Friday, 18 April 2014

Laura: My First Dress of the Challenge

Unlike my friends I do not have bags and boxes full of beautiful fabrics to rummage through, organise and fall in love with all over again, because I’m just not the type of person to save things. I'm not a hoarder, you see I like things clean and tidy. (and I’m sure my friends will definitely agree with this) I will throw out most things before thinking will I need this in the future. So this meant I needed to go fabric shopping, something I have not done since university. I decided to go to Doncaster market (my home town) to see if they had any fabric stalls and well I was pleasantly surprised to find a lovely stall with lots of floral, patterned, embellished dress fabrics.

I bought a lovely collection of floral and patterned fabrics ranging from 100% cottons for just £6 per metre and viscose cotton mixes from £4 per metre.

When I got home I got my sketch pads, watercolours and pens out and got sketching some summer dresses, its surprising how quickly a passion which I thought had gone came back. I forgot how much I love coming up with lovely designs and thinking how can I make this, without the added pressure of thinking this is going to be marked it needs to be better.

I came up with these 3 dress designs and decided straight away to get started. I dug around for some old pattern paper, my pattern master, pattern cutting book and all of my old pattern blocks I made from uni and started drafting out the first pattern. Now I actually like pattern cutting I know some people find it stressful but I like the precision that’s involved ad if it goes wrong I like discovering why. 
This pattern was actually quite easy to do, It was a simple 2 block dress with the bodice and the skirt, all I had to do was enlarge it (because sadly I'm not a  size 10 which all of my blocks are) add some little cap sleeves, enlarge the skirt so it can be gathered and turn the bodice so it can wrap over the body.
 I laid out the pattern on the fabric following the grain and pattern, pinned it then cut it out. I didn’t take any photos at this stage because I got carried away with sewing. Next time I will be sure to remember. Any way about 2 hours later I had whipped up my first dress, very happy with the final outcome.

Whilst making the dress I did make a little design change and decided to gather the fabric above the bust, this give the dress a better shape than the straight line it was before and it suits my curvy figure.
The back of the dress has been kept simple and features a simple concealed zip down the middle. 

Side view of the dress showing the wrap around under the bust and the gathered skirt.

So that folks is my first dress of the challenge! Made in 5 hours from making the pattern to the last steam. Lets hope the rest of the year goes smoothly for us all (touch wood) 
Laura x





  1. Fab frock!! Love the evolution from fabric to sketchbook then pattern blocks to finished article. What a great skill and talent to have!

  2. Thankyou... Next item of clothing I make I'm hoping to put more detail into the steps it takes to make said item. Laura

  3. love the style of your dress :-)