Pleaty Pleaty Please Dress x2

Today I have two dresses to share with you that I made from a self-drafted pattern last fall.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!*

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The test garment is semi-wearable.

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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.

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Anyway, test garments are important when creating new patterns, and it’s always a bonus when you can still have a wearable garment.

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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).

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8 Responses to Pleaty Pleaty Please Dress x2

  1. Amelia says:

    Hi Becca! I found your blog awhile back- before your hiatus- but I’ve never commented on a post. I’ve definitely had ideas about garments that I could not find RTW. I don’t have any experience drafting my own garment patterns, but I do sew and sometimes it’s clothing (I quilt). I LOVE! this dress! you’ve drafted! It looks like you used a knit fabric for both the test and the teal dresses, which seem super comfortable. I’m not kidding when I say that if you sold a pattern for this I’d buy it.

    • Becca says:

      Hi, Amelia! Thank you so much! I did use knit fabric for the dresses, and yes the dresses are very comfortable. Knits are my favorite material to work with. I will keep your enthusiasm for this design in mind. 🙂 Thanks for the feedback!

  2. nothy says:

    I love this dress too. I wish it were from a pattern, I would buy it immediately. You look great in both dresses. Enjoy!

  3. kathryn says:

    This looks great Becca, and it must be great to have a wrap neckline that doesn’t gape – that’s hard to find in RTW! That’s what I love about sewing, having an idea in my head then being able to make it a reality. Even if I could find it in a shop I’d still rather have the satisfaction of having sewed it myself!

    • Becca says:

      Thank you, Kathryn. Agreed! Sewing your own clothing is very satisfying. Nothing beats that feeling you have when you first put on a garment that you’ve just finished. 😀

  4. Nilla says:

    Beautiful dress! At the moment I’m feeling reluctant to add any RTW to my wardrobe. I feel that I’d rather wait until I have the time to make it myself.

    • Becca says:

      Thank you, Nilla! Yeah, that’s exactly the way I feel too. If I go out shopping with someone, I always end up saying, “I can make this better myself.” 🙂

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