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Challenge Accepted

I love when my friends ask me to make something for them. At first, I feel a bit nervous because it is a lot of pressure to get the right fit and I wonder if they’ll like the final product. Lucky for me, my friends inspire me and give me ideas on what I should make. Recently my friend sent me a photo of a ready-to-wear-dress and asked me to make her something similar, but with pockets! Challenge accepted, but then came the tough part of finding a pattern and fabric…enter Minerva's search function.

In order to accomplish this look, I used a combination of the Simplicity 8124 & 8414 both found on the Minerva site. I also improvised a lot and learned from trial and error. Unfortunately, due to my improvisation and sewing in the moment, I didn’t write a lot of alterations down nor did I take photos of the construction process. Part of the challenge of making this dress was the fact that my friend wasn’t there to try the dress every step of the way, so I winged a lot of the alterations based on her measurements. In the end, I absolutely love the dress and the fabric was a perfect choice for the custom piece.

Upon receiving the Santorin Collection Cotton Fabric, I was pleasantly surprised that the colors and pattern of the fabric was exactly as it appeared on the site. This fabric has vibrant and fun colors, so we knew we had to choose an equally fun pattern. The fabric is Broadcloth and 100% cotton. This fabric can be used for practically anything, including dresses, shirts, quilting, and even interior décor. The fabric was easy to work with, even after gathering over 2.6 meters of fabric to be used for the bottom dress ruffle. I can’t exactly say how many meters I gathered, because I had to sew several pieces of fabric together to make the skirt fabric as I didn’t have enough fabric to use one large piece. 

Please note that this Simplicity Pattern 8124 runs very big. My friend’s measurement falls under a size Large for this pattern, but I sized down to a Small. I could have even sized down to an extra small and I believe the dress would have fit her even better. I used view A bodice of this pattern and I modified the oversized sleeves to short sleeves. For the short sleeve modification, I simply put the pattern against my own arm, guessed a good short sleeve length, and hoped for the best. I know these methods aren’t exactly the right way, but sometimes it’s fun to go off script and just go with it.

My friend is 5’3, so she wanted the length of the dress to be right above her knee. I took about 6 inches off the bottom of the dress and used the fabric I cut off to make the gathered skirt. To shorten the dress a bit more, I changed the construction of the elastic casing for the off-the shoulder look. To create the ruffled elastic look, I folded the top of the bodice about 3 ¼” hiding the raw edges and creating an elastic casing. I left about 1” opening, inserted the elastic and then sewed another row of stitches above the elastic. This prevents the elastic from moving and thus creating the ruffled look. The only time I looked at the pattern instructions was for the bodice and sleeve construction. This is an easy pattern to follow and add your own touches.

I borrowed the pocket pattern from Simplicity 8414 and measured approximately 5” from the armpit of the dress. It turns out the pockets were just a tad bit high for my friend, but as you can see, she was happy with the finished product. I really enjoyed this project because it allowed me to use my own creativity to achieve this look. For me, the important thing is to have fun when sewing and enjoy the process. 

Thanks for reading,

Diana @ My Sewing Roots

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