When I set out to start sewing my own clothes, I had no intention of making myself frilly dresses… but here we are.
I actually had every intention of quilting when I first started sewing more than just simple alterations on ready-to-wear shirts, but then I fell HARD when I found the lovely garment sewing community on Instagram. I feel like I really lucked out because by random chance I found the sewing profile of Anna (@tartan_tarlatan). At the time, I had it in my mind that garment sewing was reserved for a very particular community, one that I did not belong to. But after seeing these amazing pieces Anna was making, I was smitten!
Anna’s profile is why I decided to start my own sewing Instagram account a few months later, when I really began consistently sewing my own clothes; I wanted a place to keep track of my construction notes and pattern fit details. I never told her this, so this blog post seems like the perfect place to say it. 🙂
Now onto the dress details – this dress is really an ode to the sewing community I’ve found myself in. I am constantly impressed and amazed at what this lovely sewing community creates and every so often, I can’t help but try and recreate something someone else has made, with my own little flair of course. Anna had set her mind on making a pinafore wrap linen dress and was so generous to share her process of self-drafting the piece. I could not stop going back to her posts about working out the construction and fit details and I knew I wanted to try and make my own version.
I wasn’t ready to 100% self-draft, so I heavily hacked the Bella Loves Patterns Flor top/dress. Instead of the front wrap on the original pattern, I made a square neckline/full front panel, and changed the side panels to become diagonal wrap pieces. I could have used the skirt and waistband pattern pieces, but instead I just made my own waist ties and attached some rectangle skirt panels (front and back) with a 2:1 gathering ratio. I will post a story highlight on my Instagram going through this pattern hack in detail if you would like to try it yourself! And if you’re really ready for a challenge, try self-drafting from the very start. I also added little patch pockets to the back skirt panel and opted to keep the front and back waist ties the same size so that I can choose to have the outer wrap tie in the front or the back of the dress.
Stay tuned, because I have a hunch I’ll be making a ruffle-free/more casual version of this dress next! Also, I hope this post & dress inspires you to try something out of your comfort zone and maybe even out of your “normal” wardrobe choices! You may be surprised at how much fun a ridiculous ruffle statement piece can be to flaunt around at your local grocery store.