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Author Topic: Dress A Month Sew Along  (Read 26316 times)

Sizun

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Dress A Month Sew Along
« on: November 28, 2017, 02:24:06 PM »

How about making one dress a month for a whole year to have a good choice of them when dressing up in the morning ?
I'm going to sew for the current or the next month, one garment at a time and see how I like it. It will be an opportunity to explore TNT's options and to fit new ones. I'd be delighted if some of you join, even if just during a part of the journey  ;)

Now, making wearable winter dresses IS a challenge for me... any suggestion would be welcome  ;D

I'm going to start next week, with a thick acrylic jacquard knit dress and an Ottobre pattern.
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KayoticSewing

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 03:02:05 PM »

I'm glad you started this thread, Sizun! I'm so in!  :)

Dresses are my favorite garments to wear as it doesn't restrict the tummy and also looks like I took the time to dress up while being effortless.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 03:04:21 PM by KayoticSewing »
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sdBev

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 03:38:19 PM »

...Now, making wearable winter dresses IS a challenge for me... any suggestion would be welcome  ;D ...
Long sleeves, tights and leggins.
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sdBev

Sizun

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 05:24:56 PM »

I'm glad you started this thread, Sizun! I'm so in!  :)
...
You helped me didn't you ?  ;)

Long sleeves, tights and leggins.

Oh yes, definitely long sleeves ! I'm always puzzled when I see winter sleeveless dresses. I find dresses very comfortable to wear but unfortunately tights (and sometimes leggings) waistbands are often too small. I've cut and replaced the elastic waistband on tights recently and the result was not too bad.
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Upstate Linda

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 06:25:35 PM »

This sounds great!

I recently moved and am still downsizing my wardrobe to fit in my new (and only, sob!) closet.  I thought about doing the SWAP, but as I began planning and looked at my closet, I realized I have more than enough coordinating separates that I use for work.  I used to love to wear dresses when I was younger, and my Mom was sewing them for me, but those days are long gone, as has been my mother who passed 22 years ago. And since my waist also disappeared years ago (I am very much an apple, and short, so I rarely find women petites dress that fit), what I really needed was some new dresses that I can use for non-work occasions! 

I had collected some great sewing patterns, but unfortunately disposed of many, due again, to the lack of storage. I had to be really ruthless about what I kept, but still have about a dozen or so nice dress patterns that I have wanted to make for years.  I also just bought two new Vogue dresses at their recent sale so I would have several really contemporary styles.  I have lots of fabric, although I am finding my mind wistfully thinking about the pieces I gave away... Definitely going through pattern and fabric stash reduction withdrawal.

Anyway, this challenge will give me a place to feel I am part of a sew along like SWAP, but will be more realistic and aligned with my wardrobe needs. Another advantage, unlike SWAP, is that I can use up the individual cuts of different fabrics that I have enough yardage to make a dress, but not enough to make several separates like I would need to do a SWAP.

I am going to start with sewing up dresses I have already cut out as a way of refreshing my technical sewing skills, then I am going to start the new patterns, focusing on getting more TNT patterns.  I am going to really try and learn how to post pictures so you all can see what I am doing.

Thanks for the timely idea!

Linda
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Helen M

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 07:03:53 PM »

I'd like to join in as well Sizun. I have in mind Style Arc Marita dress in a soft ponte.

Have you thought of cowl necks for your dress? I feel the cold dreadfully around my neck. Grainline did some 'variations' to their Lark T shirt which became a dress and there is also a cowl neck to go with their crew neck version, which I particularly like. I've only got as far as printing out the cowl neck pattern though.
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Sizun

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 07:27:36 PM »

This sounds great!

I recently moved and am still downsizing my wardrobe to fit in my new (and only, sob!) closet.  I thought about doing the SWAP, but as I began planning and looked at my closet, I realized I have more than enough coordinating separates (...).  I used to love to wear dresses when I was younger, and my Mom was sewing them for me

Linda, I could have written this  ;)
I find that the easiest way to post pictures for me is to host them on a blog. I've neglected mine lately but I use it for this purpose.

I'd like to join in as well Sizun. I have in mind Style Arc Marita dress in a soft ponte.

Have you thought of cowl necks for your dress? I feel the cold dreadfully around my neck. Grainline did some 'variations' to their Lark T shirt which became a dress and there is also a cowl neck to go with their crew neck version, which I particularly like. I've only got as far as printing out the cowl neck pattern though.

A cowl is a great idea ! I always wear some kind of scarf/shawl around my neck and shoulders in winter.
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M lambie

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2017, 07:35:38 PM »

I'm definitely in! ;D I love dresses and wear them most days.

