Friday, April 17, 2015

Remaking my TNT Dress Pattern - The Woven Version

After making a ponte version of my TNT dress pattern, I pulled a lightweight silk/wool twill border print from the collection for my next version.  This is another one of those Fabric Mart purchases made during the frenzy of a 40% off sale. It was purchased in August 2014 which means it had a pretty short stint in the fabric collection.


I chose this fabric for the next version because I'm trying to make better fitting dresses that will stand out.  I own plenty of solid colored cardigans that can be worn with them since this is my go to outfit for work.

The challenge for this dress ~ making sure the border print works all the way around the hem of the dress. The fabric is only 44" wide - probably why I purchased 3 yards instead of my normal 2 - and the pattern pieces hang over an inch at the hemline. 

To handle this challenge, I used a single pattern piece layout on the fabric. This meant that I had to make additional pattern pieces for the center back and side back pieces.

Making second copies of the back pieces

Laying the pieces out side by side on the fabric

So the front was cut on the fold and the back pieces were cut singly to insure that the border print worked all the way around the dress.

Construction ~
The only thing I did differently with this dress vs. the ponte version is to use 3/8" seams from the waistline down. The dress fit with the 5/8" seam allowances but I hate when a dress cups the bottom of my abdomen. By using 3/8" seam allowances on every seam instead of the 5/8" I gave the dress just enough space to skim over my body.

I added a red piping at the neckline because you know that I like to end/contain a print in a dress and it always adds a finishing.


The dress is lined with a bemberg lining and closed with a regular center back zipper insertion. I was going to do an exposed zipper then decided that there was too much going on. I didn't want the zipper to overwhelm the dress.



I believe that the upper back fits better here than it did on the ponte dress.


So I'm going to keep using this type of back going forward because I will make more of these dresses. It's a silhouette that I'm comfortable wearing and it works for my lifestyle. It's also a great jumping off place to make interpretations and to use as a basis for fitting new dress patterns.

My plan is to try some new dress silhouettes this year. Primarily because my sewing was so lazy last year and also because I own a lot of patterns. I should take some of them out of their envelopes and pair them with my vast fabric collection, dontcha think?!

Photos ~




Next up I'm remaking my TNT straight skirt. I use to wear a lot of skirts. Once I got a little heavier, I would wear them occasionally but I lost the love for them. After making the brocade skirt I decided that I would like a few more in the wardrobe. Especially since almost every skirt without an elastic waist is too big for me now. I'm packing them up to be donated so a huge portion of my wardrobe is missing.

Two items are off my spring sewing list - the skirt is the third thing and then I think I'm deviating from the list!  Yes, I know...but it's for a dress and some fabric that's making me catch my breathe.  Then I'm going back to the list for the next item.

Finally a parting shot ~
I bought these shoes in 2012 and wore them for one season again because everything just bloated up on me. Now I don't seem to own a pair of shoes that doesn't fit again.  So these are back in rotation.  They are Jones NY Shoes with a 3 inch heel and a foot pad that makes them so comfortable and easy to wear.



...as always more later!











66 comments:

  1. Perfect pairing of dress and shoes! I can't wear heels anymore. Glad these are comfy for you.

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    1. wenhkc - I understand about not being able to wear heels and when I put these in the closet I was really sad! But I love heels...simply love them!

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  2. Beautiful dress -- esp. love the depth of the border print, and the use of the border print for the sleeves. Great shoes too!

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  3. Love that! Such a fabulous use of the print!

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  4. Beautiful fabric and beautiful dress. And I love the shoes.

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    1. Thanks Patsijean - I'm thrilled to have the shoes back into rotation!

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  5. great use of the border print, you turned it into a beautiful dress. I love border prints and rarely come across them in my shopping around here. you seem to find such good ones!

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    1. Thanks Beth! I hoard border prints. Whenever I find them I buy them because I love sewing with them!

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  6. I love seeing what you do with special fabrics like this beautiful wide border print. I don't have the imagination for it, so I'm in awe of those who do. This is such a cutie patootie dress! It looks like it will work well for all sorts of occasions, too, not just for work/job duty. What a wonderful wardrobe addition! Cindy C., Creative Hormone Rush

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    1. Cindy - Thanks! I love working with border prints because you can get really creative. I've already worn the dress to church with a black hat - the dress is really versatile.

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  7. Fabulous dress. I love the William Morris style border and the shoes are such a perfect match I thought they must have been bought especially.

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    1. KathyS - is William Morris what the print is called? Thanks! I didn't know that!

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    2. William Morris was a 19th century English artist and textile designer among others things. He was part of the Arts and Craft movement and is famous for his tapestries, wallpaper, fabric and stained glass. He used a lot of flowers, leaves, vines and fruit in his designs, rather like your beautiful border fabric. :)

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  8. Oh, I love the dress. The colors are great.

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    1. Dk's Wife - I have a graduation dinner to go to in early May and the graduate has asked everyone to wear black and red - so I'm all set now! Thanks for liking the dress!

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  9. Great pairing of dress and fabric! The fit is wonderful too, and the whole effect is high end. Beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Sunny! The dress makes me feel good so thanks for the compliment!

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  10. Having such a deep border is genius! The shoes are perfect and you will loads of compliments on this dress for sure. The vertical lines are stunning and I love the red neck piping and all you details point to quality and great fit...a real winner again, Carolyn!

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    1. Thanks Mrsmole! It is a wonderful border print isn't it!?!

