20 February 2009

red dress

I tried making this Built by You dress (Simplicity 3835) last year. I've never worn it once. Not even around the house, because the neck sort of chokes me and makes me claustrophobic. Which is a shame, because I had appliqued an iron-on bedazzled whale design and, let's face it, that would be nice to flaunt around in public.

Well I decided to revisit the pattern because it has yielded me so many nice shirts and because I kept seeing well-made and apparently well-fitting dresses around on flickr (or maybe everyone was lying just like me and never actually wore their creations out). I promised myself I'd be much more careful with measuring and cutting and all of that, because I tend to get sloppy and reckless when I really want a new dress NOW.

(You like these washed out pictures? Little bit cheap-o looking, right? Like maybe I should be wearing stonewashed denim underneath the dress? Also, my skin looks purple-translucent. Enjoy.)

I used a sweet cotton print from a masterful fabric stash I raided whilst in the North Country (thank you!) and I measured/cut SUPER CAREFULLY. It came together quickly and without much fuss. I used french seams on most seams (eventually I gave up on them) and stuck the back zipper in with no problemo.

And it fits. I'll probably wear it out soon.

Technical complaint:
That being said, I still had a slight scare when it came time to put the collar on... Built by You seamstresses, are you out there? Has anyone had this problem? Once the sleeves were attached to the body of the dress, the top raw edges were like almost 2 inches longer than the top raw edge of the body. So.... yeah, the top raw edges didn't match up. At all. WTF? I have vague memories of this happening during my first attempt and I think I crudely chopped off the excess fabric from the sleeves and called it a day. Thus causing the dress to choke me. I swear I measured perfectly and used the right seam allowances this time.

So I just hand-basted them into the collar ever so delicately and pretended like the bunching was all part of the master plan, and it worked because it was hidden by the gathering around the neckline.

More pictures @Flickr.


  1. It's not your fault, lol... It's the pattern. I have made it twice and every time was the same! lol...
    I love it anyway!

  2. Phew, at least it's not just me!

  3. What a cute dress. I am happy to see you were inspired to make good use of this vintage piece of cloth. I just realize it’s been in my stash for at least 25 years. I think that might qualify as vintage. We’ll have to open the other trunk next time you are here!


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