One thing that I’ve always wanted to do was start designing my own eco-friendly clothing for my capsule wardrobe. This past December I decided that now was the time to just do it. I have never taken a sewing class in my life, and probably would greatly benefit from it, but I have my own sewing machine that I have dabbled in on and off for the past few years. My Dad also taught me a few things about sewing when I was in middle school, and I’ve gotten much better with practice. I’ve upcycled thrifted finds which I shared here thinking that creating clothing designs from scratch might not really be me. That was just fear and doubt talking.
So here it is, my very first design for my Spring/Summer 2015 Capsule Wardrobe!
I did not use a pattern for this dress and instead used my favorite black shift dress for inspiration and as a silhouette. I used dye ready organic cotton french terry knit which is a heavier weight than just organic cotton, and also cotton thread which would also take whatever dye color I chose. I used the inside of the fabric for texture instead of using the correct side of the fabric for this design as well. I picked a persimmon orange color fiber reative dye for this piece as vibrant color was seriously missing from my capsule wardrobes in 2014.
1. You may remember this black Theory shift mini dress from previous capsule wardrobes. I’ve had this dress for more than a few years now and it has been an incredible investment piece. You can see this Theory dress styled here to get a better idea of how it looks on. It is one of those pieces that I feel looks better on than only looking at it on the hanger. I love the silhouette for this dress so much I knew that it would be perfect to create my eco dress from.
2. I folded my fabric twice. I folded the dress in half and used it to draw my pattern onto my fabric with tailor’s chalk.
3. I also traced and cut the armholes from my Theory dress.
4. I initially used the neckline of this dress to trace onto the new dress, then ended up creating a deep scoop neck instead a bit later on in the process.
5. In order to conserve the total fabric purchased, I decided to create a banded hemline to lengthen the dress.
6. Here the new banded hem is pinned and ready to be sewn.
7. Also tracing the approximate measurements from the Theory dress, I decided to create short sleeves.
8. The sleeves were pinned into place and sewn.
9. The deep scoop neckline that I created was too large for the dress and was causing gaps at the shoulders. I used four darts along the neckline in the back to create a more tailored fit. Since this is the first time I created my own darts without the help of a pattern, I used an ink pen to measure it out precisely. I should have used a pencil, but you live and you learn.
10. This is how it’s all looking so far.
11. I like the look of raw hems, but I still stitched along all of the edges including the neckline, sleeves, and skirt hemline.
12. You can see here why I will never use ink again on my fabric. Thank God it doesn’t show as much after the dress was dyed.
13. The back view of the darted neckline.
14. I reinforced all of the seams for a polished finish as I went along.
15. The front view so far.
16. The back view so far.
So here are the final results…
I am so happy with the results of this dress and the fit is incredible! It’s comfy, a bit tailored, and still chic all without being tight. I am so looking forward to working on the next piece. I love the creativity with designing, and am enjoying my not so constructive method of going about it. I will definitely share how I style this piece in My Lookbook once I finish creating and share my Spring/Summer 2015 Capsule Wardrobe. In the meantime feel free to check out other lookbooks that I have done so far. I guess this is kind of a sneak peak!
One thing that you can expect for this season’s capsule wardrobe is COLOR!
(Images by Dawn Michelle)