Believe it or not but i have a huge amount of dress patterns, the thing is I have one that works really well for me, i have adapted it to fit well, its easy to make, I dont need to read the instructions anymore and its easy to change things about it so each dress doesnt look the same. This is the favoured pattern
Before i explain how to change it up with your patterns let me tell you how to make sure your pattern lasts longer if you plan on using it again and again and again. Use your iron on interfacing and iron it onto the pattern pieces, best to put a tea-towel or similar inbetween the paper and he iron. Cut to match your pattern and hey presto a reinforced pattern that will last you much longer.
Now with my pattern i have made at least 8 dresses with this one pattern, there is the latest one called the Holiday Dress, which got its name from what was written on the side of the fabric, clearly using different fabrics is going to alter the look of your dress, top or other item you are making, but beleive it or not there are people out there who literally only make things in exactly the same colour and fabric as what is on the pattern cover, the way to work around this is if you have a computer using programmes like photo you can take a photo of your fabric and superimpose it onto the dress picture by cutting out the dress image, if you dont have access or the ability to do that you can do what i prefer to do myself and that is use coloued pencils and colour it in. you can photocopy the pattern cover in grey scale and simply colour the dress to the fabric you are thinking of. This will help you visualise how it would look. Remember to always stick with the fabric types suggested with your pattern as using the wrong type of fabric can be disastorous. trust me on that!
Now the Holiday dress I thought would look good with buttons down the front, I didnt want to actually have an opening down the front so I created a faux panel by sewing a navy trim down the centre about 5cm apart, then adding in a row of bottons, this in itself was hard to choose as getting the right colour to stand out against the busy pattern of the fabric and also not look over done. Navy buttons would have been too intense, i did consider silver but couldnt find the correct ones that would wok with the look. These heavy rough cut shell white buttons with their navy backs were just perfect. the other change i made was to add in extra shoestring straps at 3cm intowards the bodice and twisting them with the existing straps so they stayed together when being worn. Im really happy with this finish, its more of a casual look now so I can wear it anytime.
So what other changes did i make with this simple pattern? On my Christmas dress I used a recycled doily to add a lace panel down the bodice and made pockets out of the remainder. On the simple stylish black one i first added spagetti straps and just some shirring at the back for a better fit, it means it goes with everything and can be dressed up or down. A 1950s little black dress so to speak! Using heavy lace with a tea dyed lining gave my mink (Thats pink and mauve!) evening gown an extra vintage feel. I added a bow just under the bodice to complete that one and it really looks vintage! The Christmas dress the year before got decked out in lace around the bodice. Im keen to make a faux panel bib for the bodice on another dress but will have to think about what fabric and colour i want for that. Others have had a contrasting panel at the hem with matching shoulder straps, decorative stitching, the list is endless. One of the bodice versions in this pattern has cups rather than a full bodice, I have only used this one once, it was a little low cut for me so I had to add a lace trim to make it a little less full on! I did however like the feature of a tie part on the back so may use that part of the pattern for another dress. Its a very casual aspect but helps give it something a bit different and also tightens the boice better so win win! This is it below
I could also use the bodice off this pattern and add to a straight pencil skirt if i wanted to, that would be a simple change, the key to that would be to make sure the waist measurements are the same and that it has a centre back zip.
Next up for me will be a sailor inspired dress, I already have some super cool anchor iron on patches and its all cut out ready to sew. Im going to add two white stripes around the hem of the navy dress, it got white straps, the thicker ones in this pattern but with one side cut straight rather than fully curved and an addition of a white band across the boddice with a faux tie. Ill also add pockets where ill put the white and silver anchors. I cant wait to get it finished, Ive had the fabric for ages but was stuck on what style i wanted, so the trusty pattern for all came into play!
Posted: Tuesday 6 January 2015