Saturday, July 27, 2013

My First Copycat Dress!


I am so excited about this dress!  I've always ripped out pictures from magazines and kept them on a bulletin board in my sewing room.  I know this sounds silly, but it never occurred to me to locate patterns to recreate those looks until Lori from Girls In The Garden posted about recreating an outfit from Pinterest.  Enter Colette's newest pattern Hawthorn.  I have had this picture on my board for probably 1-2 years:

Please excuse the cell phone photo but our scanner suddenly died tonight. You can't tell but it's navy gingham.  I cut off some of the item description, but the tag on the dress says "Milly" and it's listed as being for sale at Bergdorf Goodman for $295.  When I saw Hawthorn I knew just what I was going to do.  Actually, I saw an article online prior to it's release saying that the next pattern was going to be a shirtdress, so I purchased the fabric before the pattern was even released.  And it got even better when the pattern looked almost exactly like the dress in the magazine!

I attempted to slash and spread to add extra room in the waistline as well as doing a SBA.  That was a disaster that I won't go into.  After looking through a fitting book I decided I didn't need such major adjustments, so I just graded the pattern out at the waistline and used a bigger seam allowance through the bust.  I'm happy with the fit.  It's usually extremely hot here in the summer so I didn't want a skin tight dress.

The fabric was very sheer so I underlined the bodice with something I had in my stash.  I turned and stitched the sideseams and I'm happy with that result.

I always want my skirts to be lined but I've freaked out about doing it (or anything for that matter) if it's not in the instructions.  For some reason on this dress I knew just how I wanted to do it.  I bought this lining from Gertie's shop on Etsy and it worked well.  I cut the front lining pieces just to the line that indicates where to fold the facing back on the skirt front.  Then after stitching both the main skirt and the lining to the bodice I caught the lining in the edgestitching on that later step. It wasn't hard and I was happy I could figure out how to do it on my own without handholding. 

The skirt and the lining are both finished with French seams.  Unfortunately I inserted the lining with the seams facing out.  Nobody notices it but me so I'm OK with it.

BIG news:  I actually used my serger to finish the waist seam.  I discovered that I didn't have one of the needles threaded and neither needle thread was through the loop above the needles.  No wonder it wasn't working.  I fixed both things and it serged with no problem.

I enjoyed every step of making this dress.  This will not be my last Hawthorn.  I absolutely love Lladybird's dress in this post and I would love to do something like that.  I feel pretty proud of myself that I was able to recreate something that I've been looking at for well over a year. The pricetag on the dress in the magazine was $295.  My dress cost no more than $50 including fabric, thread and buttons.  I also participated in my first sewalong so that's good news too.  I'm slowly but surely getting better!