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The Swing Dress

Hey Y’all,

Dropping in to share my latest make. I am calling this one a swing dress but I guess it could also be considered a Trapeze or Tent dress.

By now you have probably noticed that I really, really love dresses. Besides a loose and comfy pair of sweats, I’d have to say that they are my favorite pieces to wear. Some days, I’ve been known to even combine the two. A maxi dress layered over sweat pants and worn with my favorite plushy house slippers is the most comfy Work From Home uniform!

Business on the top, party on the bottom….. Hey! No judgement. Don’t knock it until you try it. LOL.

Getting back to the subject. My latest make is a fusion of style elements taken from the 1500s and 1960s.

The dress has the tentlike shape of the 60s and the neckline is inspired by the removable ruffs worn during the 1500s.

Twiggy meets Queen of Elizabeth I. A little crazy and a tad bit over the top, I’ll admit.

PATTERN MODIFICATIONS

So I used McCalls 6102 for this dress. I really loved that this pattern was simple and only had 4 pieces (two of which I cut but didn’t use). I knew that it could be used as the perfect building block for my latest design. So here is what I did:

  • I added additional flare right below the bust line by drawing one line up to the bust dart tip and a perpendicular line from that point over to the edge. This allowed me to swing the pattern out so that I could add about 5 inches across the bottom, which really added about 10 inches because the pattern piece is placed and cut on the fold.
  • I made the same adjustments to the back piece as I did the front piece.
  • I added a slit facing In the back.
  • I cut the shoulder in and lowered the sleeve opening.
  • I added a grosgrain ribbon to the neckline to use as a closure to the back.
  • I added gathers to the front and back neckline to draw in the neckline.
  • I roll hemmed the arm hole and the bottom of the dress with my serger.
  • I created and added 2 rows of stacked ruffles around the neckline.
  • I added 2 inseam pockets.

FABRIC

I am using another African Wax Print from my stash that I purchased online from Ghana last year.

I found this particular fabric to be pretty stiff even after a wash.

The stiffness was great for the ruffles but it did make the skirt of the dress stand out quite a bit.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Did I hit or miss with my Swing? (Pun intended) I guess it depends on the purpose of the dress. This dress was intended as a cute transitional piece that can be worn while I lose weight and afterwards.

On that note, this dress is a hit. I found this dress to be both cute and comfortable.

My only downside is the ruffle accented neckline. It just felt a bit too much for a day dress.

While I enjoyed seeing my vision come to life, I wasn’t super comfortable wearing it out. I felt like all eyes were on me and that’s not really how I like to feel on the regular. Maybe it was all in my head, but even so, I choose to honor my feelings because they count.

If I were to make this again, I would explore making the collar detachable, just as ruffs were back in the 1500s. That way I would have the option to dial back the wow factor at will.

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Pattern Play – Simplicity 1873

Hey Y’all,

Let me start off by saying that I am sooooo sorry for not posting my refashion as planned last month. The truth is, this is my first legit re-fashion and I really want it to turn out well so I am not rushing it. My rushed projects don’t usually turn out so good. Hopefully you guys understand and will pardon me this time. It shouldn’t be long before it’s finished.

In the meantime, let me tell you about my latest make using Simplicity 1873. To date, I have made a total of 6 dresses using the bodice from this pattern including this dress and my current refashion project. When I purchased this pattern a few years back, I was in search of a pattern with a darted bodice and not princess seams which was rare to find at the time.

I really enjoy using the bodice from this pattern because it’s fairly quick and easy to whip up and it fits me perfectly in the bust … no F.B.A. required!

Pattern Modifications

This time around, I made the following changes

  • Changed the neckline from jewel to v-neckline
  • Cut in the shoulder line by 2 inches
  • Added ruffes to the bodice around the neckline
  • Swapped the patterns pleated skirt for a self-drafted half circle skirt
  • 1.75″ Short waist adjustment

When I initially started making this dress, it was mean to be a muslin to test my modified neckline and cut in shoulder line. I purchased this fabric from Ghana over the internet and the colors were not at all what I was expecting. In fact, I was so disappointed that, I even tried to give it away to a friend…. but that didn’t work out.

In the end, I am so glad that it didn’t. I absolutely love this fabric and what it has become.