sewing saturday.. white drop waist dress with lace trim

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Sewing Saturday! This week, I made an improvised pullover dress with a stiff, sheer cotton fabric (thrifted). I knew I wanted a sleeveless drop waist dress that was simple, no buttons or zippers, that I could wear as a cover up for swimming. Since I didn't have any stretch fabric, I needed to make it large enough to be a pullover. I decided to use the bodice of a jumper pattern I owned and make my own skirt, which would allow me to control how gathered it was as well as its length.

I found this late 1980's jumper pattern at a church-run thrift store in Nashville. The dorky photo with the kittens and teased bangs definitely sold it to me.

What you'll need for this project - fabric (I used less than 2 yards), thread, pinking shears, scissors, pins, a pattern (although I only used it for the bodice), measuring tape, a flat working surface, and a sewing machine. Lace trim is optional.

First, I cut out the pattern pieces, pinned it to the fabric, marked 6 inches lower at the bottom edges to allow for a longer bodice (for a more drop waisted look), and cut the pieces out.

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I used a 5/8 inch seam allowance at the top of the straps and sewed them together. I did the same at the sides, stopping at the underarm area. I then cut the seam excess with pinking shears and pressed them flat.

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Once the bodice was mostly done, I focused on the skirt. I knew the height it was supposed to be - shorter than the bodice by several inches, so I cut a long rectangle of fabric shorter than the bodice length and over twice the width of the bodice. Once the rectangle was cut, I sewed it together then sewed two lines of stitching on the top of the skirt, being careful not to backstitch over the ends. I then pulled the strands and pushed them along, gathering the skirt until the waist fit the bottom of the bodice.

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Once I sewed the gathered skirt to the bottom of the bodice, I finished the neckline and arm holes by folding them in, wrong sides together, by 1/4 inch. I stitched them shut, then folded them over another 1/4 inch and stitched again.

When I stitched the neckline, I was impatient and did a shoddy job. To cover it up a bit, I decided to add lace trim to the neckline.

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All finished!

sewing saturday! a drop waist dress
sewing saturday! a drop waist dress

When I started this pullover jumper, I had intentions of using it only as a swim cover up. Now I want to layer it with a slip, put on a skinny brown macrame belt at the waist, and wear it out. Maybe a later post?

Last night, I dreamt that Alexa Chung's Madewell collection was finally for sale. This is getting pretty bad. I think I might just have to recreate the brown velvet dress with black peter pan collar myself, because I can't wait til September.

Today was a wonderful first day of work at the vintage shop! I had a lovely visit from a fellow blogger, Cayce Layne of Madame Joy. She and her friend were in the middle of a Nashville vacation when they decided to make a stop to search for some vintage and say hello. We took a quick picture (thanks, Quincy!) and talked a bit while they shopped.

Happy Monday! Etsy update coming soon.