The “Denim Is My Best Friend” Dress
Because it’s true.
I feel like I’ve been on a denim kick, even though this is the first thing I’ve made in denim in a while, but I think I’ve been day dreaming about it a lot. The idea of a denim dress feels perfect to me, cute and a little dressy but can easily be layed back and casual. Since there are very few women on my campus (engineering does not attract a lot of females for some strange reason. I know, I don’t get it either) I almost always feel a little out of place or too dressed up in dresses. So denim seems like a great compromise. Granted, this one is a little tight (wooo stretch denim!) but it’s pretty cute I think. I’m not a huge fan of the pleats in front because I don’t really need them to camoflasge anything and they kind of poof out, but I can deal with it.
Pattern Description: “Little black dress sewing pattern. Dress with front pleats and pockets.” Also, insert side panels in the bodice.
Pattern Sizing: 17-21, I cut a 17. If it wasn’t such a pain in the butt to trace patterns I might redo it in an 18 for a non-stretch fabric.
Fabric Used: Dark blue stretch denim
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yup
Were the instructions easy to follow? I’m not really sure. This pattern had the more detailed “sewing class” instructions but I don’t think they were that awesome, and I didn’t like the order of construction. So I skimmed them, then ignored them since there was nothing here that I haven’t done before.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the small cut-on sleeves and the inset panels (even though I didn’t get the corners perfect, but who is really perfect anyways?) and having pockets is awesome even though they’re a little high for my hands. I don’t like the pleats especially and if/when I make this again I’ll figure out how to remove them. The seam lines lined up pretty nicely because of the stretch in my fabric. Also a plus of the stretch is that the fit is really comfortable where it would be pretty tight without it.
While I’m wearing it I worry a little that it’s to tight for normal day time wear. Obviously I won’t wear heals all that often, how does it look flat footed below? Or is it just too short?
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn’t do much top stitching and I didn’t do any facings, just bias tape instead. And my back slit is more like a break in the hem instead of a true slit, no over lap.
Would you sew it again? Yes, I think I would, it would be great in more denim or linen.
Would you recommend it to others? Definitely. It’s a petite pattern, so I don’t know how that translates fit-wise to taller people, but I love it.
Cost vs Value! Steph over at 3 Hours Past wrote about the value of her sewing last week and I though it was really interesting. She said she tried to research this topic but there isn’t really much info out there, so she just made up her own way, which I happen to like. So I’m copying her!
This is the actual cost of the item. When using remnants from other projects or refashioning,
you may mark “fabric” as 0.
- Pattern- (cost of pattern divided by the number of times used) Taking into account the cost of a burda subscription and how many patterns are in each issue. $(90/12/20)/ 1 = $0.375
- Fabric- (Price per yard X number of yards) This is a little bit of a guesstimation because I don’t really remember how much the fabric cost. $8.50 * 2 = $17
- Notions- (cost of zippers, needles, pins, scissors, “overhead” costs, interfacing, etc) $5
- Total cost = $22.375
Find a similarly constructed garment in a shop (or several and average them) and fill in the price: $75
This one is hard because there is nothing exactly the same sold in stores, but modcloth had cute denim dresses between $50 and $100, so $75 seems fair.
This is an attempt to place value on some positive but intangible aspects of domestic sewing. Don’t add in your sewing hours unless your skill level allows you to turn out clothes which are comparable to RTW. Adjust these values according to personal preference.
- Labor/Wage Ethics (no forced labor here!) 10% of cost = $2.2375
- Satisfaction of Working with Your Hands 10% of cost = $2.2375
- Great Fit 10% of cost = $2.2375
- Durability (if applicable) 10% of cost = $2.2375
- Stylistic Control (you choose the fabric, cut, etc) 10% of cost = $2.2375
- Time and Labor= # of hours to sew X local min wage (or your own hourly wage): 4 hours * $10 = $40
Total Value= $51.19
That seems about right to me. I didn’t do a ton of research on the price section so that could definitely be off, but really, I could see a dress like this easily sold for more than $100 (have you seen the stuff people sell on etsy?). As for the Value part, I sew for fun and I’m not on a super tight budget, if I had kids then it might be more important.
Mr. Husband doesn’t understand, he called me a nerd.