Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sewing Project: Metamorphic Dress

Metamorphic Dress from Sew Liberated

Time to Complete: About 7 hours

 2.25 yds of Purple Fabric (97% Rayon / 3% Spandex)
2.5 yds of Tie Dyed Red Fabric (100% Rayon)

Machine Wash Cold, Hang to Dry, Cool Iron

Both fabrics were washed twice and hung to dry before cutting pattern pieces.  I didn't want to take the chance that the red tie dyed fabric would bleed onto the purple fabric because I didn't want the white dots in that print to turn pink.

I have been dying to make this project for a few months now, but I had put it off because I had a little trouble finding a good pair of fabrics.
The "underdress" (in my case, the red tie dye) needs to be reversible, because as you can see, it will show on the back side (under the peek-a-book hem) and on the front side (when you turn the dress inside out and wear it as a solid color.  I knew I didn't want a solid color, so it just took a minute to find something that wasn't a solid that looked basically the same from both sides.  Anyway, I found both fabrics at my local JoAnn Fabrics.

I got the nudge I needed to make this dress when I read on Instagram about the "Summer Dress-along" that was being led by Sew Hungry Hippie and Modern Sewciety.  I purchased the dress pattern on-line and was pleasantly surprised that it was pretty easy to tape together and cut out.  And I actually love using regular computer printer-weight paper instead of the typical tissue-thin pattern paper that store bought patterns are made from.  If I accidentally let my cat walk across a thin pattern piece that is laid out on the floor, there is a 89% chance that my 21 lb. cat will punch a hole in it with his foot.  So A+ to cutting sewing patterns from regular paper!

Following the advice of the chart, I made a Size 14.  The bust for that size was drafted for a person with a 39" bust, and mine is about ¼  of an inch larger than that.

I found the pattern instructions to be very easy to follow except one step - the part she describes as the "burrito method".  Luckily, the pattern writer has a video on the You Tubes that illustrates this step quite well.  Definitely watch the video and save yourself re-reading that section of the pattern dozen times like I did!

What I like about my finished dress:

• The relaxed fit
• The length of the dress, and that the hem is a little lower in the back
• That the dress (overall) came out to be the size I expected it to be
• The back neckline
• That the dress has pockets whether you wear it with the top dress showing, or just as a plain underlay dress
• The shoulder straps have plenty of width to conceal a bra

What I didn't like / would do differently if I made it again:

• Side pockets for the underdress are about 2.5 -3" too low.  They are awkward to reach into because they are too low, and if I put my phone in one, the stretchy fabric allows the pocket to poke out under the hem of the skirt.  This wouldn't happen with a more rigid fabric, but the placement is still an issue.

• The front neckline is about 1" too deep for my taste, and the shoulder straps are slightly wide for my frame.  Looking at project pictures from other people on Instagram, this seems to be the rule rather than an exception.
• The arm hole depth is so low that this dress wouldn't be practical to wear without a tank top / shirt / fancy bra that you want to display underneath.  Since it's already a double-layer dress, I don't really need more layers beneath it for Illinois summers.  So in the future, I'd raise the arm hole depth about 2.5".  I'm hoping that doing this won't make the dress hang funny in the bust area, but I won't really know until I start experimenting.

• The patch pocket in this pattern looks fine, but if I made this dress again, I will probably substitute the pockets from Simplicity Pattern #1080 because those pockets are adorable.

Where I deviated from the pattern instructions this time:

I'm pretty sure that the only thing I did that wasn't in the pattern was that I top--stitched around the neckline and both arm holes.  I just felt like both my fabrics were unstructured enough that they wouldn't ever lay quite flat at those seams unless I pressed them and stitched them into place.  Now that I've done that, they look great to me!

Out of the 10 or so dresses I've made for myself over the past 3 years, this is definitely one of my top 3.  I am sure I will wear it often, and I can see wearing it over leggings and a long-sleeved t-shirt when the weather turns cooler, too.  I will definitely make it again in the future, and look forward to seeing how my future tweaks might make this "solid A" dress turn into an "A+" for me!

1 comment:

  1. Great tips! I plan on making this dress as my next project.