I made a dress!

by Franca on 5 March 2012

I made a dress!I made a dress!
tiger gloves
I made a dress!
shoulder strap
booties

Remember how I mentioned that when I went on the Crafter’s Ceilidh blogger meet and was inspired to do some sewing? Well, this is the fruit of my labours!

It’s the Danielle dress from burdastyle, one of their few remaining free patterns. Dave already made me this dress before, so I thought it would be a good second project for me to do (my first and only previous effort was this Linda circle skirt), since I could always ask him for help if I got stuck. I cut the patterns out in June or July last year but then wedding stuff got in the way and then it was winter so there was no point. But I was determined to finish it before moving to Brussels.

Anyway, I managed to do it without nearly as much help from Dave as I was expecting. He explained the instructions to me before I started and I asked him about putting in the zip, but apart from that I just went and did it. Though I did have lots of help with the sewing machine, which is a monster that keeps breaking and I’m shit at fixing technology. And I still don’t know how to wind a bobbin, I’m so lazy! And now of course I’m moving so I won’t have a chance to keep it up.

Anyway, I’m pleased with how it turned out. I decided to leave the sleeves off and leave it slightly longer so I wouldn’t end up with two identical dresses. There are a few things that aren’t quite right, I abandoned the instructions because I didn’t have the sleeves and sewed on the lining at the top before sewing the front and back together, so the seams at the shoulders don’t quite match up. I also cut one of the back skirt panels the wrong way round, and ploughed in for quite a while thinking I could just adapt it to make the skirt narrower, before admitting that I probably shouldn’t run before I can walk and cutting a new piece and taking apart a lot of seams. It also looks really messy on the inside. when Dave made this dress, he zigzagged all the pattern pieces to stop the edges unraveling, but I forgot about that, so I have to hope the fabric will hold up by itself. Which it should.

But overall, I’m very happy. And again, it was so cheap! The fabric is a sheet I got from the salvation army for about £2-£3, and all I bought was the zip. Sewing, unlike knitting, really is a thrifty way of acquiring clothes! Not that I need any clothes of course!

Final note on the outfit: Those are my new boots! They’re almost walked in enough for day to day use, though so far I’ve just worn them to work and back. I love their clompyness!

Outfit stats:
dress – I made it * top under – I dyed it red, originally AA * boots – clarks originals * coat – found in the street * hat – I made it * tiger gloves – gift *

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{ 20 comments }

Teresa March 5, 2012 at 8:14 am

What a cute dress! I love the fabric and I think it works really well without the sleeves. Great for layering.
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Vix March 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm

You are clever, wonderful dress adn fabulous fabric. Well done! x
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Trayci March 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Well done you! I really wish I could get my act together and have a go at sewing.

X x
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houseofpinheiro March 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm

yeahh, this is sew cute on you ! love the colours xx

poet March 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Wooot, very cool dress! And I’m jealous of those boots – I ordered some quite like them from kleiderkreisel and anxiously awaited them for a month only to find out that I’d been badly ripped off since they’re not real leather like the seller claimed… I’m not happy at all about them, though they’re pretty! Yours look a lot more high-quality (that’s a strange comparative but I guess it’s the only one admissible if one assumes high-quality can be used as an adjective? )… sigh. Have fun with them!
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Emily McIntyre March 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm

What a wonderful dress! I love the fabric. Good job.
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Carina March 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Ich bin ja immer total neidisch auf Leute die sich ihre eigenen Kleider nähen können! Good job! Das Kleid sieht so schön aus! ich find das Muster total cool und den Look mit mantel und Mütze :)
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Alexandra Thérèse March 5, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Well done Franca that’s a fantastic achievement and it’s obviously paid off because the dress looks great! I really like the material you’ve used to. I bet you felt a tremendous sense of satisfaction when you’d finished it! Love the boots too – they look incredible comfortable and practical. I ordered new shoes from Clarks at the weekend too – a pair of black brogues (to replace a pair I’d worn out) and a pair of light blue ones for Spring. You can’t beat Clarks for quality and comfort. Thanks very much for your comment on my “Too many charity shops?” post – I agree that whilst charity shops are good when dispersed and spread out between other independent shops they can be a problem when they are the only form of shop in an area as a glut of them results in lower quality goods and people are more reluctant to shop in them.
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Tasha March 5, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Congrats! A dress is a big step, and it looks awesome!
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Terri March 6, 2012 at 3:08 am

I can’t believe this dress was once a sheet! I love the fabric and the cut of the dress. In our area, you can sometimes thrift the zippers too! Next time, when life calms down, you’ll remember all those lessons learned on the next dress.
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Rebecca March 6, 2012 at 4:13 am

The dresd turned out well. The most I’ve ever managed to sew is a skirt.

scruffy badger March 6, 2012 at 8:37 am

What a great springy layering dress and wonderful colours. Well done you. Love the style’s pleated waistline and It’s a great fit.
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Deanne35 March 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Franca, this dress is so nice! But it’s more nicer if you wear it without the inner shirt and a flat shoes. Why don’t your try it, and take a picture of yourself again.

madam0wl March 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Looks great! Love that print. I really want to sew something this year.
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Mode Plus March 7, 2012 at 8:28 am

You are my hero. I’m attempting to sew myself without any prior experience. I hope to get better so I can make a dress one day like yours. Loving the colors, but as usual you do color well ;)
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Style Eyes March 7, 2012 at 8:31 am

I love your dress! and what a find that fabric was, a really lovely print. I used to make dresses but partly stopped because it cost so much to buy the fabric. I never thought of looking in charity shops.
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northwest is best March 7, 2012 at 8:39 am

Congratulations! It looks lovely.
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Daisymay March 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm

You made that dress!! I’m impressed! I have to get my sewing machine out and actually do some crafting, I have patterns sitting there but I don’t think I have enough skill to do it!
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Millie March 10, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Aaaah, it looks lovely! Good job on it! Sewing seems intimidating, but once you get going, it’s easy to zip right along :) I didn’t attempt zippers for a while when I started — good job on jumping right in!

I know this is going to sound horribly picky, but given how the back pools in the small of your back, you might get a bit of a better fit with a swayback adjustment — I’ve found it does wonders for the stuff I’ve sewn (which, sadly, is barely anything these days :( ) There’s a good description here: http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/c-228.html and http://buzzybeesworld.blogspot.com/2010/12/sway-back-alterations-my-analysis.html Welcome to the world of sewing!

Kelsey87 March 15, 2012 at 3:13 am

Wow! you look stunning with that dress and i’m impressed. I love the design and the fabric that you used. Good job and keep up the good work Franca!

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