Thursday, August 8, 2013

New Dresses

Over a month ago I was asked to make an adult maxi dress for someone and I was nervous and hesitant, but eventually said I would give it a try. I had never made any sort of adult clothing before and really had no idea what I was doing. I have a very limited experience sewing with knits, but it isn't so bad. When I was ordered fabric for the requested dress, I decided to go ahead and order some fabric to try and make myself a dress as well, after all, I have wanted a long black maxi dress, but couldn't find one that I really liked at a price I was willing to pay. I also found some adorable fabric on clearance and bought a yard to make dresses for Lillian and Claire.
While I was waiting on the fabric to arrive, the shipping took forever, I went to town researching on Pinterest how others went about making their own maxi dresses. I found a handful of ideas from various tutorials and tried my best. Now, if you know me and my sewing ways, you know by now that I don't really like to use patterns. For some reason patterns seem to make sewing difficult for me. I like to look at ideas and various inspirations and wing it. Sometimes this works for me and other times it doesn't. Thankfully, this time I seemed to have success with all four dresses I made.
The first dress I made was using this beautiful emerald green and black chevron knit fabric, I loved it. I unfortunately do not have a picture of that dress to share. I did try the dress on, but since I was making it for someone else it wasn't my size, so the photos don't do it any justice.
Next I made my own dress. I wanted solid black so it is something I can wear year after year and not have to worry about the print going out of style and I can pair it with anything. I had learned a few tricks from the first dress that this second one went together a little easier and their wasn't as much guessing going on. I had to go back and make adjustments and shorten it a little bit and I will have to shorten it a little bit more, but over all, I love it and it is extremely comfortable.
The third and forth dresses I made where a bit more challenging since these were for Lillian and Claire and I really had no idea what I was doing, but again crossed my fingers and hoped they would be presentable. Luckily, the girls think anything I make for them is beautiful, so that takes some pressure off. I, again, searched Pinterest and looked through many, many tutorials and took ideas from all of them. Their dresses are slightly different, but not by much. Claire has more of a tank style dress and Lillian has little flutter sleeves on hers. I had the main fabric, but didn't have a clue what I was going to use to edge the neckline and arm holes. I ended up cutting up one of the girls old shirts that had some stains on the chest and it worked perfectly for what I needed. As far as a pattern, I took one of their tank tops out of their closet and traced around adding in some seem allowances to get a rough shape for the top of their dress. For the bottom, I started with the width I needed at the waist and flared it out a little as I cut. This is pretty much the part where I cross my fingers, because I was just guessing on what to do. I cut all of my pieces the night before I was going to sew and then in a few hours the following afternoon I whipped together these adorable dresses. Lillian and Claire love their dresses and I love seeing them dance around the yard wearing them. 

Of course there are flaws in all of the dresses, but I think I am the only one who really notices them, so I won't point them out on here. You might be able to spot an obvious one or two yourselves.

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