Sometimes when I decide to sew something, I just wing it. I end up making mistakes, and learning from them, and I view that as a valuable part of the process. However, sometimes, I contemplate an article of clothing for days or weeks before I attempt to put it together. This dress falls into my second category.
I have been thinking about this dress since I started Build Your Wardrobe. I had a hard time deciding what color I should use, how thick the straps should be, how low the back should be. I also don’t have too much experience sewing with knits, and I wanted to get a project or two with knits under my belt before I attempted a dress.
When I was browsing through the discount section of Joanne’s, waiting for Mike to come and pick me up, I ran across this lightweight knit. When I saw it, I immediately thought of this project that had been sitting on the back burner for the last month. It is such a great color for the season, and it was such a great price! I decided to take it home and finally get to work.
You would think after all the planning that I did that there would be no mistakes…oh how wrong. There must be something seriously wrong with my measuring skills because I always seem to make clothes either way too big or way too small. This dress turned out to be too big for me. The mistake really worked in my favor, however because I made the pretty little pleat in the back with the extra fabric. This little change makes the dress, I think. It is definitely my favorite part.
I like that when I sew my projects are in constant metamorphosis. Many times I have an image in my head of what the “perfect” project will turn out to be, but I could never imaging how great something turns through a series of what I initially view as mistakes. How do you handle mistakes in your projects? Do you roll with them, or do you start over?
To make the Braided Straps:
- 2 yards of knit fabric (you don’t need all of it, but you will need three strips that are 2 yards long, so use the leftover edges of other sewing projects if they are available)
- Matching thread
Cut three strips of fabric measuring 2″-2.5″ x 2 yards. The beauty of knit fabric is it will roll in on itself (wrong side out) so you do not have to sew the pieces before braiding them. Knot them together at one end, with the same side facing up. Braid the three strands together, pulling slightly as you go (this will make for a tighter braid) Tie another knot when you get to the end.
Place the center of the braid on the center of the neckline. Sew by hand, taking care not to go through the front of the braid. Measure the length you would like the straps to be, and then subtract 2″. The straps should stretch a little when you are wearing the garment. Sew to the inside of the back.