Sunday, July 17, 2011

Finished Object: Navy Rose Dress

I'm back in Manitoba, and nearly all my sewing stuff is in one place! YES!! \o/

So of course I started sewing immediately. Actually, I bought the dress below on sale for $20. I adored it, but it was just too short on me. I considered trying to do something to lengthen it, but looking closer at the dress, I figured I could probably make it myself. I got a few quick measurements of the bodice and looked at how they did the back detail (elastic along the upper back to keep it in place. Neat!), returned the dress, and tried my hand at it.

Isn't the lace beautiful? Oh, I wish I could've made it work just for the lace!

Look at how it turned out! I'm pretty proud of myself, recreating a dress (sort of) I liked with only a few measurements and my own sketches. I've never done this (successfully) before! I used the floral cotton voile I rewarded myself with after my thesis defense, and blogged about here.

Oh, there's a few problems with it. The shirring turned out to be way too tight. It's wearable, but only just. I suspect that I wound the elastic thread on the bobbin too tight. Oops. The bodice has no structuring besides gathering along the bottom where it joins with the shirred skirt. There was a bit of gaping along the armhole, but taking in the sides 1 inch helped immensely.

I'm not a big fan of how the bottom ruffles turned out. I may yet tear it out and try something else, since it's borderline Little House on the Prairie.

I suspect that the lace I used on the bottom ruffles are too heavy or something. But I'm pleased with the colour of the lace, since I tea dyed it from blinding white to this beige-y brown. It picks up the subtle colour in the small background flowers nicely.

But overall, I really like how the dress turned out. I couldn't find a lace anywhere near as lovely as the one on the original dress (not a surprise with the limited selection at Fabricland), but I'm pleased with the one I used. I even cut out around the flowers to make it a little bit more interesting.

One of my favourite parts of this dress is the back. It's lower cut than the front, and the elastic along the top makes the fit snug without being too tight (or needing a zipper). The spaghetti straps look cute, and were made by making my own 1/4 inch non-bias tape (made the same way as bias tape, but cut on grain to prevent stretching).

Anyways, thanks again to you all for being patient and not abandoning me! I'm in the middle of job hunting right now, but I will be posting more often, and this time I mean it!


  1. That dress is fucking beautiful! I'm so jealous you can do that ^___^

  2. Oh, it's gorgeous! I like the bottom ruffle, but then I'm a somewhat ruffly kind of girl. I sympathize whole-heartedly about Fabricland's lace selection. It's not even that small---it's just 99% UGLY! Kinda a feat, really.

    Good luck with the job hunt!

  3. I'm kicking myself now. I was just in Toronto in this beautiful shop that specialized in trim, ribbon, and lace, and I walked out empty-handed! :( I was trying to keep down the amount of stuff I was dragging back to Manitoba. Next time I go there, I'm bringing an empty suitcase and a pocket full of sewing spending money! My poor friend is going to scream from fabric shopping overload! Oh well, that's what ice cream bribes are for! ;)

  4. Such a pretty dress! You did a wonderful job recreating your inspiration dress. Though I haven't ordered any, different sellers on Etsy always seem to have a variety of lace for sale. I haven't ordered any since I have six containers of lace in the closet from an estate sale. I should send some your way, lol.

  5. Love the dress you made. The dress you bought could be cut shorter and worn as a top. the lace is beautiful.

  6. So impressive! It looks great!!

  7. Thanks everyone!

    @Rebecca: I hadn't really thought of ordering on Etsy, but I'll look into it. I don't normally order things online because shipping things to Canada is usually expensively stupid, and Customs almost always messes with my shipment, either breaking it or charging me more for it. It's often not worth the effort.

    @Gail: I...never thought of shortening it to make a top. lol! I'll keep that in mind for next time, and maybe see if the dress is still there...

  8. Very pretty and summery dress. Nice job on using your own sketches and measurements!

  9. This is absolutely adorable! The fabric and lace choice are perfect. You put in just enough lace to be pretty and feminine! I need to try shirring sometime, that would be a great way to make comfy summer dresses

  10. Totally gorgeous!! Even though I am shivering just looking at you lol Love it :)


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