A few weeks ago, I made a poll asking my Facebook friends and Instagram followers what I should make with some gorgeous stretch corduroy fabric. The choices were an overalls dress (aka a pinafore) or a blazer and pants suit. By a slight majority, the dress won! This dress is self-drafted, and the fabric is a rust stretch corduroy provided by Minerva.
First things first – this fabric! This incredibly luscious fabric! This medium-weight corduroy has a ton of stretch (25% width and 15% length) which makes it perfect for so many different projects. For weeks I went back and forth over what I should make because the fabric is so versatile. Thankfully, my social media peeps helped me decide and I’m really happy with the finished garment. This corduroy was a dream to work with! There wasn’t any weird shedding or fraying at unfinished ends, and since it’s a medium weight, it was easy to maneuver between my serger and sewing machine.
Since there’s no pattern to follow, now’s the time to let your imagination go wild! First, I plotted out the general shape. This make consisted of four parts – the skirt, the waistband, the bib and the straps. I knew that I wanted the dress to have a full, 360° circle skirt. I used a pattern piece that I made years ago, but if you don’t have one, it’s easy to make your own. If you visit this link, you can get a step by step guide to making a circle skirt, including figuring out all the measurements needed. If that sounds like too much work, you can also use a pattern piece from an existing pattern. McCall’s 7081 has a great pattern piece for a full circle skirt. I also snuck some pockets into the seams using scrap waxprint fabric. The waistband and straps were super easy because I omitted zippers and used the fabric’s stretch (YAY STRETCH!) to put on and take off the dress. Finally, there was the bib. I wanted a wide, slightly rounded bib. I played around with some shapes until I found one I liked the most. The bib is double-sided and both sides are interfaced to help hold the shape. I snuck in yet another pocket and used a couple of chocolatey brown buttons from my stash to attach the straps to the bib.
Overall (ha!), this was a really fun project. It allowed me to flex my pattern-making muscles and showed me where I need to improve. It can sometimes be hard to make your own patterns when there are so many beautiful ones out there (I’m looking at you Seamwork), but the skills you learn by drafting your own pattern pieces can be important tools even when sewing commercial patterns.