Saturday, January 14, 2012

Golden Oatmeal Knit Dress (and Giveaway Winners!)

Exciting things first: the winner of the Simplicity culotte dress pattern is Amy W., and the winner of the Butterick Quick 'n Easy partygoer is Elisalex! Amy W., I've already contacted you regarding your mailing address. Elisalex, I couldn't find an email for you, so please email me your mailing address at cationdesignsblog [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks for entering, everyone! I had such a nice time reading about my projects you liked and didn't like. Walnut got plenty of pats, and sends his thanks.

It seems that the common denominator in my most liked projects were brightly-colored, made from used sheets, and quirky/different. So of course my most recent project is none of the above. It is neutral colored, made from a purchased knit fabric, and made explicitly to imitate what everyone is wearing these days. Oh Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how your wardrobe does grow!

Yup, this is pretty much the opposite of a six-legged hippo.

This week's Sew Weekly challenge was to make something inspired by an accessory; I chose this gold elastic belt that I picked up at the thrift store for $2! I've been looking for a gold belt to go with my Rohan dress for a while, and actually found two within the last week. This one has a cute little flower on the buckle -- not quite so shieldmaidenly as the other, a gold chain belt. The obvious solution, in order not to render the purchase unnecessary, is to make an outfit to go with the belt. I chose this oatmeal-colored knit with brown flowers, figuring that it would make a nice background to showcase the belt. Then, because I vowed to do more embellishment this year, I decided to add this piece of crochet lace with gold sequins to help tie the dress and gold belt together. Also, the gold sequins look like pieces of oatmeal. Hence, Golden Oatmeal Dress.

My pattern was self-drafted, but inspired by pretty much straight up copied from McCall's 6112. I liked the boat neck, the slits in the large kimono sleeves, and the elasticized waist; it looks like a really classy, yet comfortable, lounging around dress. It was really simple to draw up a pattern based on the lineart and some basic measurements.

Mine was based on View B, minus the studs.

After stitching, but before cutting out the piece underneath.
To add the crochet piece, I pinned the lace to the front bodice piece, stitched around the edges a couple times, and then trimmed the fabric out from underneath it. For the hems (sleeves, neckline, skirt), I tried out my double needle for the first time! I don't know why I was so scared of it before, but thanks to Katy from No Big Dill's tutorial, I hemmed everything in no time at all. I love how quickly and easily knit tunic-y dresses come together. Although, I did have a brief moment of panic when I tried it on before hemming and it was hanging all funny, and I could've sworn it was fine when I tried it on two seams ago, but then I discovered that an errant pin had worked its way into the shoulder and was pulling some of the bodice up.

After cutting out the fabric.
Without a person to fill it out. See the elastic waist? Sooo comfy.

My husband took advantage of the beautiful golden light at sunset to snap these pictures. I think it highlights the gold belt and sequins so nicely. Ignore the badly painted garages and the drainage ditch in the background.

Fabric: 1.5 yards of cotton knit and a crochet lace applique piece, both originally purchased from the FIDM scholarship store, then stashed while waiting for the right inspiration
Notions: 1/2" elastic for the waist
Hours: 1.5 hours...really fast for me, if you don't count the time spent experimenting with the double needle and drawing up the pattern.
Techniques used: My very first lace insertion, and double needle hems!
Will you make this again? Maybe? I don't think I need more than one of this type of dress, although it is extremely comfortable.
Total cost: $4! The fabric was $2/yd, the lace piece $0.50, and the elastic was already in my stash, but it wasn't very expensive in the first place.
Final thoughts: The best thing about this dress is that since the front and back are the same pattern piece, it's technically reversible! I can flip it around to have the lace in the back if I want to wear a giant gold dangly necklace, or even switch out the gold belt for one of my other ones with a giant obnoxious flower in front. The elastic waist and loose knit make it super comfortable, and I love the slits in the sleeves. This dress is a winner!


  1. Very pretty. I love what you've done with the lace inset - I'm so going to have to try that! :-)

  2. I love it! You really did a great job, plus I love how it was so cheap to make; that's ultimately the best part, haha :)

  3. Are you kidding me with the dress, Cindy?! It's absolutely fantastic! It's magnificent! I LOVE it so much! I love the crochet lace and gold sequins! You look stunning in this dress! I love that you're wearing your glasses! Well done!

    1. I was just too lazy to switch to contacts that day! Thanks Shayna!

  4. Love the sleeves, love the lace insert. This dress looks absolutely fantastic on you!

  5. It looks so lovely! I adore the sleeves and the crochet lace inset!

  6. UM, this is def one of my top 5 fives of your creations! Def need to try to make it when grad school is over! Ooooorrr....over spring break...but maybe I should try a not fancy dress first...but like...a skirt...anyways, this is up there on my "to make" list!

    1. Alice, that means so much coming from you! And this dress may look fancy, but it's deceptively simple. I can totally share my pattern pieces with you since I think you'd wear a similar size. The lace inset was totally doable too!

  7. Really great! It´s incredible, to know that you created all the outfit from the gold elastic belt. I love your husband´s pictures, with the gold sunset light... it´s simply gorgeous!

    1. Thank you! I'll be sure to tell him, as he's just been starting out playing with our new camera!

  8. I really like this dress. Its like something you would buy at Anthropologie. I have that same pattern and might try it . Good drafting job. I get a lot og my fabric at FIDM too. I find the best fabrics there.

  9. You inspire me! I can not wait to move into our two bedroom (with den) place so I can start sewing. Hard to sew when you live in a one bedroom apartment with a baby and husband. Not much room! :)
    Book-marking all your amazing ideas for later!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am in a wheelchair and I find so many dresses look pretty on models, or people standing but permanently seated end up looking like a sack of potatoes.
    This gorgeous dress with the pretty neckline and sleeves gives this dress a real wow factor.


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