Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Happy New Year dress

Since the New Year is coming up and it seems to be a particularly cold one, and we are planning to go out to live music in a bar and then possibly to the open air celebration, I decided I needed a dress.

So, the dress needs to be really warm and needs to have something fun - like animal print :)

So, I started off with two old wool blend sweaters - and some vintage fabric with animal print.


Fabric scrap
The first sweater (dolce vita) had numerous holes and was very worn out. The second one had a whole collection of holes along the seams, especially on the sleeves (which is sad, because now I cannot make leg warmers). But I could still be able to use the cowl for a hat or something similar.

As the first sweater is more lightweight and fitted I chose it for the top, and the second warmer sweater was to become the bottom part of the dress. Print would, naturally go in between.

The main idea came from a photo I found on pinterest (unfortunately, no tutorial or a project were related to this pin):

So, here is my process. I have first chopped off the sleeves to the point where there were no holes (pragmatic). Wanting to achieve the 'countured' and contrast top, I have cut off the front of the dolce vita. To make sure that both sides looked approximately the same, i have folded over and pinned the blouse to make sure fabric wouldn't move, like shown below.

Next, I laid folded fabric over the cut in the top shirt and drawn the contour along which I have cut the fabric.

The next step was to attach the print fabric to the front of the shirt, which I did by making tiny inwards fold of the print fabric and attaching it to the top. After a failed attempt or two, I realised it was the best to start pinning from the centre outwards - which I recommend as the best method of attaching these two types of fabric. Once pinned, baste the seam so machine stitching would be easier. Now, the dress looks like this:

Once this part is done, put the top on, measure the width of your back and the length difference to match the print front. When measured, add 1,5 cm seam allowance and cut. Pin and sew the back panel to the top. Next, pin and sew the sides. Try the top of the dress on. If necessary, mark and sew the sides to accentuate the waist. 

Next up, you will need to tackle the other sweater. Unpick or cut the sleeves and collar. I have unpicked mine. Next, trim off the sweater shoulders to make a straight line (the future waist) of the skirt. Then, baste and stitch the sweater to the skirt-like shape, (red line) shown at the picture below. Depending on how large your sweater is you would need to take in the sides.

Once you are done with the skirt, you will proceed to the next step - attaching the top and the shirt in a dress. The best way to do it is the following:

- put the top right side out, front up on your work surface
- put the skirt right side in, front up (that is if you have decided which would be the front)
- pull the skirt over the top so that their edges (waist) meet
- pin the seams of the top and the skirt together with a single pin (each side) to avoid having mismatched side seams
- pin along front and back of the waist
- sew two parts of the dress together as pinned

To finish off the neckline and sleeves (which had raw edges), I used press-on sticky tape. I have cut it in half, lengthwise (0,7 cm resulting width) and pressed on the wrong side of the fabric. Next, I removed the paper, folded the edges and pressed again, creating a seam-like finish. This method was perfectly complete without any machine stitching.
However, as I expect this dress to be worn and (machine) washed, I didn't want to risk any seams falling apart (especially the neckline and the sleeves), I have machine stitched over the 'glued' end.

And here is dress once I have finished it!

1 comment: