26 July 2010

oxford cotton is my friend (i think)

Hey, so remember that Wardrobe Challenge I started back in the spring?!  Me too! No seriously, I haven't forgotten about it.  And here's some proof!  I made a dress.  And I really like it.  And I've already worn it a bunch of times.  I declare this piece a complete success, contrary to entry #1, which is a moderate success.

The pattern comes from a Japanese sewing book called "One Piece" (ISBN 978-4-579-11149-7) and is #6.  When I first chose this pattern, I was a little worried that the shapelessness of the dress would make me look like I was wearing a potato sack.  Um, I was totally right.  Somehow it looks super cute on the model in the book, but it was less than flattering on me.  

So, once I had the whole thing sewed up (except the bias binding on the armholes) I ended up taking the sides in 1" at each armhole and about 2" on each side.  I also added two darts in the back to make it more fitted.  This helped a lot and made it much dress-like and less sack-like.  Which, in my opinion, is pretty much always a good thing.  

As per usual, I couldn't decipher the neckline instructions and ended up sort of fudging it, but you can't really tell and as long as it doesn't start fraying, I'm 100% okay with how it turned out.  This is the third Japanese sewing book I've used and I continue on with my philosophy that these patterns are really more of a suggestion or guide, and you're completely expected to take your own creative liberties, you know, since you can't actually read the instructions.  I never expect my pieces to turn out exactly as they are in the books.  That said, I did consult this post when translating the sizing chart so I knew which size to make.  If you are going to look into Japanese patterns, I would also suggest just googling the ISBN and you're more than likely to find some blog posts or forums with tips about the book you're using.

The fabric I used is an oxford cotton which I got on major clearance at Mill End a couple of years ago and seeing as this dress used up about 1/3 of how much I have, you'll probably be seeing it again in the future...With this dress, I was really going for an everyday casual thing and I think I ended up with a semi-nice work dress.  Luckily, I think this dress can really double as either one, and conveniently, those were both holes in my wardrobe.  Not to mention, this dress would look super cute with a long-sleeved shirt underneath and some cute tights and boots for fall.  Again, I would say a complete success.

ps: I recently realized that this dress (color and all) looks just like an old girl's dress of Martha's, hmmm.  I swear, it's a coincidence :)


  1. Last week I made a dress using the Spring Ruffle Top Tutorial over at Sew Mama Sew. I just lengthened the top to make it into a dress, and added a band of fabric at the bottom, and a belt at the waist. It turned out lovely. My first dress! It happens to be neither of the items I was planning to make for the wardrobe challenge though... :)

  2. it looks comfy and cool summer dress.

  3. fabulous job! I love the simplicity of the dress, I would definitely wear that! (and I am always so impressed when I see a lovely hand-sewn result. I just don't have the patience for it!)