfortable, and I love the subtle herringbone pattern.

When I make another dress with this pattern, I’ll use a contrasting fabric for the placket and straps.

It is a fun dress


The second weekend of my stay, two of my sisters went with me to buy fabric at Loft (across from Michael Levine) in the garment district in downtown L.A. After that, we went to pick up one of my other sisters from school in Long Beach. I wish I had thought to take pictures of us, but I get to wrapped up in enjoying the moment.

We each came away with loads of fabric for minimal amounts of money. The fabric is sold for $2.50/lb. You have to dig through bins to find what you want, and you can get any of the pieces cut to your desired length. I came away with a large bag of fabric. Here are just some of the fabrics.

Several sweater knits and some lovely stretch lace
I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t come away with some greens and blues. So, I found some more sweater knits and a light blue stretch poplin.

I found several sweater knit materials that will be perfect for Fall and Winter sewing projects.

They were also giving away their $2 bags for free with purchase. These bags can have anything from tiny scraps to 2y+. I scored about 3 yards of white knit material and 2+ yards of that blue stretch poplin in the picture above.

When I left, one of my younger sisters had almost finished this dress from one of the fabrics that she found.

Ashley’s dress

We had fun talking about sewing a lot while I was there. She has made a lot of darling outfits. At the same time that I finished the dress in this post, she finished a cute red and white polka dot dress. The idea of starting a blog doesn’t appeal to her, but I may have her start sending me pictures of some of her projects so I can brag about her. πŸ™‚


Anyway, I’m sad because this is the last of the summery dresses for the year. πŸ™ I’m off to start sewing for the fall and winter months. What projects do you hope to accomplish as the weather cools down? Or, if you’re in the southern hemisphere, as the weather heats up?

  1. Sarah Lewis

    October 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    My Fall project has nothing to do with sewing. I am overwhelmed when I have to sew a button on a shirt!! lol My project is to get my computer room organized so when it’s time to pack gifts for shipping for Christmas I’ll be ready! Sure wish you could come help me do it! BTW, love this dress, so cute! And, I love your long hair.

    Love you!!

    1. Becca

      October 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      Haha! Organization projects aren’t my favorite, but I certainly enjoy how everything looks afterward. You wouldn’t want me to help you with packing gifts. I’m terrible at wrapping anything and everything. Thank you, I’m really enjoying having long hair. Love you too!

  2. Papa

    October 2, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Since I don’t sew (lol) I don’t always check your blog, but you are so cute and we loved seeing you guys! Love you much!


    1. Becca

      October 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Thank you, Papa! There’s more than sewing on here. But I guess cooking doesn’t interest you :P, and I haven’t really posted much in the home and garden section in a while. We really enjoyed our time there. Love you too!

  3. GA

    October 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    This is the dress you wore to church when Ashley wore her red one and I wish I had taken a picture of the two of you….so cute!! BTW, Ash wore the one you show this past Sunday. She is doing such a nice job. As far as my projects….I will just keep making quilts.

    1. Becca

      October 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      I really wish I had thought of it, too. She really is making some adorable things. You’re really good at making those quilts, and I love them! I’m not a quilter. It takes a patience that I don’t seem to possess. Keep it up!

  4. Rebekah Key

    October 24, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    You’ve been making some adorable clothes Becca! I looove loooove the “home away from home” dress. I need to order one from you for next spring:) Miss you girl.

    1. Becca

      November 14, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      Aww, thanks Becky! That’s very sweet of you. I’d be happy to make a dress for you. πŸ™‚ Miss you too…a lot!

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