Making a puff sleeve from a regular sleeve pattern

I recently decided to make puff sleeves for a modified version of Butterick’s B5209.

Since this involved a bit of mathematics, I thought I’d share it here.

  • First, take any old sleeve pattern. I used a shortened version of the sleeve from a Bolero pattern.

basic sleeve pattern with markings

  • Mark the middle of the sleeve pattern and draw a line from top to bottom. Then mark 2 equidistant lines either side of this line. I used a distance of 8.5 cm either side of the middle, as that was perfect for the size of my sleeve.

sleeve pattern cut in 4

  • Cut the sleeve pattern along those drawn lines.

sleeve pattern pieces with 3cm distance

  • Lay the pattern pieces out and leave equal gaps in between them. I used a gap of 3cm, but it can be more or less, depending on how puffy you want your sleeve to be.

changing the height of the outer pieces

  • Now align the outer pattern pieces by moving them downwards, so the curve at the top of the sleeves lines up with them. Draw a joining line between the pattern pieces along those curves.

moving outer pieces out by another 3cm

  • Now move those outer pattern pieces outwards at the bottom by the same distance as the gaps between the pattern pieces. (In my case, I moved them out by another 3cm each.) Join them at the bottom by drawing a curved line.

puff sleeve pattern

  • Draw around all the pattern pieces, take them off, and you’ve got a puff sleeve pattern.

Stupidly, I forgot to tak a picture of this, but I used two lines of gathering stitches at the top and achieved this:

puff sleeves gathered at the top

You can also put gathering stitches in the bottom of the sleeves, if you are putting them into a band. I originally planned on doing this, but in the end, finished the bottoms with elastic, so did not need this.

Once you have this, join the front and the back of the sleeves as you normally would, then attach them to your garment.

  • To finish them in a super easy way, simply sew elastic in the bottom of the sleeves.

puff sleeve with elastic band

 

puff sleeve bottom pinned with elastic

  • Make sure to pin evenly when putting elastic in, line up the middle of the sleeve with the middle of the elastic band, then find the middle of both remaining sections again, line up, pin and so on.

And here we have a finished puff sleeve from the front

puff sleeve front

and from the back

puff sleeve back

 

Making a pair of “ugg” boot slippers

self-drafted "ugg" boot slippers 3

 

In the last few days, as I sat down to work on making a bag, I realised that it’s been around 10 years since I lived in a small-ish house. This realisation was brought to me by a very bodily feeling, namely that I get a lot colder than I used to. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up in a small house, it used to be perfectly normal for me to wrap up and wear slippers. However, the last place I lived, you could walk around all winter in a T-shirt with the heating barely on. Ah, the luxury…

So I interjected my current work by making myself some slippers. Not that I hadn’t thought about it before, but, seeing that our flat was so warm, I found it quite hard to get motivated to make something I didn’t need.

Self-drafted pattern

Of course, my idea to “quickly” make myself some boot slippers turned into an endeavor that took a day and a half. Most of that was probably due to the fact that making a pattern for shoes, especially if you have never made shoes before, can be quite daunting.

The sole

I started by tracing my feet on cardboard with a pen, which was the quickest and easiest part of the whole pattern-making exercise.

 

tracing my feet for "ugg" boot slippers

 

This turned into the base pattern for the sole. With added seam allowances, I used it for all the necessary sole pieces, of which there were 4 for each foot: 1 outside sole made of vinyl leather, 2x wadding, and 1 lining. Apart from the sole for the lining, I sewed all the others together, layered with the cardboard pieces in between the two sheets of wadding.

 

"ugg" boot slippers sole parts

 

"ugg" boot slippers sole

 

The shoe pattern

I wanted slippers that look a bit like “ugg” boots, so I spent a few hours figuring out how to make that happen. I practised on a really small scale, which turned out to be a good idea for not wasting too much material. I’m not 100% happy with how it scaled up once I added seam allowances and will be sure to alter the pattern, in case I need boot slippers again. I cut the pattern pieces for the wadding and lining longer than for the outside fabric, as I wanted a fur trim at the top.

 

"ugg" boot slippers self-drafted pattern

 

"ugg" boot slippers pattern pieces

 

Sewing the slippers together

I thought it would probably be a good idea to attach the wadding to the outside fabric, so I sewed it on around the edges, inside the seam allowances. Then I sewed the pattern pieces for the shell together, stitching them to the sole in the end.

