It’s a good thing I don’t have a lot of time to read fashion magazines but when I do?, I go straight for InStyle. It’s my fave. I checked out the March 2016 issue and was sew inspired. Among other things, there was an H&M “City Diaries” ad that had me wanting nearly every piece. When I saw this red dress, I began to ponder patterns in my stash that I could use to make it up.
The inspiration piece is made up in cotton but I used a red rayon gauze that I purchased at Hancock Fabrics. Its perfect. I’d gotten it at a special (spot the bolt) price. Added to that was my teacher discount so that the final price was $2.95 per yard from an original price of $12.99 per yard. I purchased three yards each of the colors shown here.
For the bodice, I used McCall’s 5039 which was released in 2006. I’d sewn this pattern several years ago. I lengthened the “empire waist” by about 4″ and the “puff”sleeves by 9”. The original dress sleeve has elastic and is embellished with a tassel. While I do like those details, I opted for a simple sleeve with a narrow hem.
For the skirt, I used Butterick 6203. I cut a skirt front, back and three tiers. The tiers are rectangular in shape and cut on the fold. This makes this dress somewhat of a fabric hog. The skirt was super easy to make but the hem gave me fits. FITS I TELL YOU! It’s uneven.
Shortly after cutting the tiers, I realized that I would not have enough fabric for the desired sleeves. My initial thought was to order fabric online but I couldn’t imagine paying much more than I’d paid at Hancock Fabrics…so I decided to make a trip to Jo Ann Fabrics instead. They didn’t even have rayon gauze. They had a limited selection of cotton gauze but none that was of any interest.
Next, I journeyed to the clearance section…normally this would be my first stop. Right away I saw this lightweight red sweater knit that is a perfect compliment to the gauze. Perfect also was the timing of the purchase as there was an additional 50% off of clearance fabrics and another 20% reduction because of an “irregularity” in the fabric. It has a repeated “snag” throughout. As if that weren’t enough discounts, I purchased all that was left on the bolt and got 50% off all inches less than a yard and finally…my teacher discount. This fabric should have been free huh? I ended up getting 2.5 yards of this 60″ wide fabric for about $7.
In all honesty this sweater knit was horrible to work with. It rolls, snags, hangs up in the dog feeds but it was all worth it in the end. Even the associate at the cutting counter cautioned me as she was trying to get an accurate measure of the yardage amount…this fabric would not cooperate.
I like it when I can put my own spin on an inspiration piece. The absence of the original sleeve design and the addition of the sweater knit allowed me to do just that. I used the same sweater knit fabric to draft the straps. The inspiration dress has a high low hem which I would have included but didn’t really notice until it was too late.
Until next time…PEACE AND BLESSINGS.