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Big comfy dress

This is a pretty simple dress, but I designed and drafted it myself, so I’m excited to share it!

The top is pretty similar to the cardigan jacket I made a couple weeks ago – it obviously isn’t open in the front, but just like the jacket, it’s a boxy top with the sleeves all in the same piece as the bodice. It’s attached to a really big rectangle skirt. I think the skirt circumference was about 2.5 times the bodice circumference before I gathered it down.

Since there were only four pieces, putting the dress together was pretty easy. The hardest part was definitely attaching the skirt to the bodice. The extra length needed over the bust meant that if I attached the skirt along what had been a straight line on the paper pattern, then it would end up sitting a lot higher in the front than the back. Pinning it on a dress form might have helped, except I don’t have one, so I ended up asking a friend to pin them together while I was wearing it. Physically sewing the skirt on after we had finally pinned it was also a challenge, because there was just so much fabric and the double gauze was slipping and sliding around on my machine. In the end, the waistline definitely isn’t perfectly even, but I think it’s close enough that most people won’t notice.

I also wanted to point out one interior detail: I used cotton twill tape as a facing on the neckline. I’m pretty happy with that experiment! It did involve some hand sewing (which may be slow but is easier to do while supervising a toddler playing outside), but it was really easy to bend the tape to the shape of the neckline, so it required a lot less thinking than making a real facing. Unlike a bigger facing piece, I don’t think such narrow tape would stay in place without that line of topstitching, but I tend to do a lot of topstitching anyway because I really like my seams to lie flat, so it doesn’t bother me.

It’s so nice to have a dress designed around all the things I like and find comfortable!