 

"ugg" boot slippers outside shell

 

"ugg" boot slippers inside of outside shell

 

The lining definitely needed overlocking around the edges. Faux fur tends to make a huge mess when you cut it and this was no exception. Nevertheless, once I had sewn all the lining pieces together, it made me think that I want some furry boot slippers as well. 😉

 

"ugg" bot slippers lining pieces overlocked

 

"ugg" boot slippers fur lining

 

Now it was just a question of turning the lining around and slipping it into the boots. I then simply overlocked it onto the waddin. After turning the fur over twice, I now had the boot slippers I desired.

 

"ugg" boot slippers 5

 

self-drafted "ugg" boot slippers 2

 

self-drafted "ugg" boot slippers 1

 

 

 

 

 

DIY – From bra to dress

As I said in my previous post, it is really hot here at the moment. So hot, in fact, that I have contemplated making something I can wear without a bra. For me, that means something that has wires and cups that can accommodate my chest. In this case, a bra to dress conversion.

A bit of background about my bras:

To be perfectly frank, my bra-size is 34GG (sometimes 32H). Unfortunately, when I say that out loud, lots of people think that my boobs must be the size of watermelons, which is simply not true. Yes, they are bigger than average, which makes it difficult to buy clothes off the rack, but they are by no means “pornstar-big”.

For reference, here is a collection of women in 34GG bras.

It took me ages to find the right bra-size and I am so happy I finally have some idea of what I need to wear. I wore 38Ds for the longest time before I stumbled upon a certain subreddit and measured myself. The result was 36 F at first and the bras I bought in that size made me rather happy for a while. It was definitely more accommodating than a 38D, but while the cups certainly fit me better, I realised that the band was not giving me the support I wanted and that I was heavily relying on the straps to hold my boobs up. This made my shoulders hurt and the bra ride up in the back. I have some ridiculous dents on my back and shoulders from wearing the wrong bra for over 10 years! So I measured again and got to my current size. (It is not uncommon, by the way, to go up a bit in cup-sizes once you’re in a better size for your chest.)

Shopping for this “outlandish” size?

It is super hard to find bras in my size in a normal store in Germany, so Amazon is my friend. I am sure there are lots of small specialty shops, but there is nothing I hate more than being “helped” by an assistant. I hate it so much, I refrain from going to small shops where you have to ask shop attendants to get you things altogether, so when it comes to something as personal as a bra, there is no way I am going to chat to a shop assistant about my size or any fit issues.

When my husband and I recently went to the UK, I was shocked at how many sizes Debenham’s had to offer. They even had their own brand which was offered in my size! For the first time since knowing my actual bra-size, I went into a changing room with 10 bras! (I ended up buying only one, but that one bra is absolutely perfect.)

The other thing I do now is buying cheap 40F bras in Primark (F is the highest cupsize they have) and drastically taking in the band. They never last long, as they are so cheap, so I do literally just cut a bit out and then overlock it back together. I also only wear them at home. I recently had a plunge bra from there and i’m glad I didn’t go to more trouble, as the cups are currently falling apart.

Salvaging old or new bras

These cheaply bought bras, as well as old bras that I am not wearing anymore, are so useful for a bra to dress conversion. Which brings me back to my current project.

I took one of those Primark bras and started taking it apart. Not only could I use the wires, I also ripped out all of the seams on the cups and made a pattern from the pieces. It isn’t 100% correct, as the bra was made of a slightly stretchy material, so for the cotton dress I wanted to make, I had to take into account that there wouldn’t be any give in the fabric.

The cups are a littly bit (read: very) pointy at the moment, so I am still working on that, but apart from that, it fits me really well. I am so proud, as this is the first time I ever made anything remotely like a bra. I am definitely going to use this pattern again

Things I learned when doing this:

  • bra cup pattern pieces have weird shapes that I would have never thought would form something conical
  • when sewing wires into a dress, make sure they are stretched to fit around your boobs. Bras are stretchy, so they naturally widen the underwires when you put them on. The stiff cotton isn’t, so after a bit of wires poking into the sides of my boobs, I bent them into a wider shape.
  • taking a bra apart is a lot of work. There are a lot of stitches, especially around the underwire, that are very tight (and for good reason, you don’t want your bras to fall apart) and hard to take out.

These are the cups with the bottom pieces sewn together and the top still separate:

cups partially sewn

And once they’re sewn on, it looks like this:

cups fully sewn

And here is the bodice, with the gaps for the cups:

bodice part with space for cups

 

Here are some pictures of the dress in progress. Most of it is done, but I need to sew the zip into the skirt and sort out those torpedo boob cups before finishing up the lining. It isn’t hemmed yet either. I’m sorry I am showing you something half done, but I am just so proud of this.

