Re-create the Look: Jersey Dress
Posted on Monday the 17th October 2016 by Stitched up by Samantha
One of the main things I love about sewing is being able to make my own version of garments I see in shops, altering parts which aren’t quite right for me either style or fit wise.
This month I’ve chosen to recreate a dress I saw recently but tried to strangle me when I tried it on.
I used some gorgeous forest green Ponte Roma Fabric and a pattern I’ve used before – Alison Glass’s Woven Essentials pattern. This is the pattern’s fourth outing for me and I made a few alterations to it before I started.
The pattern comes with a darted A-line skirt, but I wanted a bit more flare and no darts, so firstly I altered the skirt and rotated the darts out. To do this, I first traced both skirt pieces on to pattern tracing paper and cut them out.
I drew a line from the base of the dart to the hem parallel to the centre front/back. I then cut up this line, and down one leg of the dart, leaving a tiny hinge of paper.
I overlapped the dart, removing the excess and taped this piece down. As you can see, this opens up the bottom part of the skirt below the base of the dart.
Using another piece of pattern tracing paper I filled the gap I’d created and taped it in place. This gave me more fullness at the hem, which is what I wanted.
I also wanted to alter the sleeves to make them flared. I could have used the same slash and spread method as I’d used for the skirt, but slashed in several places rather than just one. Instead I decided to combine the sleeve head of the Alison Glass pattern with a flared sleeve I’d already used before and liked – the Named Clothing Lexi top.
I traced the sleeve head shape from the Alison Glass pattern onto paper and then laid the Lexi sleeve over it, using the side seams and hem to create a new sleeve shape.
The dress itself was easy to make – the ponte roma fabric sews beautifully – but I made a basic error. In my haste to make this – as usual I was up against a deadline – I forgot to size down to allow for the fact that I was using a knit fabric and a woven pattern. The bodice of the dress is actually too big for me, which is why I’ve shown you photos of it modelled on Rosie, my mannequin! I think I can alter it, but it will mean quite a bit of unpicking!
As you can see, the neckline of my dress is quite a bit lower than that of my inspiration. Although I love the look of higher necklines I often find they choke me.
Once I’d got the dress sewn up I made another alteration to the sleeve, as while I loved the length at the back – it covers my elbows – at the front it seemed a little too long. I decided to pin a curve taking about an inch and a half from the front of the sleeve and tapering down to the existing length at the back. This gives a really nice shape and I think adds to the look of fullness without actual making the sleeves too full.
I think once I’ve taken some of the excess fabric out of the bodice this dress will get lots of wear. It’s comfortable but smart and will be perfect for wearing to the office. The ponte roma fabric is certainly some of the nicest I’ve ever used.