September 16, 2010

Exotic Lemons Frock

It's a new dress!  I'm finally getting around to my summer sewing, now that school has started and it is getting colder. :-)  I've been reading some lovely sewing blogs lately, and am really excited about making my own clothes now.  I thought it was a novel idea before, but now I think that I can actually do it!  This dress was made using Simplicity's 2398 by Jessica McClintock.

I made view B, with the straps/ties for C and D.
All the fabric I used we had right here in the house.  The yellow cotton with Criss-crossing pin-tucks was on sale at Nancy's Notions  a year or so ago, and the bright almost sheer cotton was from the bottom of a broom skirt that my mom took apart.  It was already sewn together in tiers, so I didn't have to hem anything but the lining.  I don't know what kind of fabric I used to line the bodice with, but it was beautiful!  I wish I knew what all these fabrics were called so I could get more of them!  We didn't have any scraps large enough in lining material to line the skirt, so I pieced some very high quality muslin.  Surprisingly, it doesn't "stick" to the skirt.
The construction was very simple, in fact, the only hard parts were sizing and the covered zipper.  Covered zippers aren't in themselves hard, but making sure that all the horizontal seams line up in the back is a bit tricky.  I alway baste these zippers in a contrasting thread, then try the piece on to make sure it fits.  If it is tight, or the zipper has trouble in a certain area I just adjust the seam allowance.
     As for sizing...I'm still figuring Simplicity out.  I made this a size 10, and modified it at the midriff.  My measurements would advise a size 14-16, and In pants I'm a size 6-8, so I figure I'll average them and fix it later.  As it works out, I'm ALWAYS "fixing" some part of it. :-)  You see, I don't have a large bust, but I have a very large rib cage.
Bodice Mods:
-Raised the top of all the bodice pieces almost an inch.(but I forgot to angle it in a little bit, so there is a teeny bit of gape either in front or under the arms)
-This dress had halter ties, which I thought was cool, but I don't always like that, because I have to wear my hair down, or bring a shawl to cover my back.  So I went out on a limb and tried something I had seen some companies do with their swim suits.

Two loops are attached to the bottom, and the halter ties can be looped through them and tied.  So you can wear it halter, regular straps, or criss-crossed straps.
-I also added a inch binding to the top of the dress, to make it higher still.

Here are some details on the sash and hem...

I knew the dress by itself would be to short for sitting in, so I added the tiered fabric to the bottom as well.

Would make good cruise wear, no?

On the swing I am wearing the ties in a halter fashion.

So what do you think?  I love it, but I think I need to find a way to take some better pictures.  My brother gets a little impatient. :-)


  1. Your dress is so beautiful! You did an amazing job! :)

  2. It's beautiful! You did a wonderful job (and I love the tiered fabric that you added to the bottom as well!). :)

  3. Very nice Joanna! I really like it! Great job! :D


  4. Cute cute cute! Throw a cardigan over it and wear it all year! I love the bright contrast colors -- I'm kind of color-phobic myself so it's always exciting to see someone who's brave with them, and it turns out so beautifully. It motivates me to try colors myself (maybe. We'll see. Someday.)

  5. Once again, I am amazed by my beautiful daughter: her beauty, her poise and her amazing talents. You go girl!

  6. I saw your dress on PR and came over to check out construction details. That is clever with the straps!! It is even nicer using your fabric. I look forward to seeing more of your work and you are also welcome to visit me (though my style is far older than yours :-) ) Again, great dress!

  7. This is beautiful, I love the contrasting colors! For your sake, I hope the *warm* weather holds on until October so you can wear it :)