bea and lucille, dress, handmade wardrobe, harts fabric, moda, pattern drafting, resewlution 2014, self-drafted, sewing

My first official self-drafted garment (it’s a dress, of course!)

Okay, okay, I’ve made self-drafted garments before (cute skirt and embellished top), but this one feels official.   After only 2 months of pattern making class, I didn’t feel completely ready to rush into a full garment, but on Tuesday I went to make a dress (On the Go Dress, by Monaluna).  After cutting out the bodice in XS and holding it up to my dress form, I was super disappointed to find that it was way too big, (and not in a way I could likely fix).  Ugh!  I still really, really wanted a shirt-dress, so ready or not, the time had come to bite the bullet and draft my own.

In pattern making class, everything we do starts with tracing a sloper (essentially a template of bodice, skirt or sleeve of a particular set of measurements).  My sloper set is size 8, so I can’t use it for my own clothing, so I set out to make my own sloper.  A while back I took a Moulage drafting class, so I pulled out the completely unused products of that (a flat pattern of my exact measurements), my ease worksheets from pattern making class, and drew up front and back bodice and skirt slopers.  Just. For. Me.

Here’s my size 8 pattern slope from class (measurements: 37-27.5-39) behind my own (measurements: 34-26-36).  The most significant difference is the length.  Clearly, at 5’1″, I’m petite!  Also, the waist dart intake is significantly less than the standard, owing to my smaller than average bust.

This dress pattern is simple enough when starting with a bodice sloper.  I maintained the single waist darts, but created a back yoke. It took 2 versions to get the fit right.  It seems a bit loose, but I didn’t want the snaps popping open when I sat down!  For the sleeve, I used the measurements of the actual pattern pieces and the general shape of my pattern sloper.

The collar is a Mandarin style, and I actually pulled out my class notes from last week for this one! See, paper drafted from measurements 🙂  I curved it a bit more by slashing and reducing along the top seam after this initial version.

The skirt is just an a-line, based on the waist length, with a waistband for definition (and a place to put a strategically placed snap!).  And of course, I added pockets.  
Inside front: pockets are done with French seams and the hem is covered with hem tape.  Sleeve raw edges were covered in bias tape.  And inside back:
The main fabric is cotton/hemp ripstop (Hart’s Fabric, though they don’t seem to have it right now) originally purchased to make the Jedediah pants for my husband.  Yeah, let’s be real: with the fit issues I encountered on the muslin, they weren’t going to get made, so why let this good fabric go to waste?! 
The contrast fabric is Little Apples Outfits by Aneela Hoey for Moda.  Given the stark (perhaps even a bit institutional? 🙂 outer appearance of the dress, I love the sweet pink trim and paper doll-like contrasting fabric on the inside.
Instead of buttons, I went with pearl snaps (mostly out of fear of lining up my placket properly with buttonholes!) Worried about some gaping at the space below the waist snap, I added a hidden tiny snap to keep it closed.  Works perfectly!  
All in all, I’m pretty pleased with my dress (despite my sour face!).   Now I have to find some accessories that soften it up a little bit! 
Resewlution 2014, garment #1 for April!

18 thoughts on “My first official self-drafted garment (it’s a dress, of course!)”

  1. Love the color and style! And I love that it's simple and stylish on the outside with a little fun facing and pockets on the inside!


  2. Very impressive! I've always wanted to make a shirt dress. I especially love the pearl snaps and Mandarin Collar. Are you taking the class at a local community college?


  3. Wow! What a fantastic job! One of my 2104 Re-Sew-Lutions is to draft my own pattern but I haven't quite decided how I'm going to go about doing that. I've considered doing a Craftsy class. Anyway, your dress looks fantastic!


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