The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

Pattern: New Look 6001 $3.99


Interfacing from stash

Butterfly Fancies 2 ½ yards @ 5.99 a yard

Camel Zeus 1 yard @ 8.39 a yard


Thread 1.49

(All @ Jo Ann Fabrics)

Total time: 9 hours (yikes!)


Total: 19.86 – 7.94 (40% off, yay!!!!) = $11.92

Wear it again:  Definitely (When the weather is rocking!!!)


So I moved in Chicago to do theatre and still do to some capacity.  Like most artists that live in Chicago I have a day job.  So for this challenge I wanted to highlight the “working class creative” that live and breathe in this city. I think that is why I love it so.  The diversity of artists, culture, and creativity thrive here.  The possibilities and opportunities for any artist are endless if you have the passion and endurance to do so.  But what to make that you can wear to work, an audition or theatre event, and then to pub later with friends? Hmmmm.


I also looovvve Chicago in the summer.  There are four seasons in Chicago: Summer, Early Winter, Mid Winter and Late Winter.  Sooo . . . once the weather starts to warm up the grilling, festivals, and music in the park EXPLODE!!!!! There are festivals EVERY WEEK!   If walk outside your door on that first warm day you will smell someone grilling, you will see people outside kicking back and enjoying the weather. Chicago really knows how to make the most of the brief but brilliant summer we have! But how to incorporate this celebration into a garment??


This challenge is harder than it looks


I had a few ideas for the first idea, but just wanted feeling it in the fabric store.  Huge bummer! Something denim with red rick rack?  Could be cute? First road block. Nothing terribly inspiring in the denim section and (second road block) couldn’t find a sewing pattern that jumped out to me.  And I really and truly wanted some sort of print fabric.  Argh! So then I jumped to the second idea.  But wasn’t totally feeling it there either.  Nothing around me was screaming,  “make me, create me, slay this challenge”.  Now by this time it’s Wednesday and I’m running out of time.  This challenge is hard.  “sigh!” There are too many choices, too many combinations and nothing that highlights my Chicago. 


But then I saw it . . . this beautiful butterfly georgette-like fabric that just screams frolicking outside and Tennessee Williams and fairies and A Midsummer Night’s Dreame.  SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK!!! Shakespeare in Millenium Park!!!!  That’s it!  That’s my inspiration!  I can combine both my love of Chicago theatre and Chicago in the summer! Now get to work.


So this dress is what I came up with.  Now I will be the first to admit that I DO NOT make a ton of garments.  I sew, but to me garment construction is a completely different animal as opposed to bags and purses and aprons etc.  I was up to sharpening these skills and figured that if I do it more often then it will all come back to me and will get easier each time.  And before I know it I will be just whipping stuff out left and right? Right?? RIGHT???


Not all instructions are created equal.  Even on so called “Easy” patterns.  After cutting and ripping out the front collar band three times I finally got it right by studying the picture very carefully and ignoring the directions and consulting an Amy Butler kimono robe pattern form “In Stitches” that I had made before.  Thanks Amy!  But after that initial hiccup everything else came together pretty quickly. Thank god!  Whew!

I think if I were to make this dress again I will make a smaller size top and grade the bottom half out a little fuller.  I’m sure there is a tutorial somewhere online.  I think I would also double the length of the ties.  They were long enough to form a bow in the back but I would have liked a bit more length after the bow.  I initially wanted to do French seams on the inside because the fabric is so delicate but ran out of time.  So I serged them up instead to prevent fraying.  I think I will go back at some point and make a little slip to go with it and attach it on the inside.  I wore a half slip to the park and as I was walking on the pedway my dress was slipping further up and my slip further down.  All in all I was happy how this first sew weekly Chi-Town frock turned out. 


Thanks Tripp, my illustrious hubby, for taking pictures, holding my coat for me (cause it was waaaay chilly in Millenium park in March), and assorted silliness.

(Silliness . . . that’s how we roll.) Go, Sew Weekly!!!!

Views: 18

Comment by Judy Roberson on March 14, 2011 at 2:54pm

I found your pictures..Oh.... I love the  dress. the fabric is beautiful and I really like the pattern syle.Looks nice on you.. You need to post it on the sew weekly  [under where  Mena puts "post your challenge here" and be sure to tag it .  [I just learned this too, i was just posting under photos..and it wasnt entering the challenge...[oooh old age and computers dont].

  Looking foward to green week.. Judy

Doesnt the challenge keep you focused and make you finish your projects.. You know you have to have it finished by the weekend. So. you finish.and before I would just keep putting it off.  LOVING IT.

Comment by charlotte powell- brooks on March 15, 2011 at 10:39am
this looks lovely on you, colour really suits too. I like your inspiration!
Comment by Casey Sew on March 17, 2011 at 1:14am
love the way you self lined it so that you can see butterflies through the sheer as well. Adds great dimension.


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