Learning by doing: Part One

A little while ago, I decided to try making a dress using an old sheet and a dress as a template. I have wanted to make my own clothes for a while, but am weary of all the details and rules and instructions involved (though I probably don’t need to be). It seems so much easier just to figure these things out myself and thus get a good real-world understanding of how fabric behaves around the form of a body.

The dress I decided to use was cut on the bias, but I decided to see what would happen if I cut it straight on the grain. I also did not want to un-pick the original dress, so I also didn’t bother with darts (there were two of them to allow extra room in the chest.

“Surely it won’t make that much of a difference” I thought…

But alas, I could barely breathe, it was so tight across my chest…

and it puckered around my lower back.

Lesson learnt! The bias cut makes a big difference to the stretch and drape of the material, and darts are there for a reason!

Maybe next time I will be more bold and unpick the dress properly. Then I will try to replicate how it was sewn and hopefully end up with a pattern for a few winter dresses (I plan to wear them like tunics over leggings with jackets and boots). Wish me luck!

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