Today I have two dresses to share with you that I made from a self-drafted pattern last fall.
The grey dress with flowers was the test garment, and the teal dress is the garment I made after I tweaked the pattern some more. The teal dress was meant to be worn to a wedding that we sadly did not end up attending.
I was originally considering buying a dress, but I had the look of this bodice floating around in my head for a while, and I couldn’t get it out. I didn’t have a prayer to find something similar, especially when I factored in the particular color I wanted (it had to be a teal or dark emerald green color).
I’m not sure why I still believe that I’ll ever be able to find ready-to-wear items that I like. I still go out and browse clothing about once a season or two, because it’s fun to see the styles of the moment. However, aside from undergarments and some active wear, I haven’t purchased more than three or four pieces of RTW clothing for myself over the course of the last several years.
I used my raglan pattern blocks from this self-drafted shirt as a starting point for this dress. From that block, I drafted a basic surplice neckline for the bodice front, and a v-neck with center seam for the bodice back.
I added the pleats to the front neckline by using the old slash and spread technique. The front bodice pieces have a self facing, and the rest of the neckline is finished with bias binding.
Surplice and wrap necklines usually tend to gape or have a cut that is too low on me, but check it out, no gape and a modest neckline cut. *Party time!*
The test garment is semi-wearable.
The bodice was a bit too short and the waist was a bit too big. I also cut the skirt a smidge shorter to squeeze the dress out of a small amount of fabric. I added elastic to the waist, which is a look that I don’t much care for, but it looks fine with a belt. Unfortunately, the short length of the bodice could not be remedied.
Anyway, test garments are important when creating new patterns, and it’s always a bonus when you can still have a wearable garment.
Have you ever had an idea of what you were looking for in a garment but had trouble finding anything suitable? That is one of the many benefits of designing and sewing your own clothes (or knowing a seamstress who can make your vision become reality ;P).