sugarduck sews

armed with expensive taste and a second-hand sewing machine

Project 001: Progress June 6, 2012

Filed under: Works In Progress — sugarduck @ 6:51 pm

I’m back with an update on my Maia column dress inspired project.  I’m at about the half-way point of this project and it’s coming along quite nicely.   Here’s a rundown of the construction process so-far:

As I mentioned in my last post, I made my own pattern for the tank dress by tracing around a well-fitting knit tank that I already own.  I lengthened it to just below the knee, adjusted the seam line below the waist to allow for my hip curve, and added seam allowances all around.  My top already had the same deep scoop neck as the inspiration dress, so I didn’t have to change anything there.  I used the same pattern piece for the front and back.  I cut out the dress front and back in some black nylon jersey from my stash; this will serve as the dress lining and the base to which I will attach all of the overlapping panels (in the striped fabric – more on that in a second).

The dress lining, cut from my traced tank top pattern.

Speaking of those panels, my technique was admittedly a little haphazard.  I basically laid the dress lining on top of the striped fabric, moved it around until I was happy with the angle of the fabric, then cut around the lining so that the sides would match up when putting the dress together.  The whole panel-cutting-out process took some time and there’s probably a much better way of going about than how I did, but whatever.  The good news is that I didn’t have to repeat this process for the back panels; I simply traced around the panels from the front of the dress to get matching ones for the back.  Because I wanted each panel to end with a black stripe, I made sure to keep an extra gray stripe at the bottom to allow for hemming.

After cutting the first two panels. See how the shape of the sides match up with the dress lining?

After I finally finished cutting all of the panels out, I sewed a narrow hem and cut the excess seam allowance from the back.

The panel finishing process included sewing a narrow hem, trimming the excess seam allowance from the back, and giving the whole panel a good ironing. Each of the hemmed panels ends with a black stripe at the bottom.

So that’s where I am.  All of the panels have been hemmed and are now waiting to be attached to the lining pieces.  Here’s how the panels will look once they’re sewn in place.

The hemmed panels in place on the dress lining.

I’m really exciting about how the dress is coming along so far.  I think I have the most time consuming part of the project behind me now, so it shouldn’t take too long to complete the dress.  I really can’t wait to see how it sews up!