UPDATE: My entry made it into the Top 10 this month! Please go vote HERE – I am #10 in the lineup.
This month’s Project Run and Play challenge was the Knot Dress from Jess Abbott over at The Sewing Rabbit. It’s a suuuper cute design, and oh so twirl-worthy! I changed up the design just a bit by omitting the knots on the skirt and in the back, and I also lined the skirt as well and added a denim piece in the bodice, but otherwise followed the pattern accordingly. Today is officially the first day of spring (Wahoo!), so I thought a cropped jacket would pair wonderfully with this dress. Seeing as how last month I sewed my very first jacket, the only logical step from there would be to draft up my own right?! Yes, I am THAT crazy. Someone please remind me why I insist on jumping in head first into everything I do.
I ventured a tad bit away from the traditional fabrics for this dress because, of course, I seem to need to make things more difficult on myself than need be. Actually, I saw the floral on the discount table and couldn’t say no. It’s going to be so perfect for an Easter dress! The dress was lined with a bright green knit I found in the clearance section that tied in with the green from the top fabric.
I knew I’d be pairing it with a denim jacket, so I wanted to tie that into the dress somehow. I found this awesome stretch denim in Hancock’s that was screaming, “Pick me! Pick me!“. So, I did. Obviously. Because when fabric speaks, you listen. I used a matching green thread to add some top stitching to the bodice, and it pops so nicely in person. The dress really is an easy sew. Had I chosen easier fabric to work with – not a slinky, cheap knit or the even slinkier floral fabric – it would’ve taken me no time at all to put this together.
I loved the fullness of this skirt! You can bet I’ll be making another soon with a woven fabric so that the fullness will show through even more. The twirling is great in this dress!
Now, about that jacket. This has been the source of my torment for the past three weeks. I can’t tell you how many hours were spent drafting, re-drafting, sewing up muslins, tearing those apart only to make adjustments here and there or start again entirely. I’m not going to lie. There were even some tears of frustration shed over this thing. I even had to walk away for a couple of days just so I could come back to it without pure loathing coursing through my veins. Finally, at the last minute, it all started coming together.
You see, it all started when I thought to design one purely off of her body measurements. So, we spent nearly two hours (I kid you not) taking every measurement possible. I even dug out a marker and made dashes all over her. She looked like a mannequin someone had drawn all over. Poor kid. After gathering all of my measurements, I went to work searching the internet far and wide for all of the tips, tricks and what have you’s of drafting your own pattern. Ha. Ha. Ha. (I say that with COMPLETE sarcasm in mind.) One site tells you one thing, while another tells you something entirely else. I draw up my patterns on freezer paper since you can iron it right onto the fabric, and countless sheets of freezer paper ended up waded up in the trash can. I just couldn’t get it to work right. No matter who’s directions I followed. Talk about a feeling of failure!
I decided to press through it, and when I finally decided to do like I always do and draft from a piece of clothing she already owns and alter it to fit accordingly, things started running a bit smoother. I still ended up with a few muslin prototypes sewn up that didn’t quite work, but it was all a great learning experience. I’m so used to sewing with knits, that switching gears to woven – on top of creating a pattern for a woven from a knit – added a bit of a challenge. In the end, I’m so glad I pushed through and didn’t throw in the towel.
I lined the inside with a gorgeous cotton I found and instantly loved at Hancock’s. I did the top stitching in a gold, glittery thread, and because the jacket isn’t meant to close – the buttons are purely decoration – I opted for decorative stitching in lieu of button holes, which I also did in the gold thread.
I adore these little blue bird buttons I came across when I was in Walmart. And they really add a great Welcome to Spring! feeling to the piece. A few pleats at the shoulder added that small touch of whimsy that the jacket really needed.
The back yoke was done in the same fabric as the lining. Because it wasn’t mean to look like a traditional “jean jacket” with the pockets and seam lines, etc, I thought a special touch on the back yoke would do just the trick to take it from boring to lovely.
All-in-all I’m super happy with how everything turned out. And she is, too. Which just made taking pictures on this beautiful first day of spring all the more special! If you’d love a beautiful dress to sew up for that special girl in your life, head over to Jess’s blog and download your FREE copy of the Knot Dress right HERE.