I read somewhere on CationDesigns blog that she called her version of the Renfrew shirt her not a Renfrew. So I’ve been copying her terminology.
I saw a gorgeous dress, the Tia, from SewChicPatterns. I had to challenge myself and attempt to draft my first actual pattern. I saw a polka dot fabric on the clearance table at Hancock’s. I jumped and got it. I had to get a coordinating solid color as well. I think I did a pretty good job in trying to copy the pattern. I did make some subtle modifications to suit my preferences and small amount of fabric. I only bought 2 yards! I also realized that it is easier for me to draft my own pattern and not have to fiddle with adjustments on other patterns.
When I saw this fabric at the Joann’s I swear, I let out an eek. I was so excited I couldn’t contain myself. I bought it, brought it home, washed it and dug right in. I regret that decision. I wish I would have waited for something more interesting for my precious fabric. I didn’t even get the fit right. The bodice is too short and the shoulder slope is off. boo hoo.
It had been a while since I sewed and I had a sloper, which I used, but forgot about the various fit issues that I needed to work out. grrr. I keep getting more and more picky about fit. I’m quite sure in 3 years I’ll think of this dress as the Blue Star Trek disaster dress of doom. I don’t have anymore of the fabric, unfortunately. Otherwise I’d try the bodice again or at least add a waistband.
I used my sloper bodice and modified the back so I could add a bow. I’ve never been a big fan of bows on stuff, but as I get older I’m starting to like them. I felt really proud of this dress. It started as Simplicity 2886. However, after 3 wears, the invisible zipper broke. I lost confidence in invisible zippers right then. I couldn’t be bothered to fix it so it sat unloved. I had extra fabric so I decided to test out the experimental bodice with it. Minimal risk right? I hadn’t worn it since 2010 so I had nothing to lose. I took off the old bodice and the evil invisible zipper, kept the skirt and cut into my extra fabric. I used my sloper with a scoop neck and a bow back. When I got to the bow, I thought it would get lost if I just used the same fabric color, so I added an orange pop. I kept the skirt from Simplicity 2886. I really felt pleased with it. It has been getting a lot of wear. I practically live in this dress.
Confession…. This dress was such a disaster! I had difficulty sewing the dress back in 2010. The side seams didn’t match. The new bodice, oh my goodness. I decided to cut the back on the fold, and of course forgot to add seam allowances. So I finish the dress, try it on and oops, it zips, but it’s horribly unflattering and tight. So I unpick the serged edges and try to let out the darts in the front and in the back. Ah, success, finally. Alright, so, on paper, it seems like it was easy peasy, but when I kept making mistakes, I was this close to trashing it. I’m so glad I kept going. It still has issues. Especially around the shoulders, but it is really airy and comfortable.
I’ve been seeing vintage inspired dresses around the web with a heart on the front bodice. Most were bodycon dresses, which look really cute, but I would never wear. I much prefer fitted bodices with full skirts. I was inspired to create my own version. I started with my sloper and modified it till it looked like what I had in my head. I added my seam allowances and *gasp* cut into my fabric.
A little confession… I have been collecting fabric since 2006. Almost all new additions of fabric have become too precious to cut into. The fabric I used for my heart dress vol. 1 was found in a remnant bin at Hancock’s for $4 about 3 years ago. I loved the color and convinced myself to cut into it by saying it was only $4 over and over.
Here is Heart dress vol 1.
I am pretty pleased with my version, but I think I can improve it. I have a pink fabric that has been with me since 2007-ish that I think would be perfect.