My First Dress And Starting A 2015 Wardrobe Challenge!

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I am sure that someday when I am more than just a novice at dressmaking I will look back at the dress and cringe. Currently though as my first dress I don’t think it turned out half bad. I learned a lot making it, giving me some confidence for my new shirtdress endeavour!LR-4869

The dress pattern is one of the sheath dress variations from Built by Wendy: Dresses. My only major complaint is the large arms. This dress what created in days before I became aware of what a full bust adjustment is. According to the size charts provided in the book I am a XL in the bust (really larger since I am a 42″ and the XL is 40-41″), a L in the waist, and a M in the hips. Being a novice I went for the typical mistake of going for me bust size. Also being new to dressmaking I totally forsake a consistent seam allowance, recommended fabric, and interfacing. Overall it was the muslin that saved me from a wretched dress. I made a muslin and realized that I had to add massively to the darts, straight-up subtract major waist inches, and do something about the arms. In the end the arms were the only obstacle I didn’t conquer. In the photo below you can see the back darts I added, modeled after a dress I one that fits well. In the front I also added the side darts above the chest to help with the oversized arms and shoulders.

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Luckily the fabric was very forgiving and conveniently covered most of my mistakes. I am not sure what sort of fabric it is or it maker to be honest. I received maybe three yards of this fabulously thick and stretchy 60’s looking fabric about six months ago. It was apparently a cast off from the Anchorage opera, and in the last six months I have been itching to make it into something.

In the few weeks since I finished this dress I have worn it pretty much as often as I could. This semester I’ve been completing my final semester of student teaching internship for my Masters of Teaching. I’ve been teaching eighth grade this semester and I love the confidence I’ve felt wearing this dress! In other outfit details I am wearing my new vintage doe pin on my chest, stockings from Nordstrom, and the shoes are Fosil.

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As for the wardrobe Challenge part of this post, I will be participating in Kristen’s Wardrobe Architect Challenge found on the lovely Coletterie website.

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Splitting up a bit challenge like this, especially for a new dressmaker like me is essential! Here is the month to month breakdown direct from Kristen.

  • January – Find your core style and explore shapes
  • February – Clean out your closet and take inventory
  • March – Review and finalize your spring/summer sewing projects
  • April – Plan colors and shop for spring fabric
  • May & June – Sew for your spring/summer capsule wardrobe
  • July – Review and finalize your autumn/winter sewing projects
  • August – Plan colors and shop for autumn fabric
  • September & October – Sewing for your autumn/winter capsule wardrobe
  • November – Review and refine
  • December – Show off your wardrobe!

Obviously I’m starting a little late with the challenge so I am going to wrap up my thoughts on January sometime this week. I love the idea of being the architect of my wardrobe and style and not merely a consumer. I’m signing off this post with one last photo. My sister Kalani caught me looking patriotic, but I’ll adapt it to a solemn commitment to my 2015 wardrobe pledge!

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