Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Rachel Dress - Part One

As I previously mentioned, I was standing on line at Chipolte and saw this PYT in line in front of me wearing a shift dress with in-seam pockets on the front.

Automatically my mind put my TNT dress pattern:

Butterick 5932 - out of print dress


"The Rachel Skirt" together

to make my own version of the dress.

I guess these days I'm not happy creatively unless there is a dress that I need to puzzle out the construction to and sew up.  I've worked through the challenge of a winter version so its time for a summer version.  Of course, the first step in this process would be to create new pattern pieces. 

So I used the Rachel skirt front pattern pieces alongwith my TNT dress front pieces to create a "pattern sandwich".  The bottom layer was my TNT dress pattern.  Then I laid the skirt yoke and the skirt bottom down.  Finally I added a clean sheet of pattern paper.  I traced the top of the dress and the skirt yoke with the pocket patches first.  This made the top of the dress.  I then used another piece of pattern paper and traced off the bottom of the skirt/dress combo to get the dress bottom piece.

The back pieces were actually the easiest part of this process because I just needed to separate the back top from the back bottom and insure that I had added 5/8" seam allowances.  But I have to tell you that whenever I get one of these deconstruct/reconstruct ideas in my head, I worry if they will actually work.  Or if I've just wasted an afternoon dreaming up a wadder.

Two weekends ago after doing all of the pattern work, I cut the pieces out and waited for this last weekend to arrive.  But I got sidetracked by Vogue 1179, so late Sunday evening, I serge finished all of the pieces and assembled the front.

The buttons are just placed on top
to see if they will work

There's still so much left to do to finish the dress but I'm encouraged that I am going to end up with what I envisioned.

...as always, more later!


  1. I am always impressed by these garments that you tackle. I look forward to seeing your progress!

  2. Carolyn I love the style-details you've chosen to emulate in this new dress (I'm such a sucker for pockets LOL!)... I may just have to steal your idea sometime hehe :)

  3. I love frankenpatterns. I do that all the time. See something RTW and go home and copy the detail. Cute.

  4. You are inspiring me to buy tracing paper, I have 2 tnt dresses that I would like to expand on and think its high time... I think...

  5. "I guess these days I'm not happy creatively unless there is a dress that I need to puzzle out the construction to and sew up."

    I think after you have fitting your body down (which is an adventure that can take years::sigh:)and knowing your own personal "style"; creative people need another challenge. Your new challenge seems to be pattern re/de-construction :) Enjoy the process.

  6. Can't wait to see your new creation!

  7. i am having a hard time seeing what you got goin on there, need modeling! So intrigued!

  8. I look forward to seeing your Rip the Runway version ;D

  9. I love the Pattern Sandwich description. But it works so well and it was easy to see from your photo where you were headed on the pocket style. The dress is going to be another winner.


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