Friday, April 6, 2012

The Experimental Dress from a Craft Itch that needs to be Scratched

It was this dress that brought me to a low point, last week.

Looks cute, doesn't it?
Here it is without the belt:

I spent 3 long days on this, creating a horrible back pain as a result.

It was part experiment, part overambitious undertaking, but mostly a learning piece.
My objectives for this project were:
1. make sleeves;
2. create a bodice + skirt bottom dress; and
3. use up these 2 pieces of quilting cotton.

Sounded simple, right?


The bulk of my time and effort was spent on setting in the sleeves. On hindsight, that was energy well spent, as I know that it was practice that I needed.
I was feeling proud with my sleeves finally settling in the way I wanted, only to receive a negative feedback. ("This cloth makes you look like a granny.")

That extinguished my enthusiasm. Almost. Got to finish what I started.
What brought me to an aggravating low, was the stage where I realised the 'true waist' of the bodice was a teeny bit way too high for my liking.
To rectify that, I had to make an extension; the elastic casing was the result.

Adding on the elastic band casing and trying to figure how to attach a skirt bottom was the challenging part. I had to figure this out by myself. Mind you, I am a still new to garment-making and learning from patterns as I go / went along.
It wasn't a great idea to wander off and try sewing without a pattern and instructions.

I also could not decide what type of skirt I wanted. Pleated? Gathered? Shirred?
I tried all methods, tethering on my last bit of determination, only to finally settle with a fully gathered skirt which had gotten me feeling all wretched because I lack the technical know-how.

Seeing light at the end of the tunnel, I stitched the skirt hem and the neck.

Here's what it looks like inside-out:

Thank you all for your encouraging words.

After a few days of rest - away from this experimental dress - I dusted my elbows and knees and got back to sewing again.
But will I ever wear this "granny" dress? We'll never know...

You must realise that I am on a dressmaking adventure.
When I have a craft urge, boy do I latch on and never let it go. This I-want-to-make-my-own-clothes itch has got me good; I hope you can bear with me. After this overambitious piece, I headed back to something basic for a 'comeback'. I'll show it to you soon!


  1. I think it's adorable and would wear it in a heartbeat. With wedges and a floppy hat for summer? Yes!

    And sleeves kill me every time. They are why I make jumpers- sleeveless is amazing.

    And you have amazing finishing skills. The inside of my dresses is not a lovely sight. I lack the patience to trim seams and such. (It's why God gave me a mother.)

  2. even inside out it looks great !

  3. ps : i would not dare to show my sewingexperiments inside out ! :-)

  4. ps : so that means you are a real good sewer !

  5. ps : doesn't look granny at all with the belt !

  6. 1) Granny chic is, well, chic!

    2)It's not grannyish anyway!


    And thanks for your comments, which I'm really appreciating. I'm sure you found this anyway, but here is the Harlow Carr Gardens website:

    Very, very pretty, as you say!


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