Well, Hello Sailor!

Well, I didn’t want to wait another week or more until I get it back. And, I’m sure I’ve built this dress up so much it won’t live up to expectations, lol.  So, let’s just pull off the band aid? I know this is a simple garment and I wouldn’t think twice about having whipped it up from a straight pattern. But, I am so proud that I took this class and finally ‘get it’.   I’m really looking forward to making garments with more design elements and feeling confident enough to copy RTW.

So, without further ado, here’s the dress on a school dressform (I don’t have one). It’s a size 8 dressform but is lacking my curves. But, it was due and I just took pics at school. I probably should have used a 10. This was the first time I understood why someone makes a small bust adjustment! I also took advantage of the huge bay windows on campus so I could get enough light to get the camera to focus.

All outer fabric is from the Carol Collection (yay!).

Original Garment

Front w. belt

Front w.out belt

Back. There is a problem in my draft in that the bottom of the skirt swing out. Like slightly too much fullness. You can also kind of tell from here how curved my back is compared to the dressform.

Close up of belt and ruffle. Ruffle is 3 inches wide, graduating to 6 inches wide. So much starch there is a new hole in the ozone layer.

French dart at side seam. Excellent info from Els at The Sewing Divas

Lining. Poly silky from Joann’s. $4 a yard on the red tag table. I, love, love, love this lining. Summerset used it for an awesome vintage dress (check the link). We are both polka dot and red fiends.

The best zipper finish I’ve ever had

Silk organza underlining.  This, the twill tape and poly horsehair great recommendations from Ann.

Twill tape along ruffle insertion to keep the ruffle line straight.

Polyester horsehair braid along the hem to prevent wonkiness

I’m going to enter this in to the PatternReview.com ‘My Pattern’ contest. I know at the end of the day that this is a simple garment, but I am so proud of myself I’m bursting at the seams. You know I’ve been dying to do something with red, white and blue for a over a year now. Maybe I’ll build a summer wardrobe around these colors? When I took my project in, I talked to my instructor about my sloper fit issues. When I get back from Portland, I’m bringing in all my muslins and we’re going to work on a new draft! It’s gonna be a great summer!

I won’t be blogging while I’m gone, but I’ll be tweeting. My updates are protected, but you can find me as BaltoCidell on Twitter.


  1. Wow this dress has turned out really nice! I’ve enjoyed watching it come together! I was a little worried about the ruffle at first, I couldn’t picture what it was going to look like. But it looks great! Great job!

  2. It’s wonderful Cidell. Didn’t you mention last year about using this color combo for a summer wardrobe? Anyway, it’s a great starting point for a wardrobe.
    I have one comment on the fit. It looks like the side seam swings forward at the hem. In Kenneth Kings pant drafting cd he has you mark the correct position and then redraft the hem to the correct point. Is that clear as mud?
    Are you taking another class, or paying for lessons with your teacher?
    Are you planning on another class for the fall and if so, which one?
    Have a wonderful time in Portland.

    • Sort of clear… I’d have to put it on to check. The center back definitely swing out.

      I’m hoping to take the Draping I class in the fall and Draping II in the spring. But, I have to see how it’s all going to work out for my schedule.

  3. Excellent job, Cidell!!!

    I NEED to get myself to a pattern drafting class! Why oh why doesn’t my alma mater (the art school here) offer evening classes for this I don’t know?

  4. I love it. The colors are great and the ruffle is so different. you should be proud! And i didn’t leave a comment previously but the belt is genius. I hope you enjoy wearing it. Great job in class. And have a blast on the weekend, hopefully next year I will go.

  5. It’s perfect. It’s hanging correctly. Looks adorable. Can’t wait to see it on you. I’m sure that’s an A++++ garment. It looks great on the inside. I like it much better than the original. Way to go.

  6. Two words for your dress: Awe…Some. Fantastic. I’m really in awe because this is something I have wanted to do in like..forever. I did manage to draft myself a skirt out of a book once and it fit me better than anything else I ever did. This dress is an inspiration!

  7. This dress is summer fantastic! I would never have thought to add the structural features you did, like the twill tape and horsehair braid and silk organza underlining. Did you know you needed these things, or did the fairy godmothers tell you to add them? I want a photo of you in this with 4th of July fireworks in the background. Great job.

    • Golly, my teacher told me to just make a facing! I’m hoping the construction tips from Ann will cover up for my mismatched darts!

      This is going to totally be my 4th of July BBQ dress!

  8. So awesome!!! Are you bringing it to Portand? It’s suppose to be really warm (for the Northwest, anyway.) BTW, do you have shoes to go with it?

    • Sadly, it’s with my instructor for grading. I have some CRAZY high navy blue heels to wear with it. I’m thinking red might be too much.

      • Oh no, no, no. Red is *never* too much. It just depends on the kind of look you want at the moment. Navy shoes will be classic-looking, red shoes will make the outfit sizzle. I vote red shoes! Despite the fact that I have 1,2,3…….4 pairs of red heels, and no navy (yet – I’ve been looking) doesn’t make me biased at all! Lol.

  9. You have done such a wonderful job on this. I have enjoyed following the process and reading about your class. Nothing like that is available around here. I look forward to seeing photos of the dress on you.

    I have followed you blog for quite a while. You really inspire me.

