Get Out of My Dreams and Into My Closet

During my sewing drought, I often came upon a pattern that I needed to make RIGHT NOW, or a fabric that simply sang to me so it needed to make its way home to my stash. But the need never went further than that. No doing, just daydreaming. But then came Alder and it pushed me enough to take action and enjoy the process thoroughly (cutting, fitting, muslining…). Once I finished I was ready to start an assembly line of Alder dresses but something made me pause. Enter this beeeautiful tunic.

I fell in love with the simplicity in the lines, drapey fabric, how it screamed cozy boho chic. I’m not one to call myself chic, or a boho (what?), but this dress needed on my body. And I felt confident in being able to replicate it. And thank goodness I could because, even if it came in my size, I wouldn’t shell out $128 for it.

I used a kimono blouse pattern that I had recently bought, New Look 0907. I muslined it twice. The first time, I used the last bit of African wax cotton I had in a print I loved. Not sure why I didn’t save it for AFTER I got the measurements right. Using it as a test fabric made me not take much care in the pattern matching, or pattern placement (headlights!). For shame. I love that fabric. Anyhoo…I cut a straight 22 and just added a bit of arm width.

Kimono Blouse Muslin-Pincushion TreatsThe size felt constricting. I had a hard time raising my arms. Which sucks, because looking at the photos, I much prefer the shirt in a smaller size.Kimono Blouse Muslin 2-Pincushion Treats

The next test version is made in an unidentifiable cotton I purchased at the Rag Market in Birmingham, in what feels like another life. I graded it up a size and it felt so much more comfy, if not a bit more boxy. The neckline doesn’t lie flat and I blame it on some stiff binding I used to finish the neckline.

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In the end, comfort won out and I used the upgraded pattern to make my first ever hack. Eeek! I am not one to stray from pattern instructions. I rarely play with fabric patterns or shape. I never think to marry two patterns to produce a gorgeous garment baby. So for me to see a pattern, then a dress and to follow through in replicating said dress, is a big deal. Coming off of my Alder high, the excitement of this dress made me follow through and make it. It’s not dancing in my daydreams. It’s tangible and I can wear it. Granted, I don’t look as leggy as the model who wore the original, but I feel…airy…light when I wear my version. It’s a bit maternity-esque. Feck it. I don’t care. I want to boho chic around town, while haggling at yard sales, and taking a lunch break at my local farmer’s market.

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I initially wasn’t going to make an almost exact copy. But the more I stared at the original, the more I loved the stripy yoke. So I did a bit of searching. I knew the textile is popular in South America so I used various key words to find it in Etsy. Funny enough, when it came down to buying it, I didn’t buy it from the various buyers in South America. I bought it from China. Hey, it was cheaper and a cotton blend. The others were purely synthetic.

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I planned to skip the back ties but decided they were desperately needed after trying it on without. No ties=Moo Moo. I’m glad the ties helped simmer down the maternal look because I would’ve been gutted if all the work would’ve been for nothing.

Dream dress reality

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So yeah. I’m pretty happy with my copycat dress. Looking forward to boho chic-ing it.

Next up: Alder dresses assembly line!

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55 thoughts on “Get Out of My Dreams and Into My Closet

  1. I love this! I’m always so proud of how far you’ve come in your dress-making. I remember that first conversation where you said you were just going to start making your own clothes and I misunderstood you and recommended the cheapie store I go to.

    I dreamt that I met Ollie last night! It was lovely seeing you both if only in my dreams.

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  2. Well done you! Its a stunning dress. I love the stripey yoke and the blue of the skirt. Congrats on your first hack..I am trying to do my first hack (a Boden skirt:) and have been floundering. You have inspired me to keep at it. X

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    • Thank you. I’m glad I decided to get it, too. I also bought the fabric in a blue colorway. Not sure what I will do with it but it doesn’t matter. It makes me happy.

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  3. So so awesome! I’m mentally preparing to get totally crazy and make (drumroll) … a Wiskten Tank! Which I know is like playing with blocks, sewing-garment-wise, but it’s a HUGE leap for me. You’re such an inspiration! 🙂

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    • That’s awesome! I’ve heard such great things about that top. I have the similar one by Grainline Studios. It’s a great basic to have in your wardrobe. I hope it goes well (I’m sure it will!).

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  4. It’s so cute!! And it looks super comfy. It’s not as maternity looking as it could be — hard to avoid a little bit of that with this style of dress. But whatever, you look darling and if it makes you feel good that’s all that matters!

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  5. What a beautiful garment baby you made (hehe)!! The top color looks great on you. And, I really like the chambray on the bottom more than the musliny color fabric of the inspiration piece 🙂 You offer hope to me as a new mother that one day I’ll be able to sew again!!

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    • You know, once Ollie started walking he started sleeping a lot better. And I’ve been able to take advantage! I hope you get some opportune moments to steal away soon!

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  6. Fun fabric (love those stripes!) Great dress! I love that it was inspired by something you fell in love with on the rack- but instead of buying it you made one! And no one else will be wearing it! Nice work!

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  7. I love your dress! I adore mexican and south american fabrics and embroidery too! It’s on my list of dresses to make. Did you see the one Tanya made with the embroidery? I too love African Wax Batiks. I bought some from a woman who’s husband works with a school where the women hand-dyed the fabric on the lawn with a broom and cornmeal in Uganda. Definitely on my “to be sewn soon” list.

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