Here is a simple project that took a little thought to finalize. In my design process, most often I draw up a design before I sew it up, in order to help me visualize the look before I use my fabrics in the final design. If I come across a pattern that has a basic design, it becomes my canvas for designing what I want. But let’s be clear, the design doesn’t take shape until I’ve had time to doodle around the line drawing while giving my creative juices a chance to birth something wonderful. When I sew with a print, the print speaks to me and directs my thoughts to a design. In the case of a wonderful solid, I am free to do whatever, or maybe even embellish. In the case of this dress pattern…it was ripe for any design I could imagine. And this is what I imagined….
The moment I laid eyes on this reversible fabric, I bought from SM Fabric.com, it was destined that I would make something which would take full advantage and display both sides of the beauty it has to offer. I just love these two sided knits. My Mom got the red/black and I got this one and several others. More on those later…sorry, you will have to just wait on that blog post. But first, I had to test my design ideas. That way if it didn’t work out, it was me who had to wear it and not disappoint her.
I love how the inset on the side is at a slight angle giving it a slight asymmetric look at the hem. As you may already realize, this is not the original pattern. It was the diving board for this design, my design process began with this pattern. The plain front was not what got my attention for this pattern, it was the side inset. At first I thought the inset was mirrored on the back, both being on the right side, but this one has the inset opposite on the back, with the matching inset being on the left side of the back.
For the Neckline, I used the Simplicity 3503 (OOP) to get the shaping of the facing, it didn’t fit the original pattern, but I was able to copy the design detail enough to do a reverse facing which put the finished facing piece to the outside for me to invisibly hand stitch it down.
The hem was hand-stiched using the “catch stitch”. You can see the tutorial I did here
. It was the best hem for this fabric and the look I wanted to achieve. Now, please understand, if you don’t already know me, I laugh and joke all the time about hating hand stitching. This is true, but one thing you may not know, is that whatever finish achieves the best look is the one I use, even if it means doing the “dreaded” hand stitching. All the finishing on this dress were hand stitched.
Sizing: I cut a size 16 in this pattern because it seems I didn’t want any negative ease, even though I know it looks like it at the hips. I did add a full bust adjustment, FBA for added room across the front. I did allow the resulting dart to alter the armhole so that it would curve and create a more finished look. The base pattern just had the side seam ending under the arm as though the fabric just lays over toga style. I made a slim “kimono” type sleeve affect by moving the resulting dart from the FBA into the armhole.
As for the length, there were no changes made after I measured the pattern, it was just where I wanted it to fall. If I was thinking, I would have finished the seam allowances so the entire dress could be totally reversible. We shall see how the next colorblocked dress turns out.
Well, this dress was such a great success! Now when I make it for Mom, I know she is going to love it knowing she is getting the original design in her black and red fabric. Besides, it was meant for her initially, right? For now, I have more two-sided fabric to buy, and more colorblocked dresses to design. What’s your design process? Are you creating any colorblocked wonders?