Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Anatomy of a New Dress - Pt. 2

The first part of bringing this dress to reality is the pattern alterations.  Of course, I began with my TNT dress pattern because it has all of the basic elements of the ASOS dress that I'm interpreting.  I've made a similar dress to this one in the past. So I thought about looking for the pattern pieces but that dress is a little tight on me now and I would rather trace new pattern pieces than alter the old ones.  I really want to insure that this version fits me now.

So starting with the dress front, I traced a dress bodice, waistline band and dress skirt in full pieces...no cut on the fold pieces.  This will allow me to lay the pieces on the fabric singly and match the plaid without any difficulties. 

For the back pieces, I traced left and right back bodices pieces, left and right back skirt pieces and the same for the waistline band.  Again to make it easier to match the plaid at the back and side seams.

As with all pieces I trace, once I've traced the pieces off, I lay them back on top of the original pattern piece to make sure that I've got all of the pieces traced correctly and working well together, as well as, insuring that the patterns are exactly like the original pattern piece.  

That's why if you look closely at some of my pattern pieces, they will have darker lines that aren't part of the original traced piece.  It's where I made sure that all of the pieces work together and if they didn't I redrew the lines.

After all the pattern pieces were cut out, then laying them onto the fabric and cutting the fabric happened.  But I did take time my time because I really want to match as many of the seams as possible even if the original dress' side seams don't match.  Zoom into the picture and you can see down by the hem, no pattern match. 

Making sure the pattern match worked was a little more difficult when I realized that the fabric is slightly off grain.  I will make it work, though.  So the weekend should bring the construction of the dress.  I hope so because I'm pretty excited about getting this one finished.  

And on another note, I've decided that no matter what the temps are saying outside, I'm gonna sew spring.  If I can't wear it yet, I will be able to sooner or later...summer is coming! *smile*

...as always, more later!


  1. So glad you are doing these "anatomy dress" posts as they are so informative. I do something similar with my TNT basic jacket pattern and it makes me feel so creative!

  2. I am really in love with your gray/white silk/linen plaid (or is it check?) I would love to know how you true the grain because I have a very pretty twill that is driving me crazy. It acts like it is part wire. No joke.

  3. I'm happy to see this post also. Your dress is going to be great in the end, but I am also enjoying your process.

  4. That's a very smart technique. This is something I hadn't thought of before so thank you Carolyn for taking the time to blog it.

  5. I love seeing this process!! Thank You! What kind of paper are you using to trace here?

  6. Carolyn, great tutorial here! I look forward to seeing the finished product--and I hope you'll give more information on how you made things work with a slightly off-grain fabric.

  7. Carolyn, Thank you and yes please do post how you straightened out the fabric grain. There seems to be so many different ways to do it and I'm not sure which is the correct way. It won't be long now until you will be wearing your spring and summer dresses, though we had frost again over night here in Toronto.
    Bev V.

  8. Thanks for this!!!!!

    How did you make your fabric *on-grain*?

  9. Good post! The matching stuff makes me a bit crazy and I avoid it at all costs I love reading about your exploits.


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