Really, Really Fast Dresses

I know I tend to make clothing quickly. Recently though I have rediscovered a cut of dress that I used to wear in my early 20’s.


The wedge shaped dresses of the early 1980’s were made for my body. While I am a whole lot heavier than I was in those days, my body is more or less the same shape.

I have noticed both on other sewing blogs as well as on the fashion blogs that those simple dress shapes have returned.  Last year I had gone to an exhibit at FIT about Japanese fashion and those simple shapes popularized by the Japanese designers in the early 1980’s suddenly looked both fresh and grown up.


I also realize that while I crave screaming bright colors in the summer, the colder months have me craving grey. Grey! It’s so cheerful! It’s my cold weather happy color. Much of my colder weather wardrobe has been worn to death. It was time to make cold weather clothing.


This space dyed knit, made out of a mystery fiber, was my first experiment in a wedge shaped dress. This knit has a great drape, and I promise you it looks much better on me than it does on my dummy.  I suppose it’s because I don’t have flocked skin like my dummy does. Trust me, this is a great dress that gets me compliments each time I wear it.  I cut the shoulder line on a fold so all I had to do was sew up the side seams and finish off the hems.  From cutting to finishing it took about 15 minutes.


So then I pulled yet another happy grey knit out of my stash. This was a beefy bottom weight knit ribbed on one side and smooth on the other.  The fabric came from Fabric Mart several seasons back.

This time I sloped the shoulder line meaning that I had four seams to sew. Once again, from cutting to wearing took about 15 minutes. 


I made those dresses  a couple of weeks ago and I have worn them both a whole lot.


Today, I was in the garment district and decided that I really needed to buy one of the wonderful wool sweater knits that Kabbala Man was selling. I had fallen in love with the over-dyed prints this summer but could not deal with buying the wool during the heat of the summer.  At $7.99/yard this was a bit of a splurge for me but paisley! ( another winter favorite) and grey!. So now I have the dress I’m wearing to thanksgiving in Brooklyn . I am actually going to make a nicer hem so the total time taken to make this dress will come closer to 30 minutes


Here is a close up of the sweater knit. So pretty, no?100_3224

I’m including a  cutting diagram for making these dresses.

dress diagram 001


Your body does most of the work shaping the dress. You make the dress smaller than hip width because it’s a knit and that way it shows off your shape a bit.  If your knit has less stretch, add more hip ease, if it is stretchier, add more ease.


So, for an investment of about $25 and 45 minutes, I have three dresses and enough left over to make other garments.


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