Monday, 23 July 2012

Finished Project: Chicago Tribune Mail Order Pattern

Hello lovely readers! I have another finished project for you today. After getting distracted by sorbetto re-fashions and the Peony dress I finally sat down on Sunday and made the Chicago Tribune dress I talked about making the other month. Yes, you heard it - I made a dress, including re-grading the pattern and making a muslin in the space of a day!

This was my first time working with an unmarked pattern and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be - in fact it's actually amazingly straightforward! The original pattern was a 34" bust, so a size smaller than my normal size. There was no information anywhere about the amount of ease in the pattern so I traced the original pieces and graded the bodice up to a 36" bust.

Then I made a muslin... it was WAY too big at the front. I had to take out 2" over the bust, grading down to 1" at the waist. So I sewed up a second muslin using my graded up back bodice piece, but the original 34" bodice front (with a 1" wedge taken out over the bust, grading to nothing at the waist) - random way of doing things I know, but it seemed to work fine!
I had this red cotton lawn in my stash and thought it would be perfect for a sundress but it was a little thin, so I underlined it with a thin muslin since it's what I had to hand.

I serged all the seams using my trusty new overlocker, but the side zip was an absolute b*gger to put in! Especially since it doesn't start at the top of the side seam. I got it in eventually though.

The only thing I might change about the dress is the neckline. The pattern didn't call for any kind of seam binding / facing at the neck, it just instructed you to fold the top of the neckline over. It's a little narrow though and has a tendency to roll outwards so I might add some seam binding along the edge as a facing.

All in all though I'm really pleased with this make and the time it took to finish it. And it was made in perfect time make the most of the sunshine that's come back!


  1. Two muslins and a complete dress in one day? Wow! The result is fabulous, and the muslins were worthy as the fitting is perfect. Helen, you just got yourself a lovely dress. And you have a serger too, you lucky thing!

    1. Haha thanks Merche - that's what having the house to myself for the weekend does to my sewing productivity! It is a lovely dress. I'll definitely make another at some point.

      As for the serger - it's naughty, but I couldn't resist - it just makes it so much easier to finish off the raw edges! Definitely a worthwhile purchase.

  2. i like this dress nice on you ...color is lovely