I made a dress

Window pane dress

I found a dress at the thrift shop (seen below) that I liked but felt I could improve upon it.  The dress is a knit so copying it was a lot easier than a woven.  I did have troubles with the armscye and sleeves. The first sample they were all wrong. I then just used a sleeve and armscye from a existing pattern.  I was surprised that it worked. These are  the best looking sleeves EVER! (Sleeves are always  a problem for me)

Here’s a run down of the process.

  1.  Total I made three prototypes out of a t-shirt knit to refine fit.
  2. My last adjustment was to  narrow the torso from the original dress. 
  3.  I used a sweater knit (if you shop at Jo-Ann’s I’m sure you recognize it). for the final.  
  4. The problem areas were the binding on the neckline and Burda had a quick and easy solution.  
  5. I made my own binding.
  6. A little disappointed I couldn’t match the sleeve stripes to the bodice.
  7. I put the sleeves in flat.
  8. I drafted multiple necklines. Cowl, V, Scoop and a drapey one. 
  9. It’s a bit itchy and a little bit sheer
  10. The t-shirt knit hugs the body much more than the sweater knit.
  11. Next one I’m going to remove some of the volume in the skirt area just for a different look. 
  12. A great book for help on sewing with knits is  Connie Long’s Sewing with Knits
  13. All in all I am very pleased with the results.

Have you had success with copying a garment?  Did you do a knit or a woven?

Thrift store dress

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21 thoughts on “I made a dress

  1. I love this, and you didn’t make it easy using the plaid which you have done a terrific job of. I like the skirt volume I also like that the sleeves are not matched to the body I think this would look like a large block as opposed to showing your figure as it is. great job

  2. Your dress is amazing…saw it on BurdaStyle this morning! I love the fabric and good on you for copying a design…it really familiarizes you with garment construction. I don’t sew much with knits, but you’ve inspired me to try…thanks for the link. Also thanks for the tutorial on how you did it…your dress is absolutely fab and I’m sure you learned a heap! Keep up the good work 🙂

  3. Looks great and I admire your v-neck binding! Re: scratchiness/sheerness – I have the same sweater knit from JoAnns and I lined the bodice (not sleeves) with swimsuit lining (also at Joann’s and mostly because I had it in my stash) and it makes it lovely! It swings better, feels better, not sheer, less clingy and comfy!

      • I’ll be posting my sweater knit dress when I can get some photos. I hemmed the lining with a “serger blind hem” and I have been cheating a lot with knit hems (especially the sweater knits) by serging the edges, turning up, and ironing up with Steam-A-Seam. My goodness it’s easy and looks good. I’ve not tested longevity but for now it works great!

  4. The sleeves have a nice contrast by not matching the dress stripes. The white stripes of the dress and those of the sleeves are in line with each other. Very nicely done.
    My Italian silks still await your touch.

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