Sunday, April 3, 2011

Easter Dresses

I guess it is similar to the proverbial chicken and egg question.  Which comes first:  the pattern or the fabric?  In this case, it was the fabric.  I've had this cream and pink toile in my stash for a relatively short period of time.  It is crinkle fabric, and until I started sewing it up, I thought it was a woven, but it is a knit, and the crinkle effect seems to be created with elastic threads knit into the fabric. 

The crinkle effect reminded me of the fabric used in Olabelhe's Amelia dress pattern picture.  I considered buying the pdf pattern, but I thought I probably had a pattern that I could alter to get the same effect.  Once I got started, I decided that I really like the low back on her Natalie dress , so I decided to incorporate that feature into my dresses.  Then, I decided to forego the elastic bubble hem because I really liked the way the dresses looked on the girls without it.  So, I started out to knock-off Amelia and ended up knocking off Natalie instead. 

I started with an Ottobre pattern from Summer 2008 for a tie-back tunic.  I traced only the bodice of the pattern and shortened it, so it would stop an inch or two below the armpit.  For the back pieces of the pattern, I created the scoop and added 1/2 inch to the center back to allow for my snaps.  I cut the front and back pieces from my toile knit and from a white broadcloth for lining. 

Isn't the back pretty?!

The skirts are simple rectangles.  Jenna's is twice the width of the bodice seam and is gathered to fit.  On Allie's, I did pleats, so it started as 3 times the width of the bodice.  I decided to skip the sash.

Both dresses are twirly, but Allie's is very twirly.  Since they are made of knit, they feel more like a playdress but look dressy.

I challenge you to do your own knock-off.  Choose your inspiration either from RTW (ready to wear) or from a pattern you may not want to buy.  Look through your patterns and find one that has similar details and/or lines, and start from there.  I'd love to see what you come up with!

1 comment:

  1. The dresses turned out super nice! I bet your girls really appreciate how comfortable the fabric is. It's funny that you should issue a knock-off challenge...I'm halfway done with a RTW knock-off for my oldest. I'll be sure to post about it when I'm done!