 

bra dress from the front

Please ignore the brown bra fabric on the mannequin. Unlike me, there is no way it would fit into this dress without wearing a stuffed bra underneath. 😉

Here you can see the unfinished zip from the back (I’m only really showing you, so you can see how low it is cut in the back):

 

bra dress back

 

One of the best things about this dress is that not only can I wear it without a bra, but the back is so low, it’s the kind of dress where a bra would normally definitely show!

Adapting McCall’s 6741 to make a space dress

McCall’s 6741 was the third dress pattern I ever bought. I have used it many times and changed it a few times along the way to make different garments.

The first time I made it, I chose a size that was essentially too big for me and I ended up taking it in quite a bit. In this case, I had picked a size 16, which was still better than the first dress I ever made, where I managed to ruin a pattern by cutting it out 3 sizes too big for me. 🙁 That pattern was also from McCall’s (6504) and even though I still like the shape of it, I cannot quite get myself to buy and make it again…

I have since decided to make the dress in a size 14, but add a fuller bust, which seems to work fine.

However, making this particular dress, I didn’t seem to take into account that I was going to overlock the seams, which leaves quite a bit more room, so another size down would have probably been more appropriate…

On top of that, the material is a bit stretchy as well, so I ended up taking it in a few times once again…

I must say though, I absolutely love this fabric. It is so gorgeous, and I could have never imagined making anything but a dress from this. Even though I bought it as a “digitally printed stretch jersey”, it feels quite a lot like a (one way) stretchy, but heavy satin and has a slightly shiny look to it.

 

digitally printed stretch jersey

 

I wanted a dress with a spacey look for this spacey fabric and adapting McCall’s 6741 seemed like the perfect choice to me.

First, I made the front panel into two pieces that would overlap just over the bust.

Here is the top and bottom piece:

 

edges sewn with the coverlocker

 

 

And here is what they looked like once I secured them on the sides:

 

all sewn together

 

 

I did the “hems” on those pieces (and on the whole dress) with my coverlocker and for once, I was happy with the result, despite using a stretchy fabric.

For the arms, I simply cut two 15 cm-strips of fabric that where slightly thicker in the middle and tapered off towards the ends. I sewed each one together lengthwise and inserted them into the armholes, with the middle of the strip meeting the shoulder seam.

I then hemmed the shoulder seams and made sure to straddle the seam where the “sleeve” and bodice meet. Here you can see the back and front view of the finished armholes:

 

arm finish back

 

arm finish front

 

I didn’t manage to finish hemming the whole dress, but this is what I plan on doing all around the hemline. I made each panel longer than the one before, so that the back is 21 cm longer than the front. However, I kept the edges instead of slowly grading them down, so that I get a kind of “stairs-like” hemline.

 

partly finished hem

 

Since I can’t wait to show it off, here is the dress in its half-hemmed state:

I am aware that these pictures aren’t the greatest at showing the dress off, but as I said, I just couldn’t wait… I will put pictures up once it is hemmed. Maybe I can get my husband to even take some of me in the dress. 🙂

I am currently working on a summer jacket as well as this and the “fox” dress (a panelled jersey dress, nicknamed in the process of making it, as the bodice had the appearance of a fox’s face), so I have a few unfinished projects at the moment. I also keep putting off making a short tracksuit jacket.

Since it is now only about 6 weeks to the HTID summer gathering, I better get a move on…

panel jersey dress

I have started doing too many things this weekend. I began work on two dresses and a jacket. Naturally, none of those projects were finished, but this dress is the one where I got the furthest. I only have to hem it and add the sleeves.

After making a few dresses out of cotton jersey and realising that I quite like the material, I decided to move on to the next challenge. Ultimately, I always want to make more complicated things and design lots of elements as I go along. I really enjoy changing patterns to add something a little bit extra or to make it more diverse.

This time, I decided to use two colours, purple and black, and divide the bodice to make a panel jersey dress. I made the panels up as I went along, so I didn’t think too much about it, but once I sewed them together, I realised they look quite a lot like a fox. 🙂

I used a jersey dress bodice pattern like this and cut where I thought would look good:

 

bodice all sewn together

I also shortened the sides by cutting off a triangle at the bottom.