Winter dresses: I'm one of the odd folks wearing a sleeveless dress in winter. :o It is mainly quite warm indoors at home and at work (and many public places) and I get hot quite easily. So I've decided to go sleeveless but with a removable layer, my preference being a cardigan. When it's very cold, however, I will wear layers of sleeves. I don't have a very formal/dressy lifestyle, so I can just layer a long-sleeved T (or thermal shirt) under my sleeveless dress and then also add a warm cardi. I definitely use leggings (lightweight fleece or wool when it gets colder). And I've found a silk slip is nicely insulating.

I'm not sure if I'll manage a dress for December but I hope to! This is a sketch of some items I had planned to sew for winter... I'm not sure about the maroon plaid, but I will definitely sew the black pinstripe! Also I may use the smaller scale plaid for a dress instead of a skirt (the longer skirt in the sketch). I have 4 dresses planned for SWAP which ends up being one per month, so this sew-along will be perfect for me!



I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone sews!

P.S. Linda, I use Flickr for my photos and find it quite easy to use for sharing photos here.
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CCL

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2017, 09:02:39 PM »

me too! me too! -- Not sure I can keep it up for a year, but I love dresses.  They are so very easy to wear.

Sizun

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 10:00:20 PM »

Welcome onboard, CCL !

Mary, your sketches are lovely ! A silk slip dress sounds interesting. Is it machine washable ?
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Saashka

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2017, 12:23:37 AM »

I think I'm in. I wear dresses a lot because they're comfy. For me, a good winter dress is the same sleeveless one I wear in the summer, only worn with sleeveys or silk undershirt for warmth. The hospital where I work is about the same temperature (freezing, if you ask me) year-round so the main difference is in wearing a jacket or coat outside. And a scarf, always a scarf.
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M lambie

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2017, 12:44:30 AM »

A silk slip dress sounds interesting. Is it machine washable ?

Yes! Or, at least, I wash them in the machine, usually in a lingerie bag (unless I forget). At first I hand washed in the sink but I don't feel I have time for that. ;) I don't know what type of silk they are, but it seems fairly sturdy. I recall MrsEccentric said she makes half slips from silk crepe de chine.
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Towanda

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2017, 03:40:34 AM »

I'm in. I love wearing dresses. Cardigans, boots and tights are my best friends in the winter. I'm another one that wears sleeveless dresses in the winter. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to go up in flames. I even have a fan on my desk, lol. I've been thinking about developing a couple of dress patterns with different bust darts. One pattern would have side bust darts and the other pattern would have princess seams. The side bust dart dress would work when I want a fast easy breezy dress. Princess seams would give me more style variations. I've been looking at the Lekala dress patterns and downloaded a new one yesterday. They have quite a few dress patterns calling my name.
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Sizun

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2017, 08:51:03 AM »

Saashka, I know your neat and classy style, your dresses are usually lovely !

Thank you Mary. I remember washing some silk lining in the past and it came out of the machine very wrinkled and marks remained after ironing. But after all, if i wash it before sewing and accept the wrinkled aspect, why not ?

Towanda, one of my secret goal (!) is to make cardigans as well. A raveler made 12 cardigans in a year  to wear with her dresses, and she got a lovely colorful collection, although this particular one wouldn't be practical for me. I would aim for one cardigan per season.
Idealy, I would need 2 shift dress patterns (one for knits and one for wovens) and 2 fit and flare patterns (again, one for knits and one for wovens) but it's sometimes easier to add another pattern to my collection than to try to alter what I already have, at least with the simplest cuts.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 08:54:59 AM by Sizun »
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Sew Ruthie Sews

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2017, 10:57:01 AM »

I do have a few dresses but find them a little difficult to wear so will not be committing to wearing or sewing more.

In the summer I wear my skirts and dresses long (below mid calf), without hosiery but I've made some silk culotte half slips (pettipants) which I wear underneath to stop my legs sticking together, and wear sandals.

In the winter its OK if its really cold as I wear leggings and a cami and the dress. I wear ankle or knee high boots as I find it hard to keep court shoes on my feet unless they are so tight they cramp the toes.
However the office can be quite warm and if I start to overheat then what can I do? Can't really take anything off with a dress, so in mid season I tend to wear trousers with cotton socks and lace up leather shoes.
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Medea

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2017, 12:54:29 PM »

I'd love to join. I mostly wear a shirt/blouse and a pencil skirt but would love to sew more dresses. I've actually sewn two this week.

