Today is the first of my new series, Knock It Off: Store-Inspired Tutorials. These projects take the "I could make that" thought to an affordable reality.
I've mentioned before I'm a fan of ModCloth. I love the unique & retro looks they offer. It's hard to find stylish options when you fall into the "not a teenager, but not an old granny" category, so I fall in love with things I find there all the time. What I do not love is the high price tags - this mom does not have a big wardrobe budget.
I saw the From Your Head To Your Posies Dress and thought it was a cute spring look. However, the lime isn't the most flattering shade of green and the price was a little steep for something this whimsical. So a Knock It Off Challenge appeared!
|From Your Head To Your Posies|
The Challenge:Make a green fitted sheath dress with a retro feel and a fun petal-style color, for under $20.
|Left: ModCloth Dress, Right: My Homemade Version|
- Get dress pattern Simplicity 1609 (aka 0259) - this is a retro pattern so it is ideal and includes the fabulous scalloped collar so the real design work is done for you. Alternatively the collar could be cut into separate petals to be even more like the original dress. Notion-wise, some interfacing for the collar & a back zipper will be needed.
- For the collar fabric I went with a mid-weight woven polyester I had from my grandma's old stash. Using a weightier fabric for the collar "anchors" the dress better than using the same type of fabric as the body, which tends to blend in.
Tips on assembly:
To get the nice fitted look a lot of darts are involved in this dress: around the bust, back - even at back neckline. Darts can be tough to press flat, especially around areas that will curve (like the bust), so I highly recommend using a tailor's ham:
Just pull the fabric as flat as you can around the curve of the ham and press. It makes a huge difference and can coax the fabric to shape nicely.
I also finished the bottom with a blind hem. The pattern called for a slipstitch hem done by hand, but I was too
Another thing I did was to make a couple stitches tacking the underside of collar to the dress fabric. This keeps the collar from flipping up or flopping around, which can be really annoying. I also added some floral buttons, per the pattern's design, as opposed to leaving it plain like the original dress. I think it gives it a nicer finish, but maybe that's just me.
This pattern is one to have in your stash if you like making fun dresses - there's an option without a collar and with a cute neckline bow instead, so there are several retro looks that can be done. The most time is spent on the cutting/marking and the inner facing, so once you get that down, the rest goes pretty fast. I definitely plan to use it again with some different fabrics & a few prints. And since I'm only 5 feet tall, I realized I can get away with using less yardage since I ended up trimming off more than 4 inches from the recommended hem length. Which means the next dress I make with it will be even cheaper!!
Total Knock Off Savings: $49
For the fabric, zipper, buttons & pattern I spent $18.27. I already had the collar fabric & interfacing in my stash, but I found the same pattern at a much lower price after I bought it, so the difference between what I saved on one & overspent on the other was about the same if anyone wants to hit the same DIY price range. While the dresses aren't exactly the same, the general style is and I actually like the collar of mine better. I also love that I can make several more and still be under the price of the original. Here's to using the Knock It Off spirit!!
Do you have any store-inspired project ideas in mind or things you've done? Share them in the comments!
I'm also sharing this project with my FAVE LINK PARTIES.
Click HERE to check them out!