Sometimes they're simple things that I think I could make a better job of, or change slightly, sometimes they're things I couldn't afford to buy even if I wanted to.
This dress falls into the second category.
A few weeks ago I was out shopping with my husband and I saw this dress in the window of LK Bennett.
|LK Bennett Nessa Tweed shift dress|
It's basically a simple shift dress with added fringed edging to the hem, neckline, sleeve hems, pockets and centre front.
I dug out an old favourite pattern, New Look 6000, and had a rummage in my fabric stash. I didn't have anything identical fabric wise, but I did have a couple of metres of cream and black dogtooth check fabric that I bought about four years ago and had never used. It was one of those purchases when you just want to buy something and I was never quite sure what I was going to do with it.
|My version of the LK Bennett dress.|
I've made the simple shift dress version of NL6000 several times so I knew I didn't need to make a muslin. The only change when cutting out the fabric was to cut the front as two separate halves, with a seam allowance at centre front, rather than cut it on the fold.
When sewing it up I omitted the front fisheye darts at the waist and just sewed the bust darts. On the back I sewed the fisheye darts as normal.
For the fringed trim at the centre front I sewed the two front pieces together WRONG sides together, pressed the seam allowance open and then topstitched down the seam with a wide zigzag stitch. I then fringed the two seam allowances to create a double row of fringing. It's not exactly the same as the inspiration dress, but it wasn't until after I'd cut it out (stupidly) that I really thought about how I was going to do the trim.
|Here you can see the zigzag stitch I used to secure the seam allowance at centre front.|
The rest of the dress was sewn as per the pattern and I added the fringed trim after it had all come together. I simply cut a strip of fabric, sewed it to the appropriate hem/edge with a zigzag stitch and then carefully pulled out the threads to create a fringe effect. It was fun, but rather messy. The zigzag stitch has the added benefit of preventing the fabric from fraying too much.
|Fringed trim on sleeve.|
The hem and sleeve trims were added after I'd finished these hems, the neckline trim was added before I finished the neck because I didn't want my black zigzag stitch to show on the bright pink bias tape I used to finish the neckline.
Pockets were added once the dress was complete. I basically guessed on the size I wanted and marked the position of the top inner corner of one of them with a safety pin while trying the dress on. Luckily I got the placement right first time!
|The pocket blends pretty well into the dress, with just the fringe showing.|
This is one of the things I love most about sewing; seeing something I would love to own but can't afford, or that doesn't fit me quite how I'd like it to, and being able to make it myself.
|Back neckline and invisible zip.|
I hope you've enjoyed seeing how I turn my ready to wear inspiration into a me-made garment. I've got lots more of these posts planned and will be doing a monthly series. I've teamed up with Minerva crafts to bring you Recreating Ready to Wear posts over the next three months, so watch this space.