These are all the panels for the front (the back is identical):

 

all panels

 

For the skirt, it was just a question of adding the required length on the side panels, so it would still meet the bodice where I shortened it.

And this is what the bodice looks like, once sewn up:

 

fox bodice

 

 

I lined the neckline, as I wanted it to be quite smooth. Also, I didn’t want to ruin it with my coverlocker by stretching it out… There are fabrics that it doesn’t hate, but cotton jerseys sadly don’t belong to that category.

Here is the lining from the outside:

 

lined bodice

 

and from the inside:

 

bodice and lining

 

 

Originally, I wanted to line the armholes as well and make it a sleeveless dress, but then realised that I should have left the shoulder seams unsewn. It wouldn’t have been difficult to rip them out again, but I generally don’t like the bulkiness I get when I sew shoulder seams after lining. My other option would have been to have an open back, which would have been a whole lot of work and it probably wouldn’t have lined up properly in the end. Well, there’s always next time…

Here is the dress, as yet unhemmed…

jersey panel dress

On the subject of next time though, I am definitely planning on making more panel dresses with more panels. 😉 It is definitely a part of sewing I enjoy immensely and it doesn’t appear to be too difficult.

 

Update

 

So in the meantime, I did get a bit of time to hem the dress, and even got my husband to take pictures of me in the finished version:

 

Making a t-shirt

There are two reasons why I made a t-shirt over the weekend:

1. I like winging it when it comes to sewing. This often leads to failure, but I somehow cannot help thinking “What if I change this detail?” when I’m in the middle of a project. Maybe it’s my strong desire for variety, maybe I just love to see myself make mistakes, but there is something rewarding about deviating from the well-known path. So despite not having a t-shirt pattern, I decided I could create one from a pattern I own by adapting it.

2. DHL is on strike… While I sympathise with the delivery guys, I am desperately waiting for some fabric which was meant to come on Friday. So while trying not to go crazy over all the things I want to make with those new fabrics I don’t have yet, I decided to make something simple with some leftovers.

So, here is what I did:

I used the fabric and pattern that I made this dress from. The dress bodice pattern would serve as my t-shirt template. Similarly, if you have a T-Shirt that fits you well, you can use that as a template. I didn’t have a huge amount of fabric, so unfortunately the shirt had to be a bit shorter than I would like.

Here is the pattern on the fabric, while I started cutting it. I cut the bottom pretty free-hand, but cut outwards from the bottom of the pattern, which sits at my waist, to make sure it’s not too tight around my stomach.

 

pattern on fabric

 

I also cut the neckline a bit higher, so it wouldn’t be as low as it is on the dress.

 

DSCI0177

 

I cut to about halfway, then folded the pattern in the middle, so I could cut the rest out along the lines that I had already cut.

 

DSCI0178

 

DSCI0179

 

 

Then I cut along the hemline to straighten it out:

 

DSCI0181

 

I thought it might look interesting with a perfectly straight hem, not a curved one, as usual. It turned out that wasn’t the greatest idea…

 

One of the bodice pieces got a V-neckline, just for a change.

 

DSCI0183

 

I also used the sleeves I made for the dress before. Here are all the pattern pieces cut out:

 

DSCI0185

 

The neckband of this one is probably the most interesting part. I cut it as a triangle made of three pieces:

 

DSCI0189

 

 

Here they are sewn together (with my overlocker):

 

DSCI0190

 

 

and pinned on:

DSCI0191

 

You can see how it pulls the neckline in, since it is smaller.

 

And here is the result of my neckband-creation:

 

neckband added

 

 

After sewing the t-shirt together with the overlocker, I finished it off with the Merrylock 3040, which I am still trying to get to know. I am starting to wonder if there is a way to change the height of the position of the presser foot , as it just hates anything above two layers of fabric even at the loosest setting.

In any case, here is the finished product:

t-shirt front

 

t-shirt back

 

It looks a bit crooked, which is ok with me, as it’s stretchy, so it won’t be noticeable when I wear it. However, you can also see the warped hemlines, which I blame the Merrylock for. Admittedly, it might be slightly my fault too, as I am not the most precise seamstress yet. Nevertheless, I feel like the coverlocker doesn’t exactly make things easy for me, which is ironic, really, as I bought it for exactly that reason.

The whole thing probably took me about two hours. Next time, I will sacrifice an old t-shirt, so I have a pattern that I know will work.

 

How to add a “t-shirt” neckline

Since getting my overlocker, I have been trying to make a decent neckline for a while and have finally found a version that works for me. Previously, I had been under the impression that the way to sew it on was to leave one shoulder seam unsewn, then put in the band, then close that shoulder seam.

