From Inspiration to Garment – Part 2 – Sewing

Dear readers,

Canadian weather seems to make me lazy, and since I’m not a very prolific blogger already, it’s getting sad around here. But here I am! As promised, I have pictures to show you of the finished chambray dress I draped in my previous post. I mentioned before that sewing your own patterns is completely different experience than sewing commercial patterns. Since you don’t have instructions it may seem counterintuitive, but it’s much easier. Steps just flow naturally. Of course you have to figure out a lot of things, but hopefully you did that in the patternmaking stage!

chambray-dress-1If you remember the original dress, it had a kind of funnel collar, which I don’t find attractive. Instead, I decided to do a “visible facing”. There may be a real name for that but I don’t know. I stole the idea from my new favorite sewing book: Sewing for Fashion Designers by Anette Fischer. I plan on doing a book review of it because I am truly impressed by it. Considering the number of sewing books I read, this is quite exceptional.

Another design change is the little turn up detail in the sleeve. The construction of the entire dress was pretty straightforward. I used a lot of my fusible tape to stabilize the neckline, the pocket opening and the zipper area. For the neckline, I dumbly interfaced the wrong side when, with my inverted, I should have done it on the right side. Oh well…

If you saw this dress on my instagram, you may have thought that I was very fitted but in fact it’s not. I love how comfortable it is, the style is relaxed and it makes it a perfect weekend dress!


The fabric is from Rag&Bone, purchased at Mood during my last trip to New York. It does wrinkle and the sleeve style tends to accentuate the wrinkling but It doesn’t bother me for a relaxed dress. I used some of of my muslin for my pocket bags, I always think muslin is the perfect match for denim and chambray and it feels less wasteful about the whole process. I didn’t make my pocket bags deep enough for my taste, which is a recurrent issue. I always eyeball it and it’s systematically to shallow. I wonder if there is a rule of thumb out there… Any hint?

chambray-dress-2chambray-dress-5I love the upper body fit and I may iterate from this style and see what I can turn it into. I’m currently thinking and tunic/dress length without waistband of gathers to be worn with a belt. It looks clean and simple in my head and if I could sketch I would share with you. But my drawing skills are … let’s say limited (understatement…) so I guess you will have to take my word for it!

I only wish I had checked the ironing before taking the pictures because the back looks quite terrible. It looks like the waistband does not match at the zipper, when in fact, it does!! The fancy camera does not do it all, I have to put more efforts in my pictures…

chambray-dress-6 chambray-dress-7I’m trying to turn those posts in a little serie that i call “From Inspiration to Garment”. Now that I wrote it, I may lose all my interest in doing it (yes…). But in case I don’t, I like the idea of exploring different ways to draw from inspiration to make an aspirational wardrobe materialize and work in real life. Next post will be unrelated (it’s a leather one) but I will get back into it shortly! In the mean time, I leave you with a side by side comparison picture, do you think it looks close enough (except for the bad pose)? I’d love to here your approach to sewing from inspiration!

Comparaison Chambray Dress

23 thoughts on “From Inspiration to Garment – Part 2 – Sewing

  1. Addie Marie

    This is gorgeous! I just found your blog recently and have been enjoying reading through your past posts. You have such an eye for style and your construction is impeccable!

    I’d say a good rule of thumb with pocket length would be from your wrist to your finger tip, plus a little extra. Nothing is more annoying about pockets than when they are too small!

  2. jne4sl

    Well I think you’ve got it. Maybe the original fabric is a little more textured and the gathers are a little softer. But with copying there comes a point where you just have to work with what you have instead of blindly following. Your fabric has a beautiful sheen and is probably nicer. Your waistband might be a smidge wider but it flatters your waist perfectly.

    I find pockets need to be slightly deeper than I’d expect. I recently made the Erin culottes from style arc and love those pockets. 24 cm long, 15 cm wide. For me that makes it possible to place my hand in casually about as you show and still spread my fingers as wide as possible. But perhaps the fit of the skirt effects what is comfortable?? That is a full style so the pocket is a little further from the body on a closer cut maybe something needs to be changed because the elbow is slightly straighter.

    I do really enjoy copying RTW. It may sound difficult but it presents fun challenges and yet plenty of clues, too. I don’t do it that often but I’m usually surprised by how quickly a replica takes shape.

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Thanks!! I do like the sheen and i made my waistband wider on purpose. As i was draping it just looked more balanced to me. I will definitely try your pocket proportions!
      I totally agree with you, when you copy RTW and you are presented with a challenge this is usually when the most interesting design details come out! And it’s always faster than what I anticipate in the first place!

  3. Emma Jayne

    I like your version way better… gathers at the front look like they are meant to be there and the extra neckline and sleeve details work well with the waistband.

  4. fabrictragic

    Hey it’s great. I like how you’ve centred the waistline gathers more, and made the pockets more prominent. It’s a lovely, chic little dress and I hope you get a heap of wear out of it.

  5. Hilary

    Hi – what is the name of the book you mention wanting to review? I searched for “Sewing blabla” and am not finding anything. Thanks!

  6. idaaidasewing

    You’ve done a good job here, as I see it, mission acomplished. Appart from the neckline it is the same dress with no other major differences. Using comercial patterns has a lot of benefits but I find making a garment from scratch to be the most satisfying and creative aspect.

  7. Ariation

    You dress is beautifully made. It’s a very close match to the inspiration. I quite like you idea of “From Inspiration to Garment” I sometimes do that too (without the title 🙂 ) and I feel inspired by you to do one as a next project. Great job.

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