Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Slapdash Heart Dress for Valentine's Day ❤

Sometimes I get crazy and attempt to sew a dress the night before a special occasion.
Last night was one of those nights.

 This blue and pink heart print fabric has been in my stash FOR-EV-ER!
It is a super comfortable rayon lycra blend jersey knit fabric from Mood Fabrics.
And OMG I just realized they still carry it! Lucky you ;) Here is the link:

As much as I loved this fabric, I just couldn't cut into it without the perfect design.  Then I saw the Galena Midi Dress at Anthropologie (where all good sewing dreams are made ;) It had everything:

Mock wrap neckline, gathered / ruched waistband, shoulder detail, gathered skirt, in a KNIT fabric

I searched for hours for a pattern that would work. Then it hit me - I had a very similar pattern in my stash from a couple years ago for a woven (see that dress blogged here) and perhaps it could be tweaked to a knit dress! Knits are great for these make-it-up-as-you-go-along type sewing projects :)

Left: Anthropologie Galena Midi Dress - Inspiration   //   Right: Line Drawings of Simplicity 1801

So here is what I did to change Simplicity 1801 to the knit dress of my heart's desire ;)

- Cut a size 12 (same as for woven)
- Doubled length (up and down) of waistbands, then gathered to original length at side seams
- Cut front bodice as mock wrap neckline - instead of stopping at center, I continued the line until it tapered off to lower edge. Magically, these corners lined up perfectly at the side seams
- Omitted facings and finished neckline with a good old turn and stitch
- Added a second waistband on inside front, which was interfaced, to hold up the heavy skirt and keep it's shape, allowing outer waistband to have pleats/gathers.
- Randomly added the sleeves from the Papercut Rise Turtleneck, because it was laying on the floor and I needed a fitted sleeve pattern piece. Again, magically seemed to fit perfectly...
- The back was a bit of a hot mess - the gathers above the waistband did not work in this drapey knit fabric, so I added a center seam to the back bodice piece to get rid of the excess fabric. Also, I added a piece of thick elastic to the back lower waistband edge to help hold up the skirt. I couldn't interface it like the front piece and still pull it on over my head. It doesn't have the gathers across the waistband like I wanted, but it fits so yeah!

Left: The back of the dress   //   Right: How I feel about the back of the dress
It took a lot of puzzle piecing to make this dress work from the original pattern. Every stitch I made was a "will it, won't it" moment and surprisingly most of them worked! I am so thankful for the few year's of sewing experience that made this a success. I feel like as a beginner seamstress, I was way more prone to jumping into these last-minute type projects, but with less than stellar results. I think the longer I've sewn, the more cautious I've become to making something that wasn't "perfect". This holds me back a lot, especially in starting projects, and so I'm glad to have just gone for it with this one!

How do you feel about starting last minute sewing projects? Do you think this changes the longer you sew? Have you ever made a pattern for wovens in a knit fabric? Let me know in the comments below! And thanks for reading!

❤ Sally