Buoyed by the success of my first sewing project with the pink apron, I headed straight onwards and upwards and became (too ?) ambitious for my next project. I wanted to make a dress. The remnant bin this week produced a rather random print in blue and brown which I am never to sure about because this was the color of my old school uniform. What's more the fabric was stretchy and I had no idea what to do with it. It cost about $5 and I bought some dark brown thread for 70c.
I came across the Nancy dress pattern and thought – yes, its only rectangles, I can do this !
So I cut out my rectangles according to the pattern pieces and measurements, sewed them up (in like, 5 minutes) and tried on my new dress. Er….. sack/shroud? Yikes it was way way too big and completely shapeless and here I came across my first fitting problem. I think it was down in part to my choice of fabric because it has a lot of stretch so it was loose. But because its only rectangles, it was easy to just pin in the sides a little (I did some on each side) and then sew up again, cut off the extra and retry.
Perfect fit – well, good enough for my first dress I think. Do excuse the photo – it was a very windy day and everything looks a little windswept – including me!
However, I wanted a bit more shaping in front, and I don't like to go without a bra, so I added some halter straps made simply from long rectangles of fabric sewed up and then turned the right way out and hemmed the ends. The shaping on the front was easy, I just gathered an inch and half of fabric in a bunch in the center and then sewed back and forward through it a couple of times and I had a little shaping.
That afternoon I wore my dress to the supermarket, and saw a colleague who said ‘Cute dress' and I beamed and said ‘Thank you. I made it myself.' and my love of sewing was cemented for good.
So if you fancy making your first dress, try the Nancy pattern. It is easy to sew, has good instructions and you can customize it to fit your shape really easily, add straps etc. And it can also be worn around the waist as a long or maxi skirt too.