Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Summer Dress--If you can't find one, make one!

Last year I searched and searched for the perfect summer dress. Nope. Nothing. I've been looking all year, every time I'm in the stores or online, but zip! Then I came across the blog Sew Can Do.
I really liked the look of this dress style. Simple and summery. Her dress was made using a free download from another site. It was petite and I'm tall so I searched for a pattern for me.

This is the pattern I chose and I did view B which is sleeveless and knee length.

I loved this Swirly Girls fabric called Floral Fancy when I saw it in Lindarella's Quilt Works, in NC so I bought all she had (about 6 yards.)
First I made a muslin practice piece and it didn't fit!! Help!! I drove to my friend, Sandy A., who is a genius with clothing. She helped me tweak the muslin dress. That muslin dress was unusable (too small) so I had to go back and make another muslin dress. Then I made new pattern pieces on Parchment Paper and cut out the new muslin dress. It still didn't fit great so back to Sandy I went. Yay, she tweaked it again so I made the changes to the muslin and it worked. I made the same changes to the pattern and cut out my new summer dress. 

Instead of having 7 bodice pieces and 7 skirt pieces (like the pattern had), Sandy suggested we make the pieces continuous and eliminate the waist seam.

To make the muslin dress be the lining (eliminating facings) I needed to figure out how to do that.
I remember doing it with doll clothes so I pulled out the doll clothes directions.

Just to make sure, before sewing the real deal, I cut a quick little mock dress and muslin lining to practice on, just to make sure I had the sequence right.

After sewing the 2 dresses together I sewed (quilted) the seams (pressed open) with my favorite quilting stitch.

To finish the hem, I used binding like any good quilter would do. I really don't sew clothing--ever.
Putting the zipper in this dress was tricky but do-able only because I make so many zipper purses, pouches etc., that I'm comfortable doing zippers. I did this one sandwich style: Iron a 3/8" hem on the front and muslin up and down both sides where the zipper would go, then slide the zipper between them and sew by topstitching all 3 together at once.

This would look cute with a red or black belt.

Doesn't look like much on the hanger but I do fill it out well.
I'm pleased with it. Now the question is, can I do it again? I have the pattern pieces that fit ME so you'd think it could be done. 
Next time I find a fabric that I love or would love to wear, I might try.

See lots of other Friday Finishes at Crazy Mom Quilts.


  1. I admire your diligence in making the muslin mock ups first. I have made many garments but usually just scan the pattern and go for it. Works sometimes and sometimes not which is frustrating!! This turned out really pretty. Since you went to all that trouble to get a good fit, make another one!!

  2. Excellent!!! You did a great job and I am sure that this will become a TNT.