Finished - The Twiggy Dress

So we all know that in no way do I resemble Twiggy (perhaps I resemble 1.5 Twiggies) but as soon as I started playing with my striped knit from my last post, I knew I had to head back to Clear It quick smart and get some more for a Twiggy-esque knit shift mini-dress.





I love it. Stylish stretchy wear - Wardrobe Architect box ticked!

I'd had the idea AGES ago to extend the length of ye olde trusty (and still free!) Maria Denmark Kimono tee pattern to a dress, but never done anything about it. But once I found my Stripes of Awesomeness that thought bubbled back up to the surface and I became compelled to get it made before all of our warm weather disappeared for another season.  It was fairly straightforward - I just marked the approximate waistline on the tee pattern, measured my hips and added a little ease to ensure it wasn't too tight across ab and backside, and did a slight A-line skirt shape. I just did one skirt piece for front and back, and shifted it slightly on the fold (the back piece of the tee is a little wider than the front). 


I thought I was being super clever doing a little sway back adjustment on the tee pattern (which I needed to do, but had been a bit lazy) but I didn't take into account how the dress would fit across my lower back in the vertical direction. Woven shift patterns usually have a centre back seam with some shaping or vertical fish-eye darts to add some shape back there. I considered adding some darts but decided I didn't want to muck up the line of the stripes. It actually looked a lot worse when it was long, before I pinned up the hem. I think the weight of the fabric pulled it down straight over my backside so once that weight was reduced the fabric relaxed a little and followed the curve of my back a little more. 

It's interesting - most of the knit shift dresses I've seen (including Tilly's new Coco) are cut on the fold, so would have this fit issue over the lower back curve. Recently I found this shift pattern designed for knits in an op shop, and rather marvellously the lady who previously owned it was my size (happy days!) and only made the sleeveless version:


It has a centre back seam (and a seemingly pointless zip) but the interesting thing is the shape of the centre back seam (left hand side):



I kind of wish I'd looked at this before cutting Twiggy out, but I'll know for my next knit dress - my sway back is so prominent that I'd rather have the dress skimming my lower back than hanging straight from mid-back to backside, even if it means having a centre back seam.

The only other alteration I made this time was to bind the neckline differently - I wanted a deep seam at the neckline, as I like the look of it, but found it really hard to get the binding to sit flat, so I unpicked the shoulder seams, and attached the binding in 2 separate pieces to each neckline, turned them under and stitched them flat where I wanted it, then did the shoulder seams. Probably not as nice on the inside but I care not a bit if it looks good on the outside!

And despite it being 30 degrees today, and as humid as the equator, I also styled Twiggy in Autumnal fashion, as this is likely how she will be worn for much of her life:




And now a picture of the real Twiggy herself - I did try a pose for you but it wasn't good. Trust me.

Source

Comments

  1. This is so great in the fat stripes. I've had this pattern in my inbox from when I saw your other ones but still haven't made it up yet. Great tips on lengthening a knit BTW. I know what you mean about the heat, I'm so ready for autumn to hit- COME ON!

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    1. Thanks Amy! You know I love this pattern - highly recommend it!

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  2. Price of this dress was very good and dress was perfect. I purposely ordered a larger size and it was still a little small. But I take it as motivation to lose a few pounds.

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    1. Thanks Vera! So nice of you to come by.....

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  3. I love this dress Twiggy and it looks so lovely on you...Summer or Autumn. I don't mind at all the fit at the back but will be interested to seeing the other pattern made up. Great idea with the binding!

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    1. Thanks Kirsty - it's definitely better in the back than I thought it would be. I love your spotty coco BTW but I can't leave a comment tonight - disqus won't load on my ipad for some reason :(

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  4. This is so darn cute! I love it styled both ways. I hope you get a lot of wear out of this one!

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    1. Thanks Gail! We already best frock friends!

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  5. Great dress - I love that Kimono tee pattern. I really like your autumn styling too!

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    1. Thanks Tamsin! It's such a winner of a pattern!