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  11. This fits so amazingly well! Beautiful!!! And I love the fabric, of course!

    Yessss let that pattern and fabric collection shine!!

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    1. N - you know I've got ideas for patterns and fabric - I just need to stay away from Fabric Mart! *LOL*

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  12. That looks really nice on you.

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  13. You read my mind! Show a close up of the shoes! Show a close up of the shoes! Hot! You look fabulous.

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    1. Barbara - I love shoes so I'm happy to share them with you!

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  14. Well, I love it, too, and I don't know how I missed that fabric! It is gorgeous and you have really made the most of it. I love the strong verticality of the upper part of the dress that resolves into the lower border. Great necklace, too. I'm of the group that can't/doesn't wear heels, so I will just have to admire how perfect yours are.

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    1. Virginia - I don't think that was one of those fabrics that was on the website long. That's the thing about Fabric Mart - some of the best bargains need to be snapped up right away. I always check the yardage count to determine if I need to buy or if I can wait! Also thanks for noticing my necklace - I couldn't believe how well it matched when I pulled it out.

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  15. Hi Carolyn!
    First of all - lovely dress and I'm so pleased for you that you got the fit to where you wanted it. That's such a fun success, isn't it? I have a question for you. I'm wearing dresses a lot for work now and made myself 4 knit/ponte dresses in the Fall for through the winter. They were based off of a knit top that I have refined to a fit that I like (so pull over the head dresses, no back zipper). BUT, seeing you use the same pattern in a woven, I wonder if you think I could do the same. I'd need a zipper for sure in the back. Here's a link (I hope) for the line pattern of the top I based the dresses (in knit) off of
    https://sewforward.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/img_0657.jpg

    Thanks and have a great weekend

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    1. I use my TNT dress pattern for both wovens and knits but I make adjustments when I use them...primarily sewing larger seam allowances on the knit garments. However, I primarily sew more stable knits like ponte with my TNT pattern - not knits with a lot of stretch or ITYs. Knits with a lot of stretch should use a pattern with a lot less ease and my TNT dress pattern is not designed that way.

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    2. Thanks Carolyn for your thoughts. As I'm starting with a knit pattern, I might need to add seam allowances and a zipper to start and then see. Since I was using knits with little stretch for the dresses to start, I won't need much more room, I think. I see a muslin in my future!!

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  16. This dress is beautiful! I love the lines and how you played up the border of the fabric. Great job!

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    1. Thanks Patricia! I do love the border print fabric sooooo!

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  17. Beautiful dress-gorgeous fabric-great fit!!
    I like what you said about lazy sewing. Its sometimes psychologically so much easier to reach for that TNT pattern instead of that unknown new pattern, isn't it?

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    1. chesneykat - that is so true! Sometimes you just want to sew something without having to fit, fit, fit.

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  18. Gorgeous dress and fabric placement. From the picture you probably could go a touch smaller. You are looking like the incredible shrinking woman. Great shoe hook up too.

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    1. Thanks Robin but I've reached my comfort level in how tight this dress can be! Though I appreciate your thoughts!

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  19. Carolyn, this dress is lovely! I am glad you have worked the kinks out of getting your TNT dress pattern adjusted to your new dimensions and now have the foundation to let your creative juices flow.

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    1. Alicia - I'm glad that my TNT is working again too! But this time I want to use it more to help with new patterns than as a jumping off point! Thanks for appreciating the dress!

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  20. That border print!! Swoooooooooon!

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  21. So nicely matched and not at all fussy about it. I have a peeve with border prints for that reason, but this works so well. Always worth it to cut another pattern piece!

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    1. SJ - I truly think the secret to using border prints effectively is to cut separate pattern pieces since pattern match is soooooo important!

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  22. There is nothing like good fit to make you look fabulous. Beautiful use of the border print.

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  23. I love your dress. Very striking. Great placement of the pattern. Love those shoes too.

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    1. Thanks BeaJay! You know I love a good piece of fabric to use with my TNT dress pattern!

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  24. Your dress looks fabulous. Love the shoes and what a perfect match. You are very inspiring !

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  25. A great fit is one of the main reasons that I make my own clothes, store sizes are made for the average and honestly I don't know anyone who is!! Love the placement of the fabric pattern on your dress x

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    1. Thanks Sarah! Though I will admit that I am using a few more RTW pieces while I rework my wardrobe since so much of it no longer fits.

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  26. oh that print and how you've used it! Gorgeous!

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  27. That fabric is gorgeous, the floral border almost looks like stained glass! And I love that 8 months is a short time to be in the fabric stash - I've got fabrics I bought years ago I'd forgotten even existed, and a drawer jam packed full of patterns most of which I haven't used. But it's just so tempting to go and buy more all the time.

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    1. It is a short time in my collection since I have a couple of pieces that have been in there since my 20s! And I understand about the fabric temptation - it's like hunting...there is always something thrilling and new just around the corner! *smile*

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  28. that print! those sleeves! that necklace! WORK IT.

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    1. Y'know I didn't know the necklace and earrings would play as nicely with the dress as they do. I was very thrilled when I found that they worked together.

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  29. Amazing dress and the fit is looking so good. Love your shoes.

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  30. Carolyn, I love this dress! The border print is gorgeous and truly like how you used the fabric. I fell in love with the shoes also!!! Using the print for the sleeves is another nice design feature.

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    1. Linda - I actually worried about making the sleeves from the border. Thought it might look a little Becky Homecky so I'm thrilled that they worked out. Thanks for appreciating them and the dress!

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