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Finished Project: Handmade Swing Dress

September 6, 2016

Hello!  Remember me??  I realize that I have been a terrible blogger lately and it has been three weeks since my last blog post – sorry, sorry!  BUT I have some news!  I haven’t been sitting around idle, I got a new job!!  I started a brand new, full-time job at a local preschool three weeks ago and I absolutely LOVE it!

This also means, however, that I’ve been throwing myself into my new job and left little time for blogging.  That being said, I do not plan on giving up my blog and abandoning you!  Now that I’m starting to settle in at my new job, I think I’ll be able to balance my time better.  For example, I did finish my latest make: a striped swing dress!  And now I’m going to blog about it – woah!  ;)

The Styling:

Handmade Stripe Swing Dress -- Made by me & styled with denim jacket & glitter flatforms | Delightfully KristiHandmade Stripe Swing Dress -- Made by me & styled with denim jacket & glitter flatforms | Delightfully Kristi

I have been searching for the perfect swing dress for quite some time, but the ones I’ve tried on have either been too short, the wrong proportions, or they look like nightgowns.  So, naturally, I decided to make my own.  I knew I had the right fabric when I found this fun neon and black stripe fabric by Nicole Miller at JoAnn’s.

Handmade Stripe Swing Dress -- Made by me & styled with denim jacket & glitter flatforms | Delightfully KristiHandmade Stripe Swing Dress -- Made by me & styled with denim jacket & glitter flatforms | Delightfully Kristi

I kept the styling of my me-made dress simple with a denim jacket and my favorite glitter flatforms.  I wanted to highlight the shape and design of the skirt, so I made sure to wear a shorter jacket; and, some shoes for added fun.  These shoes have turned into real closet staples — just see all the times I’ve worn these flatforms!

Details: swing dress (handmade by me) // denim jacket (Ann Taylor LOFT) // glitter flatform slip-on’s (Target)

Handmade Stripe Swing Dress -- Made by me & styled with denim jacket & glitter flatforms | Delightfully KristiHandmade Stripe Swing Dress -- Made by me & styled with denim jacket & glitter flatforms | Delightfully Kristi

The Make:

As far as the sewing for this dress…. it is a bit dodgy, I’m not gonna lie.  The design was simple enough and the pattern actually came together pretty easily.  I sort of mixed a couple basic tried-and-true dress patterns in my stash – one from the Japanese Stylish Dress Book and the other from Sew U Home Stretch – and they seem to have worked out.  I also added triangle inserts to each side seam to add width to the hem and skirt for a more full swing effect (see photos above).

Handmade Stripe Swing Dress -- Swing dress designed by me using hacked / self-drafted pattern & Nicole Miller fabric | Delightfully Kristi

As for the sewing process, my new Sewing Journal from Sew Crafty was indispensable as I made slight adjustments.  I also know what worked and what I want to do differently if I try this pattern, or something similar, again.  The biggest issue I ran into was the bulky seams when using my twin needle for topstitching the hems and neckline.  Luckily, I found some wooly nylon thread at a local sewing shop, which worked fantastically!  No more elastic thread, it’s wooly nylon for me from here on out!  Just check out the inside of the that hem:

Handmade Stripe Swing Dress -- hem interior detail, serged edges sewed with twin needle, showing wooly nylon zig-zag detail | Delightfully Kristi

The wooly nylon thread is much thinner, lighter and softer so the seams lay flat and neat like they’re supposed to.  And you can actually see that beautifully zig-zag line of white wooly nylon thread – yay!  I also had some pretty great success matching the stripes on my front and back pieces by folding my fabric in towards the center and matching the stripes before I cut the pattern pieces.

Handmade Stripe Swing Dress -- stripe fabric laid out on the table for matching stripes in corresponding pattern pieces | Delightfully Kristi

Verdict:

I would absolutely make this pattern again, with a couple minor adjustments.  I need to make some slight alterations to my sleeve pattern (I have particularly broad shoulders, so I am constantly adjusting my sleeve pattern to get the perfect fit).  I would also stitch the seams as well as serge them together; I just got lazy with this one.  Other than that, I love the fit and the design, and it is as comfortable as can be!

I hope you like my handmade swing dress!  I had fun designing this one, though I’ll admit the construction could definitely use some polish (notice the lack of close-up photos).  Would you wear a swing dress like this??

As always, thanks for reading!  :)

Delightfully, Kristi (signature)

 

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2 Comments

  • Nout @ SandpaperKissesBlog

    Kristi, it’s GORGEOUS. I can’t believe you made that yourself! Amazing. Also, congrats on your new job!!!!

    September 6, 2016 at 6:44 pm Reply
    • Kristi

      Thank you so much!! I am really trying to sew more clothes for myself, especially when I see something in a store (like a basic swing dress from Ann Taylor) for more than $50 that I know I could easily make for less than half the cost! Plus, making it myself means I can make it fit my body exactly how I want!

      Also, sorry for the late reply, for some reason I haven’t been getting comment notifications and just saw this!

      September 24, 2016 at 5:31 pm Reply

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