Monday, September 19, 2011

The *Easy* Empire Waist Dress

This started out to be something completely different.

I had this cute t-shirt that I wanted to make into a dress and I found a pattern that I thought would be simple enough. Well, I was totally wrong. I was so horrified by the outcome of the dress that I couldn't even take a picture of the ugly mess I had created. It was just hideous! I put the whole thing into a drawer with my other fabric to deal with later. So a few days later I tried to salvage the mess of a dress by adding a ruffle to the bottom. It just made it worse. I really should have taken pictures of this mess but it was so embarrassing. Not wanting to waste this cute shirt, I got out my rotary cutter and sliced it off the top of the mess of a dress and threw the rest away. I never wanted to look at it again. I still loved the shirt though so I was on the hunt for something to do with it. Browsing my favorite place Pinterest, I came across this darling dress from Smashed Peas and Carrots.

I LOVE this dress! The pattern is simple enough and she shows all the steps for making it. It really was an easy dress to make. In her pictures, she shows it as a maternity dress, but she comments that it would work as a regular dress as well and she even makes a child size one following the same pattern. My thoughts on making a maternity dress - I would definitely use a jersey or stretch fabric because it would allow for so much more comfort and room to grow with you. The only difficulty I had came when attaching the shirt to the skirt. I think my shirt wasn't quite as fitted at the tank top she used. If I were to do it again, I would run a gathering stitch around the bottom of the shirt and pull it until it matched the size of the skirt, then pin them together. I think it would make it much easier to attach them doing that. I used a knit t-shirt as the top, 1 & 1/2 inch elastic for the waistband because the store was out of the 2 inch and then a patterned cotton for the skirt. Following her measurements worked really well for me to make my dress.

I was worried after all the trouble I had with the first dress that something would be wrong with this one but I have washed and worn it and it has held up. It is a great dress and super comfortable too! I imagine that it would make a great maternity dress for all the mamas out there. It sews up really quickly and truly is an *easy* dress!