Buy a new dress or make a dress? I made one!

summer-dressThe seasons have finally changed in Ohio, and we have been instantly thrust into summer. It’s time for the fun summer colors and prints. And men and women are hitting the clothing stores to buy the latest and greatest fashions for summer.

All the fabrics
All the fabrics

As much as the coral, orange and yellow colors appeal to me, I haven’t been on any shopping spree. The clothes I have are fine. Even though I have a pretty monochromatic wardrobe, I like that everything matches, good quality and makes me feel good.

I did go through the pang to buy recently. I am attending a wedding in Fort Lauderdale, and the required attire was a formal summer dress. I’m not sure what that is, but I know I don’t have one.

So a few weeks ago, I started looking for a dress to buy. I had a specific style in mind, but all of the dresses I saw online were so expensive. I couldn’t justify the cost when I only intended to wear it for one wedding. I would need to be sure I would wear it again somewhere else.

Pinning and more pinning

One evening, the idea came to me… I’ll make my dress!

A few years ago, my friends, Catherine and Tabitha, taught me how to sew. With the help of YouTube, I made a dress, a dress for my niece, and a skirt. Even though I am not a highly experienced seamstress, I was confident I could find an easy pattern to make a summer dress to wear to my friend’s wedding.

I found a McCalls pattern that was exactly the style dress I had in mind. I had an idea of the type of fabric needed, but I wasn’t totally sure. I spent an hour in Joann Fabrics looking at fabrics and feeling their weights. The dress needed to fall a certain way, so the fabric weight was important.

Time for sewing

I mentioned my idea and my predicament to my friend, Mary Ruth, and she said she could help me. She said, “I don’t claim to know much, but I do know sewing.” Perfect!

Mary Ruth met me at Joann Fabrics and helped me pick out the right type of fabric. She pointed out that the suggested fabric type was listed on the pattern, which I had overlooked. We browsed through the fabric aisles, and I found a print that was for me.

Over the next six days, I made my dress. I was sick for four of those days, so production time was fast since I didn’t leave the house. I carefully cut out the patterns, pinned the pattern pieces to the fabric as directed, and cut out the fabric. I matched up all the pieces, sewed them together, and ended up with a dress that closely resembled the one on the sewing pattern’s pouch.

The end result!
The end result!

I was extremely happy with the results! I couldn’t stopped twirling when I put it on. Of course, I beamed brighter than the sun when a woman commented on how she loved my dress as Eric and I waited for a cab to the wedding.

I loved this experience. The cost of the fabric was the same as my budget for a new dress. I know I could have just gone out and bought a dress, but I liked this better.

I could have said, “I can’t sew very good. The dress won’t look good,” but I didn’t. Even the best seamstresses and fashion designers started some where. Sewing is a skill that takes practice. I think I will be planning ahead and doing this a little more in the coming months.

I was really proud to wear and t0 dance in a dress that I had made.



2 thoughts on “Buy a new dress or make a dress? I made one!

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