Dress Me Up

I am going to be brave here and share something I am very proud of, but not very good at.

Last year I decided that I was fed up of not being able to buy dresses in the shops.  They were either not to my liking or not in my size. So, I figured I would have a go at making my own.  I already had a sewing machine, handed down to me by my mum, I just needed some material and a pattern.

Both of these proved difficult.  I have a very particular taste, I like 1920’s to 1950’s fashion and the patterns I could find were not really what I was looking for.  I ended up settling for one that wasn’t me but would be a good practice dress.

Next I had to source some material.  I was shocked at how much places charged.  Luckily, my next door neighbour is a fabulous seamstress and her daughter took me to some lovely independent shops in out local area.  I went with £20 and came back with all of this, except for the top right material (black and pink), which was a gift from my neighbour.ImageI also had another gifted material with which I made my first pattern followed dress.  Now I have to warn you, I am not the most photogenic of beings and tend to ruin a good photo, so bare with me on this!  Also, these pictures were taken before I started blogging and therefore are not the best quality.

Dress number one – I followed a pattern to the letter for this dress, the only modification I made was adding the little bow.


Although I am very proud of this dress, being the first one I have ever made and loving the material, I was not happy with the style.  It was unflattering in my eyes.

My problem was, I found that the patterns just did not suit my taste and seemed overly complicated for the task at hand.  After quite a while of just sitting and thinking, I made the decision to have a go at making a dress without a pattern.

Again apologies regarding the photography and in this case the mirror.  Hendrix managed to knock it over and being the only one in the house at the time, it got duct taped!

Dress number two – completely pattern free and quite daunting!


this dress felt much more comfortable and was closer to being my style, but I was still not happy with the finished item.  Given this was another practice dress though, I wasn’t disheartened.

For my third dress I wanted to use what I had learnt so far and bravely make my outfit for Christmas day.  I even went so far as to not buy anything to wear in case I made a terrible mistake.  To be honest I am not even sure why I did that, looking at these last two dresses again.

Dress number three – I chose my favourite material from my purchases and set about making a 1950’s inspired dress.  Nervous and very unsure of what I was doing, I ended up being very happy with the result and if you’re still with me, (thank you), I hope that you can see why I decided to go ahead and post about my dressmaking given my first two attempts.



I was really pleased with my ‘Christmas dress’ and wore it happily.

I know that I am by no means a professional, or even a student dressmaker, but I will make some more in the future, especially as I still have the cherry red material and also the cream and blue left in my material box.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rita
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 11:44:06

    Well done Erica .
    I think we have all moved on from our cardmaking days lol. Im now into quilting, easier on my hands as i have RA (rhematiod arthritis ) in all my joints . havent done any dressmaking in a long time but the house is filling up with quilted cushions etc. Your jewelery is amazing you have such a good eye for colours . will keep loging on to follow your blog
    Rita xx .


    • Erika
      Aug 20, 2013 @ 11:59:44

      Thank you so much Rita! You’re far to kind!

      I completely understand about the hands, I have such terrible trouble with my Fibromyalgia, everything takes such a long time to do. I hope your hands aren’t too bad for you.

      I would love to see some of your quilts and cushions. It does seem like such a long time ago when we were all making cards, I think most of us have moved onto other crafts now.

      Thank you again for your kind comments, made my day!


  2. char
    Aug 23, 2013 @ 08:51:46

    I think they’re all great and you should be pleased with them all. I’m currently making one which I don’t think I’m going to like very much when I finish it, so I’m not exactly speeding on with it.


    • Erika
      Aug 23, 2013 @ 10:23:21

      Thank you again Char! I was quite nervous posting the pictures. It’s frustrating when they don’t seem to be coming out how you envisage them to. What style are you making?


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