These dresses are sewn in stretch twill and a sort of Ponte di Roma. Stretchy, comfy and elegant. I hope to finish a red one before Christmas.
I only wear skirts and dress all year round and when it's very cold, as in Sweden in the winter, I wear thermo leggings. They are like fleece on the inside and warm and comfy.
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Melinda_B

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2017, 01:31:55 PM »

Tempted.... 

I have a couple of simple knit summer dresses planned for making in the next few weeks which would be a good start.  I like the idea of one a month to create a selection.  While I've never been much of a dress-wearer, being back in office work and they're suddenly looking like a wonderful option!
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DaisyL

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2017, 01:40:23 PM »

Count me in! I actually have a length of fabric on the table waiting to be cut, sewn, and worn this weekend for an occasion. I'm trying a dress length from The Tunic Bible.

I will be job hunting at the beginning of the year, a complete lifestyle change that needs a complimentary wardrobe change - so this is great timing for me  ;D.
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Sizun

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2017, 01:55:54 PM »

Ruthie, good point about the overheating problem with dresses, this is why some of SG members like them to be sleeveless. I'm always cold in winter, so I had never though about this  :P

Medea, your dresses look great ! Wearing skirts and dresses almost exclusively is what I would like to achieve and I came to the conclusion that in order to succeed, you must have a good number of skirts and dresses to choose from ! (slowly making progress) And thank you for the Ticker idea, I made one too  8)

Melinda B and DaisyL, it looks like you're both experimenting a career change and dresses make it simple to dress in the morning and look work appropriate quite easily.
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KayoticSewing

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2017, 04:35:29 AM »

Lol Sizun, looks like I inadvertently helped myself! ;D Sure, I like dresses a lot but I didn’t really think I wanted to ‘make’ a lot of dresses in the next year but when I saw your thread, I suddenly realized I want to do it and I’m thrilled about it.

Medea, I love skirts and dresses too ... Pencil skirts are my jam as well as that is only style of skirts  that suit me. I have enough pencil skirts for work but can use a couple of casual pencil skirts in denim or such material - at least one will show up in my SWAP. Both of your wrap dresses look lovely!

Ruthie, Unlike you, I’m always shivering and need extra layers to keep me warm.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 11:29:21 AM by KayoticSewing »
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Sew Ruthie Sews

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2017, 07:53:44 AM »

Ruthie, Unlike you, Iím always shivering and need extra layers to keep me warm.

I'm usually fine at home, but the office is really warm. Apparently it has cold spots where the air ducts blow on people so the heat is cranked up so they are not cold, but meaning the area where our team sit is really warm, especially when the sun shines in. I've completely given up wearing my nice wool jackets.
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KayoticSewing

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2017, 11:12:36 AM »

Ruthie, Unlike you, Iím always shivering and need extra layers to keep me warm.

I'm usually fine at home, but the office is really warm. Apparently it has cold spots where the air ducts blow on people so the heat is cranked up so they are not cold, but meaning the area where our team sit is really warm, especially when the sun shines in. I've completely given up wearing my nice wool jackets.

Ah! that makes sense. Itís too bad you canít wear nice wool jackets because of this.
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KDC

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2017, 09:48:35 PM »

Iíd love to add more dresses to my wardrobe, but really need pants (and lots of layers!) to feel comfortable in the colder months. Would it be acceptable if the Ice Princesses among the group just joined in the fun for the warmer weather months?  :) Karen
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Sizun

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2017, 10:00:56 AM »

Karen, we would be delighted to have you sew along during a part of the journey !

I'm currently preparing the pattern for my december dress, hoping to cut and baste for fitting today.
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indigotiger

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2017, 05:47:04 AM »

While I don't need a dozen dresses, I may want to share the dresses I do make for SWAP and 6PAC sewing here, if that is okay? I have several in the queue, and hope to put together an indigo pinstripe dress at the end of the month once SWAP gets going, with the hope of doing a few interesting things with stripe directions....
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Rivergum

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2017, 06:50:27 PM »

Hi, I'm in too! Melinda_B and myself will be the odd ones out with summer dresses, but with the number of people wearing sleeveless for all seasons it will probably not make that much of a difference.

I am planning this dress for December, to wear for Christmas. It is the Diamond dress by Kaliyana.


The pattern I will adapt is the StyleArc Toni. https://www.stylearc.com/shop/sewing-patterns/toni-designer-dress/
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 06:54:29 PM by Rivergum »
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mudcat

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2017, 06:55:34 PM »

As much as I like the idea of a dress a month, I'm afraid it would overflow the closet.  I love dresses.  No thinking to get dressed.  Just put it on.  Add shoes.  Ready to go.

