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A simple checkered dress

I made this last year! In fact it's this dress I posted about before because I had to take out a giant bib in order for it to fit me above the waist:

These pictures show the giant bib quite well. While that was a bit of a set back, this turned out to be quite a good make. I still have no idea how to transfer that onto a paper pattern.

It certainly fits me well (the bib might have had something to do with it). I have enough room in the bust area, meaning it doesn't ride up, and the skirt section looks good too, despite my body being less than model-perfect. Actually looking back to these pictures and knowing what I had to do to get a good fit, I'm pretty convinced that I do need a FBA on most things.

I wore it out a day this week, and had Mr T take some photos of it. Apologies for the graininess, as you can see they were taken at night:

It's a very simple shift, made from a vintage pattern - I could tell you which pattern if my stuff wasn't still in a container - unpacking due April 2nd - only 10 days left, which is very very very very very exciting.

I wear it with a belt because otherwise Mt T complains it looks like a sack, and I have to say I agree with him. The fabric is some cotton with stretch on the cross grain I picked up at a fabric shop in the town where my grandmother lives. I don't see the stretch affecting things much.

The fabric is a very fine check, with a major color going through it as well. It's mostly brown, although the pictures don't show it - it's more visible below. I picked up the belt in Kenya.

Despite this dress being one of the best fitting things I have ever made, it has two downsides as well, which are quite visible in this close up of the top:

First, I realized that the shoulder seam is about 2cm too wide, which makes for pooling at the underarm. You can see it quite well in this picture, on the left side (my right side) - the correct alternation here is to make the shoulder narrower by 2cm, and taper to nothing at the bottom. I seem to remember I increased the shoulder width on this pattern so this might be fully self inflicted. I guess I'll see in 10 days.

The second problem is that I used interfaced self-fabric for the facing, which in retrospect turned out to be a huge mistake. The top is way too stiff, and by looking at the photo above you can see it comes through to the front as well!

I am planning to take the facing off when I get my sewing machine back, decrease the shoulder width, and make the facing again, in a lighter fabric.

However, even without all these problems, I'm very happy with this dress. Granted, I'm mostly a jeans person, but it's nice to have the option to wear something different..


  1. This still looks really good, I'm glad you could finally make the adjustment on it for it to fit!

    One quick silly question, you've just sewn the adjustment straight into the main dress, or did you do the whole bodice again? The weave hides a lot and you really can't see any seams in the picture...

    (PS. Your Totoro jeans are great)

    1. I did it on the main dress directly. Actually now I'm sort of annoyed I didn't remove the belt loops before I did it because I can no longer remove them now.

      You're right, it's not very visible, especially when worn with a belt - it's more visible if I wear it as a tunic, over jeans because I don't wear a belt for that


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