Of course I was going to make something for The Monthly Stitch’s Pattern Hack week for Indie Pattern Month. Pattern hacking is quickly becoming a favorite sport. The particular dress that I had in mind for this challenge I’ve had on my must make now docket for 2 years. It’s inspired by Boden’s Alice dress that came out around that time. Here’s the original:
I instantly was drawn to the colorblocking in the large scale geometric shapes and the easy-wearing silhouette. Fabric magicked its way into my stash after I found this dress, but some of these initial fabrics were not the right colors I was looking for. I bought the same green ponte twice from two different places. “Coral” turned out to be neon orange and “soft yellow” turned out to be more like a school bus that got hosed down with a mustard cannon (Buy swatches people. Ugly fabric is forever). So this project got shelved until a pretty piece of salmon ponte came into my stash via Fabric Mart. Can salmon save a colorblocking disaster? It sure did for this Winter Street Geometric Dress!
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Winter Street Geometric Dress Mash up!
The colors that I chose for this dress really remind me of a taffy shop.
I always enjoyed seeing salt water taffy being made when I was a kid (more so than eating it), and the bright springy colors are just the sort that make me happy. All of the fabrics are ponte, and the colors are salmon, white, spring green, and a light spring blue. The primary yellow I got by dyeing pieces of the white fabric with Rit DyeMore in daffodil.
For this particular hack, I used 3 1/2 ish different patterns. All of the colorblocking was my own drawing of lines all over said patterns. Here’s the rundown:
- Patternreview’s Winter Street Dress: I love the bodice on this pattern. It’s a nice easy scoopneck, and the waist seam hits me at a good spot. I used this pattern before as my day dress for the Day and Night Dress Challenge. A shortened version of the patterns’ sleeve was used. I would’ve used the skirt, but I didn’t want the pleats in the skirt that are in this particular pattern. There was concern that the colorblocked sections would be interrupted too much by the pleats.
- Blank Slate Patterns’ Denver Tunic: I like the princess seams on this particular pattern. With my Day and Night Dress Challenge Winter Street, I used the Denver as a template for some embroidery work. On this project, I used the front side panels as actual pattern pieces.
- Jalie’s Bella Dress/Tilly and the Buttons Coco: Well, I started out using the skirt from the side panels fused on top of Tilly and the Button’s Coco dress. The Bella flares out dramatically on this pattern. Ultimately the ponte did not have enough drape to handle the flare, so I draped out the side seams to make a more A-line skirt. The final skirt is closer to the original Coco dress skirt in shape, though it’s not quite as wide.
Creating the colorblocking (aka pattern freestyling)
In addition to the above pattern pieces, I added back side panels. Using a French curve, I drew a line where a back side panel would approximately lie.
To make the colorblocking, first I drew lines all over my skirt to emulate the shapes in the inspiration dress using a regular ruler and also a French curve.
To save a little time, I cut right on these lines and added seam allowances to the appropriate places on my actual fabric. Then, to keep myself honest, I labeled the pieces with “up” on the top edges and with a “+” on every edge that needed a seam allowance added. Next, I numbered all of the seam intersections so that I would put the puzzle together in the right way.
The skirt back is a mirror of the front which makes for some cool side seam intersections. All of the many intersections took some careful sewing to get the points right, and overall, I’m pretty pleased with how things came together.
My backdrops for this dress are in Zion National Park. I thought it’d be a little awkward wearing a ponte dress in the middle of the woods, yet it turned out to be quite the comfortable getup in the early morning. No doubt if my family and I had gone out late in the day when we first got to the park the previous day, it would’ve been awful. In fact, by afternoon it was well over 100 degrees! In the morning, it was closer to 70 in the woods which was lovely. I’m looking forward to wearing this one in the cool of fall with some leggings and boots!
Overall, I’m really pleased that I finally tackled this project that was on my must do list!
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Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.