The vast relief I felt last weekend after finishing/posting my Mini Wardrobe (voting in the contest goes until the 11th, so if you’re a Pattern Review member – and I highly recommend it, that site is a terrific resource – head on over to the contest gallery and get your vote on!) soon gave way to feeling slightly adrift and without purpose in the sewing department. I had a lot of practical sorts of things planned to make next (more pants! shirt for Halloween costume!), but none of them made me feel particularly motivated. I wanted to make something random and unplanned. I started digging through my stash, to see if there was any fabric I’d forgotten about that would speak to me. And what do you know, there was! I pulled out a cool geometric print jersey that I’d ordered from Girl Charlee last fall because I loved it, but hadn’t been able to match it to a pattern. Something simple seemed best… what if I turned the Cation Designs Dolman Sleeve Top into a dress? So that’s what I did:
Yes, apparently I’m making fall clothes now. (All those leaves on the ground are contributing to the illusion that it wasn’t still like 75 degrees yesterday.) I didn’t mean to make a fall dress, necessarily, but it just turned out that way. It does actually kind of make me excited for fall though (which, here, will arrive in approximately 8 weeks).
I started with the dolman sleeve top pattern and pulled the skirt pattern from Vogue 1224 (love that pattern!). I shortened the top by 4 inches, so it would hit at my waist with still a little blousing (I determined this using the extremely scientific method of putting the top I made from this pattern on and belting it at the waist, then measuring from the hem band to the belt). I cut the Vogue skirt a bit bigger than the size 14 to give more ease in the skirt (for biking, since this jersey has very little stretch), and I added one inch to the length (that skirt pattern is short!). Then I attached the skirt to the top and used the seam allowance to form a casing for elastic. Pretty easy!
I was originally going to just hem the sleeves rather than use the sleeve bands, but it turns out that the unbanded sleeves are an extremely unflattering length for me, so I went with the bands. The skirt also ended up a bit shorter than I’d like, necessitating the tights, so that plus the longer-than-intended sleeves fall-ified the dress completely.
I put the whole thing together in just a few podcasts (apparently I count time in Fresh Air episodes now), with the most time-consuming part actually being threading the elastic through the casing at the waist (which would have taken a lot less time if I’d made the casing just a tiny bit wider…) And now that I’ve gotten my randomness back, I seem to have recovered my planning mojo. Onwards, then, to the fall of pantsmaking!