Sunday, October 13, 2013

My First Pattern-Free Dress

I'm so excited to share with you a dress that I made for myself WITHOUT a pattern...sort of.  I traced a store-bought dress that I had which fit me really well.  I have a picture of that dress at the bottom of my post.


I laid my store-bought dress on the floor and traced the outline of it in pencil.  I discovered that it helps to "pin" the paper to the outfit you are tracing.  I traced the front side, the back side, and also the sleeves.  


I used a really nice drapey knit I purchased from Girl Charlee and made my arm bands and lower dress band out of gray ribknit binding.  Oh my gosh...doing that alone makes this dress incredibly easy to stitch together because there is no hemming involved.  On the arm bands, I turned them up so they are a cuff.  I really thought matching all these stripes up would be difficult to do, but it wasn't.  I used my walking foot on my sewing machine to sew all seams and then finished them with my serger.  I find this is better to prevent shifting of the fabric.


I made my hat too!  It is called the Tulip Stitch Slouchy Crochet Hat pattern.  I purchased it from an Etsy store called Lifeinsmallspaces.  I'm a beginner crocheter but this pattern was relatively easy for me to do.  I want to make them in several colors for this winter. 


 and here is the dress that I traced.  You can see that it has a really large cowl neck.  It takes a lot of fabric!  I had only 2 yards of fabric to work with and I was elated that I could get all pieces cut from it.  I didn't have an 1/8 of an inch to spare!  I got lucky.  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

10 comments:

  1. Your dress turned out really cute and I like the hat too!

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  2. I agree, it's really cute! Looks cozy for fall.

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    1. Thank you Sunny! I am on a mission for fall attire. :)

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  3. Well done, Shirley!!! Looks great and is sure to be very comfy. I'm not sure that I'd be game to tackle without a pattern.

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    1. Thanks Pam! A couple of months ago I wouldn't have thought to try and trace a pattern. At this point, only a stretch knit for sure. Wovens would be a whole new experience, and one I am definitely not ready for!

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  4. You are adorable Shirley! :-) I love working with knits! Its so rewarding. I really love the hat too! I have not tried crochet yet. Everyone says it is easier than knitting. Would you find this to be true?

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    1. Thanks Amy! I have knitted before, but only knit and pearl, making scarves. I really want to learn how to knit more because I have seen some beautiful cardigans made. One recently on Handmade by Carolyn's blog. At my meager beginner's level of crocheting and knitting, I don't find one harder than the other, just different. :)

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  5. The dress is lovely and your whole ensemble is great. Going patternless has apparently worked very well for you!

    I've been pinteresting a bunch of dresses like this one for inspiration, trying to decide whether to draft one from scratch, or frankenpattern it (since I definitely have the pattern choices available to me!)

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    1. Thank you Joy! I'm definitely starting to get a little braver. I have seen posts about slopers, etc. and decided if I already have something that I can work off from, I am definitely going to try that. It is exciting to combine other pattern pieces together too. I think the less work one has to put into creating a pattern, the better, especially if you are doing endless sewing for kids like we do! Seems like I always have about 2 or 3 things (atleast) lined up behind what I am making.

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