Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Copying a Dress for my Daughter

This is one of my daughter's favourite dresses.  We shelled out a few quid on it on a trip to Bath a couple of years ago.  Before we actually bought it I had given it a quick inspection and told her "Easy peasy.  I could make you one of those.  Falling off a log."  Fighting talk.

There is nothing complicated about it.  A plain bodice, elasticated at the waist, and the skirt, conveniently enough, is approximately 36 inches wide.  No fastening at all, she just pulls it over her head like a jumper.

Now, with ten days to go before we nip off on a quick trip together, I am finally getting round to making her the promised dress.

She chose this pretty cotton about four years ago when she wanted a dress, but wanted a completely different style.  I kept telling her that the style she wanted wouldn't work with this weight of cotton unless it was fully lined, and I wasn't keen on putting in loads of effort on a fitted dress before she had stopped growing.  The material was stashed and the project shelved - until now.

I got off to a flying start a few days ago by nicking an idea from the inimitable and thrifty HoffiCoffi, who has a knack for using up old duvet covers and buying up several miles of bargain material for making toiles.  Instead of wasting perfectly good calico on a mock up bodice, I used an old duvet cover. 

Thank you Hoffi! 

Rather than draw out the pattern on paper, I drew directly onto the duvet fabric, cut out the front and back, and made the mock-up bodice.  Once I was sure my daughter could get in and out of it without bursting the side seams, I undid the stitching and used the duvet pieces as the pattern for cutting out the real bodice, managing to miss out the paper pattern stage altogether. 

Yesterday I cut out the bodice in the floral fabric and the lining and started sewing.

I managed to assemble the bodice, finish the neck edge...

...and tack the armhole edges together ready to bind them.

Now I have the job I love to hate - making my own bias binding from the dress fabric.

Linking up with Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday


  1. Nice, thanks for this insight! Popped over from Linky Party at Freemotion by the River.

  2. Thank you for the mention! :) Using old duvet covers is a great way of playing around with a pattern - especially if it is checking a copy of an original dress. I am sure your daughter will look lovely in the finished article.



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