It’s finally the #sewrecreatethelook challenge reveal day! The goal is to recreate a look that you admire from RTW, the catwalk, Pinterest, a magazine, etc and share your progress. I’ve technically had my dress finished a couple of weeks but managed to hold off on revealing it. I’ve just been enjoying wearing it in the hot hot heat! Let’s start with a reminder of my inspiration…
This is the Gal Meets Glam Chassity dress. An American influencer I follow started her own line of clothing and ultimately it got too big for her to sustain, had some production issues and she closed the brand. There were some stunning dresses in her line so planning other recreations in the future.
I decided not to use shirting and find a viscose that was similar. This ebay find was close enough. It could have been more blue but the weight and drape were gorgeous. And I quickly settled on adapting McCall’s 8090 Marina as my dress base which came with Love Sewing 95.
First up was adjusting the bodice and skirt panel lengths. Marina is drop waist so I took 9cm off the bodice and added it to the top skirt panels. Next I removed the square yoke by folding out the gathering at the centre front and taping the yoke piece directly on top of the bodice piece. Here’s what that looked like.
Switching to raglan sleeves was one thing but these were gathered ruffled raglan sleeves. First I experimented with a sleeveless bodice with a rectangular ruffle sewn on top to give the illusion of a sleeve. I also tried shirring the gathered rows. Ultimately it wasn’t right. The rectangle created a stiff ruffle and the shirring was too unforgiving on top. But I was getting excited…
Second attempt I did things properly. I drafted a proper raglan sleeve for the bodice that would be sewn into the neckband, and then slashed and spread that piece to create excess for gathering. I pinned it into place again on top of my existing toile to save cutting it up / sewing a new one. It was much better but now not long enough for my liking. See below.
Third time was the charm. I added length to my slashed and spread tissue piece then traced onto fresh paper. Then I decided I wanted more gathering so slashed and spread again. Here’s the sleeve before I finally cut it out sat alongside the version 2 tissue.
Then I could commit to the new bodice armholes. You can see below how I marked the seamline and the cutting line on the bodice and then traced a fresh version. I’m also showing you the back for reference. Raglan sleeves are super fun to sew, if you’ve never made them before. FYI I also added notches for the raglan seam points on my neckband so I knew how much to gather the sleeve in to fit!
Construction went pretty fast once I’d assembled the band and collar. All the side seams were French seamed but the gathered skirt band seams were just overlocked to avoid bulk. I did a baby hem on my sleeve pieces before attaching them.
I’m super pleased with the dress. The finished neckline is lovely and feels really polished. For that all important sleeve finish, I kept my gathering stitches in place and stitched on top of them for the appearance of thicker topstitching thread. And I love the varying directions of stripes at play!
Inside I used self fabric bias to finish the armholes, like a facing and a binding at the same time and topstitched it in place from the right side. I slipstitched the bands in place for a clean look. I do like the topstitched neckline of my toile version so might do that on a future version.
The finished dress is breezy and stylish. I have to wear a slip underneath but I’m definitely pro-slips and already had the perfect white one. I love that you can’t tell the lower band is cut in three pieces. The seams are hidden in the stripes and this let’s you get a great gather with the extra width.
Improvements for my next version will be curving the cropped waist seam up as it goes towards the hips as the straight line causes the seam to droop a touch at the sides. And to raise the underarm point as its a touch low, revealing my bra on occasion. But I already have fabric for a new version!! Thanks for reading this long if you stayed to the end.
Theres something magical about pink and red together. It shouldn’t work but it totally does. And there’s something magical about this jersey. It’s another fabric that we got for a work project (out next week) and I ended up buying my own, obsessed with it!! Its such good quality, it had to be done. I wore the top to the office on a particularly bloated and tired day and someone told me I looked great. That made me like the magical top even more. Funny how easy swayed I am!
The jersey is thick enough to sit smoothly on the body but light enough to still feel like a t-shirt, it’s also holding colour perfectly after a few washes and showing no signs of wear. It’s from Bloomsbury Square linked here and is nearly sold out. There’s a similar fabric here at Cornish Haberdashery and also here at Bobbins and Buttons! I’m pretty chuffed with my stripe matching and overlocking/top-stitching. As you can see below I always try and land my twin needle stitches just on the edge of the folded under seam allowance so it looks like a cover-stitched finish… until the day I can afford one. I also added to heat transfer patches to the chest I got from China because the colours match perfectly!
Back to the top! This is my fourth version of M7322 but first blogged. Sorry about that. But all four are striped and all matched at the side seams, sleeve seams and magically on some of the armhole. You can achieve armhole matching too if you use this pattern and an evenly stripe fabric. The armhole and sleeve are the perfect gradient/curve to ease the stripes together. Intrigued? Read on
On many patterns the sleeve head is aggressively shaped, curving at an incline that doesn’t match the gentle curve of the armhole. Does that make sense? But not this one.
First…. Use a stripe layout, matching the underarm points of the front and back bodice and sleeves with the same part of the stripe. Sew your bodices together and your sleeve seams, matching your stripes. You’ll ned to pin every stripe together if you want a flawless match. Now everything should start to come together ready to make the sleeves…
Turn both your sleeves and bodice WS out and mark the seam allowance at the armhole in air-erasable or water-soluble marker. You should be able to match the first few visible stripes on the front bodice above the sleeve seam as you see above.
In all your stripe matching here is a quick note, you’re not aligning the stripes RST, just matching points at the seam line if that makes sense. The stripes won’t always match in the seam allowance area. The goal is to cross perfectly at the seam line. Pin both horizontally and vertically then quickly tack stitch this area of the armhole by hand if you want guaranteed success.
Here’s a peek of the top out on a day trip to Salt’s Mill in Saltaire. This amazing historic town was custom built by the mill owner so his workers had somewhere to live. The area is now grade listed and the mill is the home to a David Hockney gallery and amazing cafe plus lots more. As well as the mill we like walking by the canal, stopping at the barge that sells ice cream and visiting the park! It’s a great day out. Ahhh how much I already miss summer!! Watch this space for a cheeky kitten top…