Made a dress in a Day

4 Jul

So the past few weeks have been rather busy, busy in a perfect kind of way for someone who can’t sit still for too long without knitting or a sewing needle in my hand. I will try my hand at most things crafty so I’m always keeping my eye out for courses & new opportunities to try things.

So when some of the girls I worked with mentioned they’d bought a ‘make a dress in a day’ workshop through groupon, I looked it up & was delighted to discover it was at the wonderful Textiles workshop in Sherwood, a place I have done many workshops in the past. So I bought a place & got booked on.
Full shift dress
I imagine putting together a workshop like this for a reasonable number of people (I think there were 12 of us), to complete in 6 hours is quite a challenge, nevertheless it was organised well & the few complete beginners on the class got to grips with everything really well. I must admit I’m far from a beginner (not wanting to big headed) but I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember. I have made garments before & I’m always adapting things (see my previous posts) & I love a bit of patchwork. What I struggle with is how to adapt patterns so that they will fit
my shape. The last dress I made from a pattern, did not turn out well & it completely knocked my dressmaking confidence.

The dress we made in the workshop was a simple shift dress with a little shaping & darts on the bust. I chose a cheap polycotton to make my dress from, treating it as a practice run as I didn’t know whether the finished dress would actually suit me or not, or if I’d wear it, so being cautious I didn’t want to spend loads on the fabric.

bust darts

I learnt how to adapt the pattern before cutting the fabric by shortening the torso, making the narrowest part of the dress actually sit on my waist (which if often a problem I have) & I also learnt how to make diamond darts in the back of the dress for a better fit.

diamond darts

I thoroughly enjoyed the class and I got out of it exactly what I wanted, which was confidence to have a go at other projects, which I’ve been shying away from for a while now.

Rebecca the class teacher was very patient and gave everyone the appropriate help & advice they needed. She also gave us peter pan collar patterns for a lovely added feature, which would give a great vintage feel & also make the dress look I little more finished (if you know what I mean).

neckline interfacing

contrast bias binding finishing

The finished dress does look a little handmade, which I don’t mind, I do wish I have gone for a more wearable fabric, as I’m not sure bright blue is quite for me (in fairness I thought I was getting a darker turquoise fabric when I bought it online) though I do like the flash of contrasting colour I added with the bias binding. However I do want to make this dress again in a softer lovely patterned fabric, with a peter pan collar, worn with a skinny belt I think this would make a great outfit. I have certainly gained a bit more confidence with my dress making abilities. I’m itching to get going with more projects 🙂
vintage pattern and fabric
One of my next projects will definitely be a dress I bought a vintage pattern for a while ago, it’s a princess style dress that I’d love to make in some great fabric I inheriting from my Grandma’s stash.


2 Responses to “Made a dress in a Day”

  1. GG's Handmade Gifts July 4, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    Yesterday I tried to remodel a dress I had just bought form a second hand shop. I know (from my personal experience) that it is not an easy thing to do. So, congratulations for your efforts! The end result looks good.



  1. Sewing Coco | Nettynot Craft - May 7, 2014

    […] like turning an old dress into a skirt. But sewing an entire garment I’ve not done since my make a dress in a day workshop last year (the dress has sadly never been worn). The workshop was supposed to kick start […]


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