  10. Fabulous job on your dress! You should be proud-that wasn’t simple!

  11. Well you shouldn’t burst any seams 😉 but oh, you definitely deserve to feel proud. Fanatastic job. I must be really bad at imagining, cos I had some doubts looking at the early muslins and the original! But it’s turned out really, really great. Yours has got to be several cuts above the original in construction, the organza, the twill tape and braid – all couture stuff. I hope your teacher is suitably impressed!

    Hmm… now I need to figure out this whole Twitter lark – you are bound to be having fun in Portland. I don’t want to miss out on my vicarious living!

    Do you still get to go to those onboard receptions at the harbour? That dress needs an outing! 🙂


  12. Fantastic! And I’m sooooo proud of you that you took the time for the class, invested in it and learned sooooo much!

  13. That’s why I was getting deja view all over again! I knew I recognized that lining from somewhere! Great job – now on to the next. I am soooo sad I am not going to be in Portland with all of you. Give my love to all and I will def be following your tweets!

  14. Sure, you can be proud of yourself, and I see you have learnt a lot in the process. This dress is gorgeous. Congratulations!

  15. How absolutely fantastic is that dress! And, it will look even better on you! Too bad you won’t have it to take to Portland.

  16. Your dress is amazing! I love all the little details underneath the dress and the red belt is perfect! Congratulations!

  17. Congratulations on a job well done. I love the colors and the dress looks good! Oh yeah I followed that link to underlining and learned something new – thanks. I’m still scared to line something – LOL.

  18. Looks like you’ve made the transition from sewer to dressmaker! More fun ahead as you work on your own designs! It’s a great dress, bound to stop traffic.

  19. Wowza! You nailed it – I can see why you’re so proud of yourself. All your extra time and care really paid off – nice work!!

  20. The dress is AMAZING!!!! Don’t discount all of the hard work you put into it by classifying it as simple. It’s not simple, it’s stunning! And I agree with everyone who said it’s so much cuter than the original.

    The lining is awesome. I thought I recognized it from Summerset’s dress. And the belt? Don’t even get me started on that belt. I.MUST.MAKE.ONE.NOW! I need to do more Anthropoligie snoop shopping!

  21. I LOVE YOUR DRESS! I wasn’t crazy about the original, but I’d buy yours in a heartbeat! It must be nice to have such wicked sewing skills. 🙂

  22. Looks terrific! You’ll have so much fun wearing it each and every time…

    enjoy our town. It’s supposed to be warmish on Sat. and downright hot on Sunday. For us, that is–you’ll take it right in stride.

  23. You know, I love the dress (and the belt!). But the -best- part is you bursting at the seams with pride. Girl, that’s why we sew..

  24. You should be very proud!! You did an excellent job! The belt and groovy lining are the perfect finishes touches. It may look simple but to any home sewist who have attempted pattern drafting in the past, believe me we understand how complex this is. 🙂 Well done!

  25. AMAZING! Great work. I’m so glad you shared – hope to see future projects. BTW – A+!!

  26. That is an extremely fun dress. Well done! I’m inspired to take a drafting class now.

  27. Congratulations, it’s really fabulous! I especially like the french darts on the bodice – very classy.

    I’m hoping to enter the make your own pattern contest on PR too (as long as the girl I’m making the dress for is ok with it), but I bet everyone will vote for you now!

    What a fantastic dress to have for the summer – enjoy it to the fullest! And I do hope that there are many more “Cidell Originals” to come!!

    Congrats again!

  28. incredible! all that work to figure out how to do this…it’s absolutely stunning! you are truly an artist.

  29. Totally, totally love this dress and I want to see it on you! You should be proud: you’ve done a great job.

  30. Gasp–it’s stunning! A lot of individuality and flair too. The polka dot lining when you open the zipper is a showstopper. French seams are perfect. It’s gorgeous, Cid! What a creation, and to top it off, you did it yourself and not by following a pattern. On starch, as your mom is a colonel you might well be an expert on starching but just in case it’s useful, for a really super starched effect I used to slather on liquid starch on a dry garment till it was wet (from starch), let it dry overnight, then press in the morning. I’ve heard that the first rinse water from washing uncooked rice is an old-fashioned starch of choice, but I never tried it.

  31. Wow, Cidell. I’m so proud of you. Great job! Looking forward to seeing more originals. Sally

  32. This looks so professional. That’s how I grade a garment – when it has style and especially a fabulous feature like that side ruffle, and executed so well. You know this sort of sewing is far, far better than ready-to-wear – but then we all know that!!!! Congratulations!

  33. The dress is so pretty! I especially like the polkadot and the silk organza linings. That’s couture quality.

  34. It is just lovely. Yes, it’s a simple dress, but w/just that bit of panache that set’s it well apart from ho-hum! Enjoy your trip, your high spirits… you deserve it all. And that belt!!! Gotta try this. One for me & one for my DIL.

  35. Cidell, there’s a featherweight on Craigslist in Towson. I can’t get it and I don’t have your email addy. My other machine’s crashed. I hope you see this!!

  36. I’m still bummed that I didn’t get to see this one up close and personal this weekend. Absolutely gorgeous. TOTALLY worthy of Project Runway and beyond. You better go ahead and notify your day job. 😉

  37. Wow!! And with 73 other comments, what more can I add that hasn’t been already said? You deserve to be proud of this baby!

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