A Sunny Yellow RepliKate Shirtdress

I always try to downplay the impressiveness of my sewing projects because, really, they’re just following instructions from a pattern. However, this one turned out exactly how I wanted it to, so I’ll take a bow. And not so much for how well it turned out but for how close I got to what I was trying to achieve.

Yes, of course it was another repliKate (a Kate Middleton replica for anyone that hasn’t met me).

Image via Getty

I don’t know why it took me so long with my fondness for sewing and repliKates (I’ve also knit a shawl and sewn a cape similar to hers) to attempt making a dress. Not too long ago, I even made a couple shirtdresses that only took a day so I figured I could manage it. Also, call me stuck in the past, but I think shirtdresses are just the absolute perfect summer outfit, whether it’s 1960 or 2017.

I made this dress with Butterick pattern #6333 and an inexpensive bright yellow (obviously) cotton fabric from Joann Fabrics. The entire dress probably cost less than $20. Thankfully the pattern was really close to the Jaeger dress because I was not too confident I could merge two patterns together like I thought I was going to have to do.

In total, it took just a weekend (fueled by White Claws) to make. Side note: I never know how to answer the question of how long something takes me to make. Yes, it took about a weekend from start to finish (and under a slight deadline), but if I felt like dedicating an entire day to it, I could have done it. That’s also if my poor back did not hurt and I didn’t have to take alcohol and cheese breaks. What a workout!

This also seems like a good time to point out that the dress HAS POCKETS. Heavenly, amiright, ladies?

The pleats were one intimidating factor of this pattern, mainly because I have never done those before. And I am here to spread the good news—they’re easy! I’m super excited with how it turned out, because I think it looks so much like Kate’s. Also I really like the sleeves, which I was worried about. I cannot pull off cap sleeves, but these were just long enough to be considered cap sleeves, while not totally accentuating my arm pit obesity. Hooray!

The results are in: I wore it on one of the first nice days and got lots of compliments at work (and a few renditions of “You Are My Sunshine”, for what that’s worth). Happy spring!

Sewing a Floral Sundress

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via Boden.com

I decided I wanted to sew a dress Saturday and it was done by Wednesday! This was seriously such an easy pattern and quick dress to make (and my first one ever) that I had to share! My inspiration was the below dress from Boden. I was aiming to replicate the shape (I love the summery shirtdress with a full skirt look) and the fabric too, to whatever extent I could. The first step was finding a pattern similar to that dress. It was a lot harder than it seemed! Every pattern seemed to be missing an important detail, like the collar or full skirt. Thankfully my mom had an extra 4 hours to kill, in addition to way more sewing experience and patience than I have (always a good thing—I wish I could rent her out to all of you for your own projects). The terribly frumpy fabrics they show on the patterns do not help in picturing the final product so you have to use your imagination. I landed on this one, deciding to use the pattern for the pink dress, minus all the ribbons and crap. Bonus: I love some of the other variations included, too! Extra bonus: All the patterns from this brand are only about $4! Some others I looked at were $30.

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Next, fabric. The fun part, right? Actually this was another tedious process, as, of course, I am not going to find an exact replica. Again, you really have to use your imagination to envision what the final product might be with all your tweaks. And speaking of tweaks, I bought extra fabric (a skirt’s length) so I could make the skirt fuller (because who doesn’t want a spinny skirt?). To do this, I added about 4 inches to the front and back pieces (on the waistline) to gather more fabric. Here is the fabric I chose (the top one) plus another close contender I loved.

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Time to sew! Once I got everything cut out, I spent most of a day sewing and finished everything but the buttons. You really can make this in a day! (I recommend living in the Midwest because I have zero interest in going outside in this windchill.) Here are a few fun incremental progress shots I was sending to a friend and a name for the corresponding apparel I’m modeling:

1. The sassy school board mom vest:

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2. The ultra-conservative Duggar prairie dress:

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3. The thank God it’s starting to look like a normal dress:

image1-5 Enough talk! Here it is! The finished product. It amazingly fits pretty perfectly, especially when I added a belt to cinch in the extra fabric and create a waist. (I cannot stress this enough if you are new to sewing—go by the measurements and NOT by the size number! I started making a dress in my normal size once and was halfway through before I realized it would be a better fit for a doll. This one I made is a size 12…don’t let the size scare you! Although, come on pattern-making jerks. No one wants to be a huge number of sizes larger than they really are!) Sorry I look so awkward in this picture. I am so bad at taking self timer pics. image4 I love the cute little cap sleeves. That’s what’s so nice about sewing your own with a pattern like this; you can customize however you want to. The only thing I was not a fan of is the collar. It’s a little long and large for my taste. image3 image2-2 Here’s a closer look of the details on the top and skirt: image5 I didn’t add up the cost to the penny but it was all only about $30-$35, compared to the Boden dress at $118. Needless to say with how quick and easy it was, I am mildly obsessed with this pattern! Expect another post soon as I am already started on another one. This time, it will be the sleeveless version with the sash at the waist, tweaked to make the collar smaller and less stiff by not including interfacing on that part. Check back soon! Happy sewing!