Tag Archives: sewing blog

Smart Office Dress

I was in need of some creative sewing fun this week after the disappointment of my Blue Dress. Therefore I went right back to my favourite way of working which is to select a look as my inspiration and take it from there. The inspiring look I choose can sometimes come from the runway and other times from collections in fashion stores. In this make, the style of dress I have chosen as a starting point is this tricolour dress which was snapped on Victoria Beckham. I think it will make the perfect smart office dress.

Smart Office Dress Front image
Smart Office Dress Front

The pattern which I have chosen is from my existing favourites pile, therefore I have made the fitting alterations to it before and know it stands a fairly good chance of fitting me well.

Smart Office Dress Layout image
Smart Office Dress Layout

That said I went about cutting it up into pieces to give me the new pattern for the tricolour dress I wanted to make. When you don’t have to be concerned with the pattern fit because you already know it works you have the freedom to play around with it more and make it yours. If you do start cutting up your patterns however, please remember to always add seam allowance for the seams on the edges that will then need to be attached back together.

Smart Office Dress Layout image
Smart Office Dress Layout

The downside of making this dress with contrasting colours was that I had to keep changing the colour of the thread in both the sewing machine and in the overlocker/serger. I was uncertain what colour zip to choose and in the end went for a black regular zip with a lapped insertion, this seemed to conceal the actual zip quite well.

Smart Office Dress Back image
Smart Office Dress Back

Even though I have used this pattern before as I have said, I am not entirely happy with the look of the bodice. The bust darts are a bit too visible on the white fabric and draw the eye to that area too much. Guess I can always wear a cardigan like Victoria…

Smart Office Dress Front image
Smart Office Dress Front

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Happy Sewing

Smart Office Dress with Tape Measure image
Smart Office Dress with Tape Measure

Blue Dress

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Do I look blue?

I don’t make a habit of posting pattern reviews as that is not really how I work. I would usually like to find my inspiration and then work out how to create a dress or outfit from that starting point, out of the patterns I have either bought, altered or made myself. For some reason though I wanted to take this very mundane and ordinary, even frumpy looking pattern, New Look 6305 and work with it to come up with a usable item. A personal challenge for myself to create a wearable garment or two.

Last time I showed you how I made the Sheer Shirt from view D on the packet envelope, this time I have used chosen to sew view A, the dress with sleeves.

Sheer Shirt Pattern image
Sheer Shirt Pattern

I made three decisions about the pattern before I had even started to cut it out, to take ten, yes a full ten, inches off the length of the dress, to have short sleeves for the summer and to add inseam pockets to both side seams. As it is a loose fitting, easy day dress I wanted the addition of the pockets for more practicality. I used my own pattern for the pockets which I had used previously in my Dallia Dress.

Blue Dress Layout image
Blue Dress Layout

My main concern about the construction of this dress was the fact that it has no zipper or back/front opening and I wondered how it would fit over the head. Now It is finished though I can tell you that this is not an issue at all, it slips on very easily even though the fabric I have used has no stretch in it whatsoever. It is a woven crepe fabric, I was attracted by the vivid colour for this blue dress.

The dress has princess seams in both the back and the front of the body, they are not graded by bust size as some patterns are, which means that the fit of the dress on my smaller frame is very baggy, much more roomy than I would normally be comfortable wearing. Considering that the full pattern is for a floor length dress with sleeves to the wrist, this is a real cover it all up style. If that is what you want then this is the perfect pattern for you, however I have struggled with finding ways to be complimentary about this pattern. I have not enjoyed sewing this dress together and it will not be making the journey into my favourites list any time soon. I will however try and reflect upon the lessons learnt in the process and that I have learnt more about my own likes and dislikes about my own creative process which was very much missing here.

Blue Dress Side image
Blue Dress Side
Blue Dress Back image
Blue Dress Back

You can bet that my next post is going to be more about my style, a more fitted type of dress which compliments the figure in a much more feminine way. I will be using an old favorite which I know fits well and mixing it up a bit to create a smart summer dress for a special family occasion.

That said, it was a straightforward sew which I can recommend as a beginner project, no fastenings or lining to worry about.

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Happy Sewing