A little behind the seams vlog featuring this statement babydoll dress.
I’ve been wanting to get back into self-drafting makes again, and I thought this would be the perfect little project to do so!
I’m addicted to Pinterest, and when I came across this adorable white babydoll dress that was seen all over fashion week a year or so ago, I knew I just had to make one for myself. I’m obsessed with this silhouette and was interested to see how it would turn out on me.
That night I decided to light a candle, and do a spread for my self-drafted dress in my sewing bullet journal. It helped pick my mood up a bit.
I had this soft cotton in my stash for quite some time and I knew this fabric would be perfect for this style of dress. However, I only had two meters of this fabric so I had to play “pattern tetris” and make adjustments to my pattern to get it to fit. I had to compromise on the width of the A-line shape I initially wanted, as well as the volume in the puff sleeves, but I still think it turned out amazing.
This past week has been a very draining one mentally, and you can see in my vlog where I felt very down. That night I decided to light a candle, and do a spread for my self-drafted dress in my sewing bullet journal. It helped pick my mood up a bit.
I also ended up making a self-care jar last week. I wrote down some things I could do on little pieces of paper and dropped all of these in a jar. So whenever I feel down, I rummage around in there, pick one, and I simply have to do it – within reason, of course! For example, if it’s 11 o’clock at night and I draw “Take a stroll in the neighbourhood”, I’m going to have to pick another one that makes sense for that moment in time, because strolling around at night is not safe (and also not allowed during the lockdown). If you’re interested in seeing a list of all the self-care items I put in my jar, do let me know and I’ll be happy to create a downloadable for you and add it to a my resource library.
Without further ado, watch my vlog on Youtube below and scroll further to see some photos captured by my hubby, the pattern adjustments I made to my bodice block, as well as the order of work. I love how everything turned out and do let me know what you think!
Behind The Seams Vlog Episode #3
I just love sketching my makes onto my My Body Model croquis, it makes planning so much easier and fun, and a brilliant way to see how garments will look on my body shape!
I used my basic bodice block and sleeve block to draft this pattern. Refer to my sketches below to get an idea of the adjustments I made and how you can make a dress like this for yourself. Please note that seam allowances have not been included in the sketches below.
1. Front Panel
a. Measure your desired length from the center of your front neckline. I measured mine down to my hips.
b. Deepen the front armscye. Mine was about 1.5cm, but yours will depend on your block.
c. Lower your front neckline as desired.
d. Widen the side panel into an A-line shape. Make adjustments to your side bust dart if need be.
2. Back Panel
a. Measure your desired length from the center of your back neckline. I measured mine down to my hips. Mine was ever so slightly longer than the front.
b. I removed my back shoulder dart and made the necessary adjustments to my armscye, and then I deepened mine by about 2cm. Yours will depend on your block. Remember to measure the front and back shoulder seams to ensure that they both line up perfectly. Smooth any curves where necessary.
c. Widen the side panel into an A-line shape. Ensure that the side seams of the front and back panels are perfectly aligned. Remember to temporarily tape your front side bust dart closed to get an accurate measurement.
3. Sleeve Panel
a. After slashing your sleeve block as described in d below, spread it according to your desired width. Mine was 31cm, but that was only because I didn’t have enough fabric to make mine wider. Originally, mine would have been about 40cm, but again, this adjustment is up to you.
b. Decide on the length of your sleeve. I wanted mine to hit me at my elbow, but taking the elastic cuffs into consideration, I added a few more centimeters to mine to accommodate for it. My sleeve panel length from the top of the sleeve head down to the bottom was about 42.5cm.
c. The overall width of the bottom of my sleeve panel was about 67cm, but again, this will depend on your block, and your desired width that you slashed and spread it by.
d. Slash your sleeve panel at the center of the sleeve head. When you drafted your bodice block, ideally this would have been a notch.
4. Elastic Cuffs
a. I chose to use 1cm width elastic cuffs. I simply measured how wide I wanted my cuffs to be and added 2cm seam allowance. My cuffs are not snug at all, they sort of just comfortably hang around my arm.
5. Skirt Panel
a. The width of your skirt panel needs to be wider than the bottom of your bodice panels. I’d say a good ratio would be 1.5 times the width of the bottom of your bodice panels. As mentioned before, I didn’t have enough fabric, so my width ended up being about 130cm.
b. The length of your skirt panel can be as long as you want it to be. I wanted mine to hit me at my knee, so I cut mine at 32.5cm.
6. Bias Facing
a. The length of your bias facing will depend on the total circumference of your neck plus seam allowance.
Steps to put your dress together
I have listed the order of work below. I haven’t gone into any detail, but if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to provide more detail.
- Stay stitch the necklines.
- Sew the darts.
- Sew the shoulder seams.
- Sew the side seams.
- Gather the both sleeve heads.
- Sew the seams of the sleeves.
- Insert the sleeves by easing it into the armhole and focussing all the gathers at the sleeve head.
- Create a casing on the sleeve cuffs and insert the elastic.
- Gather the top of the skirt to fit the bottom of the bodice and attach it.
- Hem the bottom of the skirt.
- Attach the bias facing around the neckline.
- Add a closure of your choice. I opted for a button and loop.
Of you do end up making this dress, please be sure to DM or tag me on Instagram! I love seeing the things you make from my tutorials.
If you aren’t already, please connect with me on Instagram @scarletstitchstudio, I’d love to hear from you.