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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Hippie Dress

I'm not sure what to call this dress.  It started off as a simple A-line dress (my favorite style to sew) and I changed it - several times.  It's easy when you have an inspiration.  I found this great book "Absolutely A-Line" in a Barnes & Noble.  It's from Wendi Gratz the author of an awesome blog Shiny Happy World and the teacher of all things sewing and embroidering.  Wendi's book is great because it launches you into the creativity to take one simple A-line pattern and transform it in almost as many variations as you can imagine!  (This is my photo of the actual book - Wendi's advertising photo certainly looks better than this!)

I've already done a few for my Etsy store, PrettyPrettyCindy.   (The paisley dress is still available in size 4).

This time I was ready for another variation (or two).

First of all, the base fabric is a (lean in close 'cause I'm whispering) a . . . tablecloth.  It is new, but I just loved the fabric and couldn't resist!  As much as I liked the fabric, it needed some serious contrast, so I chose the pink and brown/pink paisley fabrics.  Next, I changed the neckline to make a more wrap-like look.  I did use a trick from Wendi's book to have the bias tape (the brown paisley fabric) show around the neckline.  Because I kept the bias fabric thin, it almost looks like cording.

When I separated the bodice from the skirt, that left a "waist" that I really did not want to see in the main fabric because I like the illusion of a single straight A-line dress.  Solution?  Create a "sash" at the waistline that ties in the back.  That wasn't too hard to do using another piece of another dress pattern.


I still needed more contrast at the bottom and after adding the first strip, wanted more length so another strip was added.  I wanted one more "touch" to make the dress different and special.  I've been making yo-yos (those little flower thingies) for a while, but haven't had much use for them yet.  You can see how to make yo-yos here.  I layered two sizes of yo-yos and added a few seed pearls.


It may seem a little funny to start with one idea and end up with another.  That's what I like about Wendi's book.  She's not wed to specific design functions which leaves me comfortable with experimenting with different elements.  I like the outcome.  If you like it too, it's available in my Etsy store in a size 5.