sketch to reality.

by - Tuesday, September 03, 2013

If you haven't designed something of your own before, I encourage you to give it a go! It's so good to really challenge yourself sometimes and just dive in! The end result can be so satisfying and rewarding!

I was recently doodling on some paper, when I came up with a new dress design. I was so excited about it, and thought it would be perfect to wear out to a Charity Ball that I was attending the following night! So I didn't have long to make the design go from sketch to reality! But it can still be done.

Firstly, I started out with a rough sketch. Keep in mind, it's completely fine for things to change here and there as you start making your pattern. That's all part of the design process.
Once I had a rough design, I got my dress form (Millie), and set her to basically my own measurements. The I started marking out my design on her. I simply used some ribbon I found in the cupboard and some pins to hold it in place.
Once I had marked out the bodice, I laid out pattern paper on top and drew my pattern onto it. You need to make sure you pull and pin the paper really well, creating darts where you need to so that it's firm. There are heaps of helpful YouTube videos on this.
Then I cut out my pattern pieces from the pattern paper, leaving enough room for a 1cm seam allowance. I found some material that I loved and thought would be perfect to make the dress out of. It also helped that I had quite a lot of it! So I cut my pattern pieces out of the pretty material.
Then I started sewing the pieces together. This was the first time I'd sewed any kind of dress without including lining, so it was super quick! For the armhole and neckline edges I just folded the seam allowance under and top stitched to hem it.
BOOM! Other than the zip, the bodice was already finished! Just like that.
For the skirt section, I wanted there to be a lot of material, so I decided on a maxi-circle-skirt! But instead of a skirt that is the same length all the way around, I wanted to make one that was short at the front but long at the back! I laid out my material on the floor and figured out a way to fit in all my pieces. It took me quite a while to do this, so Joe being the wonderful husband he is, brought me some knee pads! So thoughtful and they seriously helped! I recommend it.

A lot of pins later, I simply ended up cutting out a circle skirt, with the front side being shorter, and gradually getting longer for the back side! It looked a little like the following diagram. There were 2 layers of material, so it ended up being 4 pieces.
Then I overlocked and stitched my skirt seams together, leaving the back seam open for the zipper. Then I simply attached the skirt to the bodice, making sure the middles matched up.
And here you have my sketch turned into reality!
Unfortunately, although I love it, with my figure this isn't too flattering on me. So I made a quick decision to cut the bodice off from the skirt, and sew a new bodice onto the dress. One that I knew was flattering on me! This only took me about 30 minutes :)
Then I whipped in a zipper, and hemmed the bottom of the skirt!
I finished the dress literally just in time to head off to the amazing Thrift Shop Charity Ball hosted by Angeline of Lovethread!
Such a great night! And to top it off, I had so many comments about my dress! I even had people running up to me to ask where I got it from.
If that doesn't make you feel like you're on the right track.. I don't know what will :)

Happily Yours,

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  1. Beautiful sketches and beautiful dress! I can't wait to make my first dress and have one in the works. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Aubrey! No worries at all.. have you been able to start making a dress?
      P.S. Your blog is great, consider yourself having another follower!

  2. Oh my, gorgeous dress! Soooo clever :)

    1. Thank you!! I'm about to make a miniature version for a little girl who's volunteered to be my model! Super excited. Post will hopefully be soon.. just need to find a free day to make it, then photograph her! :))

  3. What a stunning dress. I love seeing your processes! Amazing

    1. Thank you so much!! I love documenting the process of everything.. but the best part is when you complete something! So satisfying. :))

  4. Wow! This is so good! You're so talented to be able to do that in that time! Welldone :) xx