Winter Collection Dress: Inside and Out

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This dress idea came as a surprise to me a few weeks into making my winter collection. I knew I wanted to make a dress, but I didn’t know what it would look like or what fabric to use or any other details. Then I learned about an event called The Monthly Dress Tour hosted by Leanne Barlow, and I knew I wanted to make my Winter Dress to wear to that event. I researched non-stop for about a week looking at different designers and ideas. I had a whole board saved on Pinterest. Then I came across this design by Lorenzo Serafini’s line, Philosophy. I knew this was the dress I wanted to challenge myself with.

So, I got to work. I have been learning patternmaking, and am currently finishing making all the slopers of my body shape to use as starting points for future patterns. I had finished my bodice sloper right before finding this dress, and decided to just go for it and make this dress as the first thing I made from the sloper. I have self drafted some pieces before, but never using a sloper. One of my goals for this year is to learn patternmaking, not only so that I can make patterns, but so that I can make clothes that are better fitting for my body. For this dress I drafted up a quick muslin (another goal for the year is to make more muslins), and then cut into the main fabric. I really need to work on patience and slowing down with my projects because I probably should have tested the fit once or twice more, but I was WAY to excited to make the dress. Luckily it turned out better than I could have imagined.

I fully lined the bodice and skirt because the main fashion fabric was transparent and the dress needed more structure. The bodice is underlined and lined so there are three layers of fabric.

I fully lined the bodice and skirt because the main fashion fabric was transparent and the dress needed more structure. The bodice is underlined and lined so there are three layers of fabric.

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The one thing I forgot to do before sewing closed the lining was secure the black ribbon across the front. The straps caused a bit of a struggle to get the fit right so it helped to have the rest of the dress finished and just focus on that detail, but I wish that top seam would have been hidden under the lining. Order of construction was a HUGE learning point with this dress.

The one thing I forgot to do before sewing closed the lining was secure the black ribbon across the front. The straps caused a bit of a struggle to get the fit right so it helped to have the rest of the dress finished and just focus on that detail, but I wish that top seam would have been hidden under the lining. Order of construction was a HUGE learning point with this dress.

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This year I am committed to making my garments fully finished on the inside. This means lining them, finishing all the seam allowances with some sort of method, and making sure no threads are hanging out. This dress is one of the most complicated pieces I have made start to finish without a pattern, so the finishing details are a little all over the place (surging, pinking, bias finishes, lining…) with lots of room for improvement. But, I am proud of the effort I put in and so thankful for everything learned in the process.

This year I am committed to making my garments fully finished on the inside. This means lining them, finishing all the seam allowances with some sort of method, and making sure no threads are hanging out. This dress is one of the most complicated pieces I have made start to finish without a pattern, so the finishing details are a little all over the place (surging, pinking, bias finishes, lining…) with lots of room for improvement. But, I am proud of the effort I put in and so thankful for everything learned in the process.

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This dress is one of the things I have made that I am most proud of. Not because it is perfect, but because it was a challenge that I dove into and learned so much from. I am at a point in my sewing career where I want and need to push myself to try new things, and this dress is a perfect example of that. I have already seen improvement in my sewing after making this and am so excited to see how more of my upcoming projects turn out.

If you have a challenging project, that you have been putting off for a while. My hope is that seeing this dress would encourage you to start it. You will learn so much in the process, and from seeing the final result. And most likely your work will improve because of it.