The result was always way too stretchy and I had some wavy, disappearing necklines that I ripped out again or changed so that they would work as a bias binding on the inside of the dress.

I really wanted that t-shirt neckline though…

My problem was obviously that the band I was putting in was always too long.

So here’s how I managed to do it successfully on a dress I have been making for the summer:

 

fits exactly

 

1. I made sure my neckline band was about as long as the neckline of the dress by holding it loosely onto the dress. I had taken a strip of the dress material and ironed it to fold it into a band.

 

before sewing

2. I sewed the ends of the band together.

 

lined up sides

3. Since my band only had one seam, I lined that one up with one of the shoulder seams. Finding the halfway point of the band, I lined that up with the other shoulder seam. The non-folded side of the band is going to line up with the neckline of the dress.

 

all pinned on

 

4. I pinned. While doing that, I had to stretch the band a bit to fit onto the neckline, since I was putting it on the outside of the dress. You can see how wavy the dress is becoming around the neck as it is pulled by the tight band.

 

5. I sewed with the overlocker. While doing so, I had to make sure the dress fabric didn’t escape me. Somehow it still managed, so now the band is a bit wider in some places. It might be better to sew with the inside of the dress facing upwards, as I could have seen it better then.

 

Well, here is the finished product from the front:

 

one more or less perfect neckline

 

 

and the back:

 

and from the back

 

and while we’re at it, here’s the whole dress:

 

the full dress

 

from the back

 

You can see that the shoulders are a bit wonky. I blame my coverlocker for this, but I will master it at some point, I’m sure. The stretchy material is quite forgiving though, so you can barely see it when I wear it.

The fabric is from stoffe.de, the British equivalent is myfabrics.co.uk. At 17.95 euros/15 pounds it is rather expensive, but I treated myself to two metres of it and I think I might have enough left for a short (ending just under the bust) or very short (think cyberdog-short, which ends over the bust) tracksuit jacket. I guess it would be more of a shrug.

It’s a lovely fabric (if you’re into colours) and was really easy to work with. The stretch is pretty good and it has a great drape to it.

I realise that it’s crazy colourful, but I bought it with the sole purpose of wearing it in a field in England this summer, while dancing to some UK Hardcore and/or Drum’n’Bass.

 

 

Fixing a zip

This is probably something everyone who sews has experienced: you get asked if you can change broken zips, take up trousers and fix holes in shirts.

I don’t really enjoy doing these things, especially as I only have time to sew in the evenings and on weekends.  However, since it was my husband asking and the garment in question a Thomas Hooper hooded jacket which means a lot to him, I couldn’t really say no. (Also, it’s good practice for putting in zips!)

The zip in question had been broken for about 2 years, but he had still been wearing it without being able to close it. (He really loves that jacket…)

The first thing I noticed, when I finally took a good look at the jacket, was how wonky the zip was:

 

hoody with wonky zip

 

It just seems incredible to me that it could be this bad. I guess washing and wearing over the years is probably a part of this, as the zip won’t stretch out while the cotton/elastane mix will.

In any case, I took the zip out.

The construction after that was fairly easy, if a bit more time-intense than i had anticipated (, because I have no time-management skills). I think it took me about an hour.

First, I pinned one side of the new zip to the outside of the jacket.

 

more pins

 

I sewed this on using a blind stitch foot, as it gives me enough room for the zip. It’s actually my go-to method for zips and I have found it really effective.

 

sewing on one side

 

Then it’s on to matching the design on the front. I usually do this by closing the zip and pinning the unsewn side of the zip onto the right side of the jacket where I think it needs to be:

 

 

pinned in place

 

This system works as a guideline of where the zip will sit once it’s closed and makes sure that it doesn’t end up uneven.

After sewing the second side of the zip on, I did some top-stitching. I tried to do this in the same place where it was done with the old zip, but didn’t manage, as the fabric was so stretched out. It’s a shame that it doesn’t really hide the zip either.

Nevertheless, I managed to make the jacket slightly straighter than before.

 

one complete hoody

 

This is the finished product on my mannequin, which is admittedly maybe the wrong shape for this jacket. I also just realised that in the picture, the image doesn’t look lined up at all. I swear it’s just the top stitching being pulled outwards, so you can’t see how it matches perfectly. 😉

My husband was over the moon though. I guess sometimes it is worth doing alterations for other people.

