I have to be completely honest about this dress. I started creating it almost a month ago on January 15th. I spent almost four weeks on and off working on it in my spare time. It took me a LONG time to finally make design choices especially since I design as I go along. Because of this, I actually forgot to take photos of every detail as I have done in previous design posts. Regardless you will get a pretty good idea of my creative process with this dress.
As I have mentioned before, I decided to design organic cotton clothing pieces for my S/S 2015 capsule wardrobe this year. I have never taken a sewing class and have plenty to learn, yet I truly enjoy the process of creating any form of art. This dress is my third piece, and I plan to create one more. The rest of my capsule wardrobe are generally thrifted items which is still the most eco-friendly way to shop.
1. I folded my fabric two times so pictured above is a fourth of the material.
2. I used the shape of my favorite black jumpsuit/overalls which was in my capsule wardrobes last year for the initial shape of the bodice.
3. Here is my first cut.
4. I sewed along the side seams leaving the bottom half free so I would have two side slits up to the knee for this maxi dress.
5. I stitched the armholes of the dress before deciding that I would add sleeves much later on. That’s just what happens when you design as you go.
6. I drew the shape for the front of the dress.
7. I decided to create a low open back for the dress.
8. I folded the front and back together to then cut out an even neckline on both the front and back of the dress.
9. Here is the front neckline hemmed.
10. Here is the back neckline hemmed.
11. When I put the dress on, it was lacking something. Also the fit allowed too much of my bra to show under the arms so I opted for sleeves. I cut two long rectangles the complete length of the arm holes.
12. Here are the sleeve rectangles folded in half and sewn to create the sleeve.
13. Because the back of the dress is low, I needed something to ensure that the dress doesn’t fall off my shoulders. I cut two inch wide strips of fabric and pulled them hard to stretch the fabric creating two string ties.
14. Here is a clear shot of how the sleeves look initially sewn on although still unfinished.
15. You can see a clear picture of how I sewed the string ties here.
The steps that I completely forgot to photograph was how I finished the bottom hem of the dress with two side slits, the details on how I sewed the sleeves and used elastic to create a gathered finish, as well as a before picture of the front and back of the dress before I put it into the fiber reactive dye bath.
The details of this dress took a lot more time than the shift dress, and the faux wrap skirt which I created earlier this year. I plan to keep my final design extremely simple because of it. I don’t plan to spend another month on and off creating my last piece.
I will admit that I am beyond ecstatic about how this dress came out. As usual I was somewhat nervous during the dye process. This time I used a different brand of fiber reactive dye so the process was a lot different. I even noticed after taking photos of the dress that I did not rinse it well enough prior. As always there is always more to learn.
My Final Results…
And a close up of the back…
One thing about that I LOVE about this dress is that I do have a great option for something to wear this Valentine’s Day, yet I do need to rinse this dress one more time! Also wishing all of you a very Happy Valentines Day! Tomorrow is the perfect day for nurturing and pampering yourself, not to mention reminding the ones close to your heart how much they mean to you. See more articles like this in My Design or Upcycled!
Update June 2015… I ended up modifying the color and sleeve of this design which you can see styled here!
Peace & Sunshine!
(Images by Dawn Michelle)