Self-drafted Dress and Del Mar Derby Hat

One night, as I was browsing YouTube for sewing videos, I came across some on how to drape a dress form to create a sloper. It was explained relatively simple and I love a challenge! Now, I don’t  have a dress form that is identical to my measurements, so I just used myself as the dummy (pun not intended)! I cut two large rectangles of muslin, pinned at the shoulders and side seams, and began drawing in my lines and pinching out fabric to create the darts. It was fairly difficult at times, seeing as I was working solo, but after I straightened out the lines, I ended up with an actual sloper!

Front bodice on left, back bodice on right
Front bodice on left, back bodice on right

I transferred the markings to cardboard, so I would have a sturdier base to work with and added 1/2 seam allowance. I also wanted to pivot the dart from the shoulder the the side bust.

Front bodice on left, back bodice on right.
Front bodice on left, back bodice on right.

I added two extra inches to the  back bodice along the zipper seam because I am super paranoid that I won’t have sufficient fabric to work with after the final cuts have been made. I definitely had extra fabric! Next time I’ll x-nay the extra two inches.

Blue Dress- Full Shot

I also self-drafted the half circle skirt from a tutorial (I can’t recall which one :/). I’m extremely happy with how even the hem turned out! I measured 18″ from the waist and marked it all the way around the hem and used that as a guide as I folded, pressed, and stitched a blind hem by hand. The hat is what remains from opening day at the Del Mar Races (more on that later).

Blue Dress- BodiceThe side bust dart is at least an inch too high and long. Next time, I’ll take in the sides at least a quarter of an inch. I lined the bodice with white muslin to finish the facings, but I didn’t take into account the turn of cloth.

Blue Dress- Handpicked ZipperAs a result of adding too much zipper allowance, the darts ended up too close to the zipper. I handpicked the exposed zipper, a method I totally prefer because of the control it allows when sewing. Most times when I try to sew a zipper in by machine, I will toss the project aside and it will end up a UFO (Unfinished Object).

Back View
Back View

Lines! Why the lines?! It’s definitely not too tight! Maybe its just the shadows? Cotton is so unforgiving in photos taken at sundown.

On to the hat! A couple weeks ago, I went to opening day at the Del Mar Races, and had only a few days to get a fabulous hat to wear. The hat shop downtown was packed with fellow opening day-ers, and upon first look, it appeared as though all the good hats were taken. But in the corner, I saw one simple, large, black sunhat and quickly, I made my purchase. Of course I had to give it pizzazz, so I gathered my materials (hot glue gun, feathers, ribbon and glitter) and got to work.

Derby HatI went a little glitter crazy. Needless to say, my hat was one of a kind and I had a wonderful experience at opening day!

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