Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Mom, can you copy that dress?"

Ah, such sweet words to hear from my teenage daughter!!

Diana and I spent Monday in downtown D.C., exploring Chinatown and Georgetown. We prowled in several thrift shops, antique shops, and trendy boutiques. We bought almost nothing (Diana got a little necklace at Commander Salamander; I bought a magazine), but had such a grand time.

At the Anthropologie store in Georgetown Park, Diana fell in love with this little sundress:
At $228, it was certainly more than I would spend on a summer dress!! But she never asked me to buy it... Instead, she asked, "Mom, can you copy this dress?" We stood there and analyzed the construction, and this afternoon I put together a pattern in PatternMaster. I only wanted a narrow (2") midriff, and the midriff option only goes down to 3", so I ended up creating the midriff strip in Pattern Editor by using the offset tool.

Here's the front view:
This is just a fit muslin; it doesn't have the front bodice detail that will appear in the final version. None of that will affect the fit, so why bother having it in the muslin? It's kind of hard to see the midriff detail in this picture, but there is a midriff band.

The fit is pretty good right off the bat; most of the changes are stylistic.
  • The skirt needs to be about 5" longer.
  • The straps will be wider and will be positioned a little further out.
  • The "neckline" will be about an inch lower.

The only fit change is that I will take in about half an inch at the upper edge. I drafted the pattern with half an inch of bust ease, but it's still too loose for her liking.

The back view:

We'll go fabric hunting in the next few days; hopefully we'll find something right in my stash before we go buying new yardage. It's not like I don't have a good selection!


  1. That looks like a pretty close replica of what your daughter wants. I haven't used pattern drafting software--I'm still a pencils and paper gal. When I see something like this, I wonder why I'm not taking the plunge.

    Good luck with the dress. I'l be interested in seeing your finished work.

  2. Awesome! Your designing AND your Mom-ing!

  3. Do you have any tips for recreating a dress from a photo? I'm in love with Selena Gomez's Peoples Choice Award 2011 Paule Ka dress, but its like, 600$... Even if I could afford a fraction of that, i cant find it anywhere, so I can't really study the construction of it. Ahhhh please help!

  4. Do you mean the pink mini-dress with the shoulder ruffle? If so, it wouldn't be hard at all to copy. It looks like a simple princess-seam strapless mini dress, with a ruffle made of netting or fine tulle. The ruffle would be shaped like an elongated football, folded along the long edge, and gathered on the rounded edge. Something like this is difficult to draft; you kind of have to play with the proportions. Try it in half-scale, or by draping on a dress form. Good luck; it's a cute dress!


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