My polka dot oversize bow dress is the definition of ‘Making it Work’. Let me explain.
I had a weekend trip planned to Santa Barbara for a while, knowing full well that making something for this trip, on the heals of 2 weeks in France and 1 in Hawaii was going to be difficult. As the trip inched closer and closer, I kept feeling that nag of guilt that making something for this vacation would really be a smart idea and that I had better come up with something quick.
At the very last minute I stumbled upon a simple flocked polka dot fabric from Joann’s that I thought would make a great dress, but I had zero idea what it would be, and whatever it was going to be, I had to execute it fast. My head is a contant jumble of references and ideas so I can never remember exactly where inspiration came from, but all of a sudden I came up with the genius (?) idea of smocking the full 54″ width of the fabric into a high neck, low back cotton gown, with black ribbon detailing. I was fully on board, smocking and draping the dress within an hour one Sunday night.
Luckily I had the chance to give the vote to my readers and sleep on the results, because when I woke up in the morning I was not on board with this dress, and needed to pivot my design pronto. With only one full day of nanny-ing ahead of me, I only had that one day to come up with a new dress design.
I spent Marina’s nap on Monday looking for inspiration for something fresh that I could make in 24 hours, and settled on an easy loose dress with a ruffle hem and an oversize bow. I knew that it would look fantastic with the trim, move nicely, be easy to pattern make and sew, and be something that I would actually want to wear again and again.
I didn’t have time to make a muslin version of my pattern before cutting in final fabric, so I went straight to final fabric and was pretty pleased with myself for how productive and how quickly I had turned my design around.
That is until, the day I left for my trip, realizing that I still had to attach the hem ruffle, the bow and insert the invisible zipper. The ruffle was the same width as the sweep of the skirt, which meant it wouldn’t be a ruffle at all, and I didn’t have any more rick rack trims to make it bigger. So I had to decrease the width of the sweep of the skirt, remove the pockets, alter the lining and then sew the whole thing back up again before attaching the ruffle and the zipper.
I still felt that the ruffle wasn’t ruffly enough and the skirt sweep was too big, but once the fabric is cut there is only so much you can do, or the grain line will be off. I figured once I put on the bow it would balance the whole thing and make it look perfect, which luckily most people thought as well. Unfortunately I still feel that the proportion of the whole piece is off, and I am disappointed that I rushed through the making of a design I was so excited about.
However, after wearing the dress and receiving so many compliments about it, I now feel a renewed desire to fix the pattern and make it again, this time showing what the perfect proportions should have been, so that my readers can see how it can make a difference. I am thinking I will record a YouTube tutorial showing how I will fix the pattern, which hopefully will help people in altering the patterns of some of their own store-bought or personally made designs. What do you think?
What do you think of the finished oversize bow dress? Do you think it needs more work, or that it’s perfect as is? I would love to hear your opinion!