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  6. Very cute and with endless styling possibilities!

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    1. Thanks Melody, I think it's going to be worn endlessly this year!

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  7. A really nice basic, I'd wear it everyday, too! Also, thanks for the tips on the back seam - good to know!

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  8. Love this dress and how you styled it. You are looking chic, my dear! You know, I have a massive swayback and when I finished altering my wool shift dress (which has a back seam) the back piece looked exactly like the back piece on your op shop pattern. When I first saw it I figured it would look wonky when sewn up, but it really did the trick - no sway back!

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    1. Oh that's great to know Andrea! I should look at the pieces of new look 6000 too - I bet it's curved as well. Wretched sway backs!

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  9. 1.5 Twiggies!! Something about using her as a vague unit of measurement really cracks me up. Glad you got more of this stripe - I love the dress!

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    1. Thanks Morgan - a totally valid unit of measurement I feel! :)

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  10. Love this! I am finishing my first Kimono Tee from Maria Denmark and, when I tried it on, thought "I should totally make this into a dress". Yours has just convinced me I NEED to do it (albeit with a center back seam, for sure)!

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    1. Oh that's great Rox - I hope you love it! Will keep an eye out for your version!

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  11. Love it - what a great little dress. It looks awesome on you ; )

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  12. Thanks for the tip about Clear It upstairs! I went there this morning with my 3yo (not a good idea, I don't recommend it) - what a selection and at reasonable prices too. Will be going back without child and a strategy to hide purchases from my partner ("More fabric? We can't afford that...")

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    1. That's great to hear! You do need some quiet time to check it all out! It's funny my hubs didn't realize my stripes were a new purchase as I have so many striped things already! So that was easy..... Surreptitious purchases are the way to go! Good luck ;)

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  13. Oh, wow! See, I look at this and think, "This is why we sew our own clothes". Just fantastic.... Oh, and kudos to you for autumnal styling (perfection!) in that heat!

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    1. Oh Danielle what a lovely thing to write! :). You are the sweetest!

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  14. Hey! this is so fabulous! I think you did a great job with the fabric, even without being able to do a sway back adjustment. I guess unless you were really careful lining the stripes up perfectly along a back seam you could incorporate it? but jersey being the way it is, it might shift while you stitch. hmm oh i think it looks really good!
    And where did you get the fabric? ive been looking for a jersey with a wide stripe. i only seem to be able to find the thin breton stripe type ones.

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    1. Thanks Kat, I knew it'd be right up your alley! The fabric is from a clearance warehouse in Melbourne, called Clear It, which sells mostly clothing but upstairs has fabric used by alannah hill, Gorman and a few other brands - this one was a Gorman one. They'd nearly run out when I went back for more - it's such great fabric isn't it?

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  15. Stripes of awesomeness indeed - what a fab little dress, I wants me one too! I made the Maria Denmark in striped fabric too, just tee length.

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    1. Thanks Lexi - your top is great! I think a dress version would suit you very much!

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  16. Your dress is gorgeous! looks so chic. I reckon you'll wear this beauty a tonne during autumn :)

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    1. Thanks so much Carolyn! It's already in very high circulation!

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  17. gorgeous little dress Sarah! I love the relaxed fit and this silhouette looks so good on you.
    I keep reading about sway back adjustments. I'm starting to think I need one too.

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  18. BTW, I just found this tutorial http://buzzybeesworld.blogspot.nl/2010/12/sway-back-alterations-my-analysis.html
    and it totally makes sense. You don't necessarily have to make a center back seam! Huzzah!
    Hope it helps. :)

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    1. Thanks Rachel, I'll have to have a good read! Glad you like the Twiggy! :)

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  19. Wow, this is the perfect dress. I need to make one just like it!

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    1. Thanks Kelli - from you that is praise indeed!

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  20. Your dress is fantastic, I'm going to have to add this to my list of things to make.

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    1. Thankyou! It's very comfy and was really easy!

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  21. Awesome make! Love your fabric choice.

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