However, like Indigo Tiger I'm sure I will make a few. 
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Helen M

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2017, 07:43:26 PM »

I've found my fabric and have printed off another size of the pattern. Just need to put it together and compare to another pattern that I have made before. I think the dress runs small on every review I've read so I'd rather make it a bit bigger to be safe!
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Sizun

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2017, 02:05:58 PM »

Indigotiger, you're welcome to share your dresses here !

Rivergum, you're going to provide us with inspiration for the coming seasons  ;) I'm following Handmade by Carolyn, and I noted we wear the same kind of clothes in September and in March... I've always wondered what it's like to celebrate Christmas in summer clothes  ;D  The Toni dress pattern seems the right starting point for this one. The picture you posted reminds me a nice dark red linen I have in stash to sew the Eva dress. Probably my May project.

Mudcat, overflowing the closet is my goal, assuming it's not already bursting ! Please share the dresses you're going to sew.

Helen, using a new pattern is guess work most of the time. I basted my dress on friday, and it was too large. I'm currently modifying the pattern to the next smaller size.

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mudcat

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2017, 03:54:18 PM »

Mudcat, overflowing the closet is my goal, assuming it's not already bursting ! Please share the dresses you're going to sew.

Adding more dresses will infringe upon Mr MC's hanging pants space.

So dresses on my radar:
Closet Case Charlie Caftan
Kathryn Brenne V9268 v-neck draped (but modified to sleeveless)
SA Toni Designer Dress
SA Mila Designer Dress
Marcy Tilton V9254 (asymmetrical front ... sleeveless version)
Tessuti Eva Dress

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Rivergum

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2017, 06:57:19 PM »

Mudcat and Sizun, I hope you will enjoy your EVA dress as much as I do mine. This is one of my all-time favourite patterns and I have made it sleeveless in cotton and linen wovens for summer, and with long sleeves and with and without a cowl in Ponte and merino knit for winter. Always looks great.

One thing though, because I am only 161cm tall I take 4-5cm off the bottom of the bodice, especially with the heavy and stretchy Ponte. Otherwise the proportions are wrong for me. I know Sizun is taller so this will not affect her, but not sure about mudcat. If you do shorten the bodice you need to narrow the upper edge of the skirt to match the altered circumference.

Helen M, cowls are very easy to add to any design with a round neck. I just measure the length of the neck edge and cut a rectangle the same length plus seem allowance. You do need to think how loose you like your cowl, mine are between 70 cm for a reasonably drapey fabric such as a jersey with a bit of body, or up to 90 cm for a more out-there architectural look. You need a fairly stiff fabric for the latter such as a Ponte and I have interfaced some of those. Height is between 20 and 50cm. Folded double to sew to the neck edge and then folded again when wearing, or letting it collapse into itself making hopefully interesting folds (only works with stiff fabrics).

I sew the cowl folded double to the neck edge, the overlock and finally fold the seam allowance towards the body and topstitch. If your cowl is more of a tighter turtle neck, that seam will have to stretch, so you would need to coverstitch or use a double needle for the topstitching part.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 07:15:02 PM by Rivergum »
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Helen M

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2017, 08:01:20 PM »

Thanks for the cowl info Rivergum. I've hit a possible snag with my fabric choice for the dress I had planned but a cowl added to another one would work with it. We'll see!
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DaisyL

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2017, 04:42:01 PM »

First dress completed and worn  ;D. A bell-sleeved (very slight bell) tunic dress from The Tunic Bible. I need to tweak the fit a little, but I wore it proudly to my event last weekend. This week is pretty open, so I am really thinking about making #2.
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Sizun

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2017, 07:04:13 AM »

Rivergum, thank you for developing your experience with the Eva dress and for the details about the way you add cowls to your patterns.

DaisyL I find the real test to know if a project is a success is to wear the garment and live in it for a few hours so congrats for finishing and wearing it ! I think I can safely say that everyone here would love to see a picture  :D

ETA I finished my dress this morning. It fits well and is super comfortable. I will wear it on saturday, for an early Christmas party at DH's work.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 01:30:11 PM by Sizun »
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Helen M

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Re: Dress A Month Sew Along
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2017, 10:54:55 PM »

Just as well I printed off a size larger than I'd normally use as the pattern is indeed smaller!  A size 8 back pattern piece laid on top of a very similar (at the back at least) shape and style dress size 6 pattern piece was almost identical. I've already made the other one twice and it fits, so I'm happy to try the larger size.

The fabric I think may just work so I'm going to go ahead once I've made my usual pattern adjustments.
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