 

 

Adjusting a 70s dress pattern to a different size

As I mentioned in my post about the 70s GDR sewing magazine, I wanted to make some of the dresses from it. To do this, I would have to adjust the patterns dramatically to fit me, as most of them were in one size only.

The dress I most wanted to make is the one on the right here:

 

some beautiful dresses

 

The size offered as a pattern would be a contemporary German size 38 (UK 10). Being a relatively busty UK size 14, I knew I had some work to do. However, the fact that there are pattern pieces for this dress that solely enclose the boobs, made me think that it would be easier to adjust. Yes, I actually thought that…

This is one of my first forays into adjusting patterns, so I didn’t expect a perfect outcome.

As you can see, I finally got myself a tracing wheel.

 

DSCI0070

 

I traced the pattern onto Swedish sewing paper and then measured myself. This turned out to be really easy for the front pieces, as I had hoped. The upper front piece had to be longer to accommodate my boobs. The shoulders actually seemed ok. (This is really often the case for me, size 14 patterns tend to be a bit wide and usually too long in the shoulders for me.)

Now the upper back seems a bit odd by my contemporary standards. I have never seen a pattern that uses darts in the shoulder seem. I understand that the back is meant to give me the ease to move around in the dress, but this still seems a bit strange to me. In any case, I also made it a bit longer and a little wider at the bottom.

I made both lower front and lower back pieces a little bit wider according to my measurements.

What I found really weird, was that I didn’t actually add all too much to the patterns. Maybe it was one of those patterns that has lots of ease built into it. There is absolutely no indication of this in the magazine or on the pattern.

I was also wondering whether or not seam allowances were included in the patterns. (Again, no indication…) I obviously added them to my adjusted pattern, so if they were included that would explain the small adjustments.

 

DSCI0073

DSCI0075

 

 

I just had enough fabric for a mockup. I used a classic polyester in white, which I had lying around.

Admittedly, I messed up the lower back piece. I later noticed that it is much too big in comparison to the upper back. I also managed to use the wrong side of the lower front on the fabric fold. At least I added an unnessesary seam allowance on that fold, so that cutting it and sewing it together on the other side wasn’t a problem. I should not attempt making patterns at 10 pm…

This is the mockup from the front. Trying it on, I find it a bit loose in the boob region and also around my waist (which is admittedly quite high.) I wonder if this style just doesn’t suit me, as it really accentuates my boobs.

DSCI0094

 

 

Making a new dress from an old one

I had this dress I really liked. I liked it so much that I had worn it down to the point where the knit fabric just looked old and frayed. It was, however, one of those dresses that just looked great on me and I wasn't going to give that up.

Actually, I had previously used it as a sort of guideline for making stretchy dresses for myself by holding it onto the fabric and marking the pattern pieces. As you can imagine, this is kinda difficult with a dress that's all sewn together. So now I took the opportunity to dismantle it and make it into a pattern.

The dress is made up of a front and back for the bodice with no darts whatsoever, a couple of sleeves and 4 skirt panels. I unpicked the bodice and sleeves and one skirt panel, then laid them on top of my trusted Swedish tracing paper and marked a pattern around them. I had to adjust this slightly and use measuring tape to  make sure everything was straight, as the fabric pieces were a bit stretched out/crooked.

old dress bodice

As you can see in the picture above, one of the armholes looks different from the other. I really can't say whether I stretched it out or whether the fabric was cut that way. It certainly never struck me as being off when I wore it.

That aside though, here are the finished pattern pieces on my fabric of choice:

patterns I cut from the old dress

two skirt panels cut!

The fabric is a jersey with a similar stretch to the knit fabric. I much prefer knits, but sometimes I just cannot resist a print. I had actually had this fabric for a while as I wanted a really good pattern for it. I couldn't bear the thought of making something with such a gorgeous print that would be ill-fitting. But since I had that pattern now, nothing could stop me.

Now it was really just the case of cutting the pieces out and sewing them together.

I left one of the shoulder seams of the bodice open, as I wanted to put a neckband in.

bodice all sewn together

For the skirt panels, I made sure that I lined up the fully sewn skirt with opposite seams touching, as there are no side seams. I marked the sides with a bit of chalk.

the skirt

Then I made sure the markings were aligned with the side seams of the bodice:

lined up side seam and marking

Pinned and then sewn together, I almost had a whole dress now.

almost a whole dress

The next step will be sewing armholes on and then finishing the whole thing off with the coverlock machine.