Cheila's First No Pattern Frock

July 26, 2010

My friend Cheila of What's Goin Down Episode is so chic. Her house is the perfect mix of 30s charm and artistic flavor, her daughter and Lily get along like peas and carrots and she makes the BEST lunch recipes. It's no wonder I love to visit. So when she asked me to get together and share some pattern making tips I was so there!
She had a couple ideas in mind, but in the end we decided to try and recreate this Anthropologie dress without the side buttons. I wanted to start off with a very basic shape. The dress is just one piece, no separate skirt and top. The Anthro piece is a little more complicated. Aside from the side buttons, the cowl neck is one piece to the shoulders and the seam is at the chest. But to make things easier we went with something very similar and a LOT easier.
Cheila was surprised at how all simple the process was. We just draped the fabric on the dress form, drew lines and CUT.
I tell people that it's actually faster for me to make a pattern of my own than to use someone else's. When you have to use a paper pattern you have to open it up, cut out the pattern, fold back all the extra pieces, pin the pattern to the fabric, then cut. When you're cutting off a dress form, you can see the shape of the finished piece a lot sooner than when you're using a pattern. Sometimes, it gives you more motivation to make it through to the end.
Plus, if you make a muslin first, you have a finished pattern to use again and again. And furthermore, muslin sticks to a lot of other fabrics so no pinning!

13 {comments}:

Jo said... Best Blogger Tips

What a lovely dress! It's a great colour, and looks like a really soft comfy fabric too!
I'm kind of in the middle of trying to make a dress without a pattern, and I'm a little scared to proceed. I've got the bodice done, but I don't know what I want to do for the skirt. I'm making it out of yellow linen.

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Love it!

Zara said... Best Blogger Tips

Nice dress! You make everything look so easy and you create such beautiful pieces that I wish I had your talent.

Just wondering, when you don't use a pattern and use a dress form to cut, don't you end up using more fabric that way? Also, maybe in your Technique series you can also show us how to make this dress?

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Yes and no. What I usually do is buy a bunch of muslin at 99 cents a yard and do a muslin version pattern first. Then I take the muslin pattern and place it on my fabric and cut.

I don't sew the muslin together. Often I just pin it on the dress form and cut. I still think it's faster than using a pattern.

And yes, that is a great idea for Technique Tuesdays! Thanks.

Emily said... Best Blogger Tips

Ooh I love it! The color is awesome and it looks like it should be uncomfortable b/c it's so fancy but I bet it's not. Any suggestions for someone without a dress form?

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

If you don't have a dress form, one option is to make a custom dress form from duct tape. The web has various sets of instructions, I've used the set from Threads Magazine,

Brianne said... Best Blogger Tips

OMG, I love her blog name! "From the What's Going Down Episode of That's My Mama, Mr. Randy Watson!"

that made my day.

Elizabeth of Online Fabric Store said... Best Blogger Tips

I like you technique, so quick and accurate. If I had a dress form, I'd try this method.

jamie said... Best Blogger Tips

i've been thinking about dress forms today (i don't have one), and making a garment with one looks so simple! i've looked at a few online - do you have any tips regarding choosing a good one?

thank you! whoosk[at]gmail

Toocutedobs said... Best Blogger Tips

Awesome dress--you are very talented!

MoveYourAsana said... Best Blogger Tips

you make it look so easy!!! I wish I had the confidence...or was your neighbor!!

Cheilita said... Best Blogger Tips

I love it when we sew. thanks again my friend.

elizabeth said... Best Blogger Tips

I am going to attempt this dress! I need some clothes for our three long weekend trips and this looks as though it will pack/wear well. I just bought a dress form and so excited to use it!! :)

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