Self-drafted Scuba Dress

scuba dress on me front

 

I’ve been a busy girl this week. First, I updated my blog with a coat I made a while ago, then I made this dress, and then I also made a cute bag, which I shall tell you about next week. There will be some instructions as well as a tutorial on how to make bag straps in a pretty easy way.

How did I find the time for all this? Well, for one, I am unemployed at the moment. ๐Ÿ˜‰ However, if you have an overlocker, you already know how quickly you can assemble a garment, and it will come as no surprise to you that it took me less than 3 hours in total to make this dress (this time includes some pattern-drafting on an existing basic pattern). If you don’t have an overlocker andlike to work with jerseys, get one. Seriously. Just do it. It doesn’t have to be expensive. I bought mine second-hand from ebay for around 90 Euros.

What fabric did I use?

I bought this scuba from this website a few months ago (UK equivalent here). I only saw today that they finally have a scuba-section. They did a survey last year in which I stated that I wanted more scubas, which made me wonder if I had something to do with that. ๐Ÿ˜› Seriously though, I love that I can now find scubas on there without going through all of the jersey-section.

What’s even better is that I have the exact same scuba in a different colour, which I ordered from calico laine and which, due to the catastrophe that is dhl, took about 3 months to arrive in Germany. I’ll post pictures of the dress I made with that in the future. I actually wore it to Uproar in the Dam, so that blog post is well overdue…

I do have a bit of a thing for scuba fabric, by the way…

Onto the pattern…

This dress is mostly self-drafted, but based on an old T-shirt dress of mine (see here). This version includes princess seams, which line up with the front seams of the 4 skirt panels. I added some additional seams between bust and shoulder and forewent the princess seams at the back. I also used some black scuba strips to insert into the neckline and arms and around the waist.

 

 

scuba dress front 1

 

scuba dress side view

 

Some close-ups of the front and back details

 

 

And another update on the Merrylock 3040

I want to show you the hem of this dress, because I’ve been sewing my hems with the Merrylock 3040 for a while now,ย  but the other day I was reading my blog post from when I first got it and I have to say, not only have I got used to it, it also makes a pretty decent hem now without destroying the fabric. Please see below how well it is now doing with crossing seams.

 

scuba dress hem with merrylock 3040

 

hem inside merrylock 3040

 

hemmed with merrylock 3040

Prototype raver dress

raver dress hoop skirt front

 

 

Since I had a bit of a moan about the fact that I cannot find clubwear that I like, and with Uproar in the Dam coming up in November, I started concentrating on making some raver dresses.

 

This can be a bit difficult when you’re also trying to think about your autumn/winter wardrobe. So the next couple of months I will be busy constructing another Burda 6921 (and not to give away too much, but it will be glorious…), deconstructing one of my favourite jumpers to give it new life, making some heavy knit dresses and I am sure I can think of some other shenanigans to keep me busy as well. (Somehow my mind is already torturing itself with the idea of making a corset and tutu skirt with many layers of brightly coloured tulle underneath…)

 

However, back to the raver dress.

First, what fabric did I use?ย I have a great love for knits and the pace at which I can make clothes with them. I like making something tailored too (especially jackets), but when it comes to whipping up a quick but flattering dress, nothing beats a nice knit. For this, I used a “bathing suit jersey”, so essentially a Polyamide/Elastane mix. I got it here. No picture can ever do it justice, as it is really shiny and rather iridescent. However, that also means that you can see every little flaw…

Did I use a pattern? Frankly, I do not really use patterns with knits anymore. I have a base pattern for the bodice and skirt, taken from one of my favourite dresses, so that I do not have to measure everything out every time, but I self-draft around it as much as possible. Similarly, you can use any dress pattern made for knits as a base for this kind of thing.) That means, of course, that I cannot really remake any dress in the same way. But then again, I like making little variations every time. I get bored otherwise.

So why do I call this a prototype? I really wanted to try out making one of those dresses with a hoop skirt at the bottom. This was the first time I did it, and to be honest, it is not quite there yet. I used rigilene, which is not quite as firm as boning, but might still work if I encase it in something to make it look a bit more “bubbly”.

 

Here is the bodice for this particular dress. I completely lined it before attaching it to the skirt. I also ended up putting a dart in the sides for the front.

 

different neckline idea

 

And here we have the back and side view

 

raver dress hoop skirt back

raver dress hoop skirt side

 

There is a definite “Jetsons” feel to this dress, which I don’t mind particularly, but I would still like to bring it more into the here and now. What I really dislike is the wobblyness of the hemline. I think I might shorten it an inch or two. I have already removed the rigilene again in order to alter the hemline and am currently trying to figure out how to give it more shape. Hopefully, I will sort it out soon and get to show you a nice, flawless hoop skirt dress.

I am currently expecting a shipment of different lycra fabrics from the UK (which I ordered in May… the postal services really fucked it up this time), so I will be sure to attempt this again.

 

 

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. ๐Ÿ™ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am currently working on a summer jacket as well as this and the “fox” dressย (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…