Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Knock It Off: Store Inspired Tutorial - ModCoth Style Posies Dress



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
 at ModCloth.com

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
 How To Do It:
- 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.

- I couldn't find a nice solid green fabric in a heavier weight, so I went with a cotton/poly broadcloth in a more flattering kelly green.  This helped make the dress a bargain price and ideal as a wearable muslin, since this was the first time using this pattern.  No one wants to goof up with a new pattern using pricey fabric!

- 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 lazy short on time to bother.

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!

32 comments:

  1. Your dress is better than expensive!Well done!

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  2. I love ModCloth but sometimes I feel like their prices can be a little high. The dress you made looks so cute and the over all cost is amazing. I would love to see a series of just ModCloth Knock It Off :)

    Great Job!
    Katie
    http://runningwithagluegun.blogspot.com/

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    1. I feel the same way Katie, which is what's gotten be going on my "Knock It Off" idea. I have several other items from there in mind for upcoming tutorials - won't ever run out of cute things to inspire me there!

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  3. This is amazing!!! I love the green you chose and the scalloped with complimentary flower buttons! Fantastic :-D Thanks for sharing!

    Hannah ♫
    Sew Lah Tea Dough

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    1. Thanks Hannah. I can't take all the credit though - one of the pics on the pattern package showed it in a similar green and I thought it looked way better than the olive-y color. Finding nice solid fabrics is tougher than you'd expect, but now that I've made one, I'm on a mission to find more fabrics to make more;)

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  4. Great job on this dress Cheryl! I haven't even got the post yet, I saw it at the How To party and thought it was cute! Should've known it was your creation!

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  5. Love the dress! I would so love to make one :)

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  6. That looks awesome!! It's just the tutorial I needed. I bought some fabric for a dress for myself; but, I hadn't found a pattern I liked yet! This will be perfect!

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    1. Can't wait to see it - just be sure to go by the measurement info for sizing. Since this is a vintage reprint it runs small. I was lazy and went by the "size" and had to decrease my seam allowances so it wouldn't be too tight. Next one I'll be making a size up.

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  7. i'd never be able to pull it off; your version is way better than the mod cloth one too!

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    1. Thanks Carissa and never say never. I couldn't sew a pillow 4 yrs ago and always wore blah jeans, so there is hope for EVERYONE!!

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  8. That is so fun! It looks like something Doris Day would wear :) She is one of my faves.

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  9. This is an ADORABLE dress! I love, love, love the color and vintage feel of it! Would love it if you would link this up to Give Me The Goods Monday: 1 Party, 5 Blogs! http://www.rainonatinroof.com/2013/04/give-me-goods-link-party-6.html
    Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

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  10. Wow! I much prefer your version :) The scalloped collar is gorgeous!

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  11. really cute and such a great color of green!

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  12. This is fantastic! I love modcloth, but can't afford to buy everything I want! I also started watching Mad Men recently, and want to start dressing all 1960s cute! :) Pinning!

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  13. Cute dress. The flower buttons are a pretty touch!

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  14. Love Mod Cloth! I would have never thought to DIY a dress based on their designs. You're dress is so close to the original.
    Sara

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  15. This turned out so very cute! Thanks for linking to our Pattern Party at Get Your Crap Together!

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  16. Thanks for linking to Take-a-Look Tuesday over at Sugar Bee Crafts - you were featured yesterday!!
    -Mandy, www.SugarBeeCrafts.com

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  17. Super cute dress! I really do like it better than the 'original' :-)

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  18. I love ModCloth, too! Your dress is fab!!

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  19. Wow, I like your dress SO MUCH better than the original! The colour is so much nicer, and the other one just doesn't look wearable to me with that collar. Yours is cute and fun but not to silly, and of course I love adding buttons to everything. Where did you get your pattern, if you don't mind my asking? It looks like it might be out of print :( and the other number you listed didn't bring anything up on the the Simplicity website. Love love love it!

    Cheers!
    Buttons
    The Hot Toddies of Washington

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    1. Just click on the link in the post (where it says Simplicity 1609), that'll take you directly to their site. It's a vintage pattern they've released, so it's definitely in print in most fabric stores/online shops:)

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  20. I've seen this on a few of the parties I've been going to and this always catches my eyes. I love shaving money and this makes me feel like I could find clothes I like but are too expensive and make it myself. I hope you'll come share it with us today on my linking party at http://www.fidlersunderoneroof.com ! Look forward to seeing you there!

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  21. Well how cute!! You really did a great job on that dress! I know you will love having it this summer. And you get to think every time you wear it how much you saved!! Thanks so much for sharing it with us for my party!
    Blessings,
    Doni

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  22. Hi Cheryl, This is pretty amazing! Featuring you tonight on A Crafty Soiree. Thanks for sharing! xo

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  23. Congratulations! You are one of our Top 5 Features from our our Pattern Party at Get Your Crap Together! Stop by and get a feature button! Thanks for linking up! Happy Mother’s Day!!!

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  24. I love the retro look of this great dress! I haven't really delved too far into making clothes but I would love to do it. I will have to go check out some of the older patterns, I'm diggin' this one :) Thanks so much for linking this up @ Great Idea Thursday's! Krista @ A Handful of Everything

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Getting your comments brightens my day. I'd love if you left one:)

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