It's been a while since I did something about my Remaking and Replacing the RTW project, mostly because I took a knit-busting detour. This dress is a polyester knit that I've had for several years, just waiting for the perfect project pairing, so technically it still counts as knit-busting!
|Comparison: RTW on the left, me-made on the right.|
One of my favorite teacher dresses is this black-and-white geometric patterned dress that I got at Ross my very first year of teaching. It's fitted and flattering, the flowy skirt is long enough to cover my knees, the cap sleeves are tiny enough that I can fit a cardigan over it for cold days, and I pull it out every time I feel like I need to look my best (parent-teacher conferences and back to school nights and open houses!). Now that I'm traveling for work, I've come to appreciate this dress even more; since it's polyester, it doesn't wrinkle and I can still look professional and put together even after napping on a flight, or stuffing it into my luggage. Normally I frown on artificial fibers, but in this case they're a blessing.
|These pictures were taken post-travel. The dress had been slept in, traveled in, and stuffed into a suitcase.|
To make my copy of the dress, I knew I wanted a similarly hardy material, so this polyester knit was perfect. My only gripes with it are that 1) the splashes of light blue make it ever so slightly less practical for pairing with everything in my wardrobe (but it does make the dress slightly more fun!), and 2) there's a lot more white space, so you can see the print coming through on the top layers. But both of those issues are extremely minor; I still love my final dress and think it does a pretty good job of being everything I love about the original RTW dress. My pattern was just traced from the original dress, too, so I was pretty sure I would love it. Because I had limited fabric, I had to make the cap sleeves part of the bodice instead of cutting out separate pieces. Even then, squeezing the giant wrap skirt pieces out of my 2.5 yards was a challenge in spatial reasoning! I also left out the collar of the original dress, as that's actually the only part of it I don't like.
Here's a brief fake-torial for what I did:
|Here's a closer look at the insides: my tacked together bodice with the faux-binding, and the waist seam reinforced with elastic to keep it from getting stretched out too much.|
Fabric: 2.5 yards of polyester stretch knit with large modern floral in black/light blue on a white background (from my first big fabric haul at SAS Fabrics in Tucson!)
Notions: less than a yard of 1/4" elastic
Techniques: Tracing a RTW piece of clothing to make a pattern
Hours used: Figuring out the pattern and arranging the cutting layout on my piece of fabric took a good two hours, but actually sewing up the dress only took another two. Pretty good for an evening's worth of work!
Will you make this again? I want to try it again but with the wrap giving more coverage in the bust area. Also maybe remaking it as an actual wrap dress, and not just a faux-wrap. It's definitely a classy work-horse type dress, though, so I foresee similar-looking iterations in the future!
Total cost: I bought this fabric so long ago, I don't even know...but knowing SAS's prices, I'm guessing it couldn't have been more than about $5. The original dress was $19.99 at Ross, but even that was discounted from the department store price of $39.99.
Final thoughts: I'd say this is pretty darn successful! The dress is pretty much everything I wanted/needed it to be, and it passed the wearing-IRL test. Even though the original RTW dress isn't anywhere near ready to be retired, it's nice to have a me-made twin to add to the rotation.
|Serious twirling face + the dangers of wrap dresses. Good thing I made the wrap panels so wide!|