I have been at the sewing machine lately and an excited about creating dresses for me and Mayan. Mayan had chose this fabric months ago, wanting to make something for herself but when she saw me cutting out patterns she decided to have me handle it. Even though I am not a super-great seamstress, I have confidence taking a very easy pattern and then modifying it to be more detailed, modern, and shapely.
Mayan's dress was really a nightgown pattern with elastic that was supposed to go all the way around the neck, which seemed too childish for a 7-year-olds day dress. So I instead did the elastic in the back and sleeve areas, and pleated the front (that look is really popular right now in women's clothing, I've noticed....) So the sleeves were not so huge, and also not completely elasticized, I only did a small portion and left the rest plain. It lacked any shape so I gathered the back and did some quilt-like stitching over the pleats. I turned out looking like a boutique play dress, and most importantly she loves it!
Blake's mother was kind enough to buy me a few yards of this yummy buttery linen the last time she visited and we took a trip to Fabric Depot. I wanted to make something that covered my arms in the sun, but was flow-y and light in hot weather. I also wanted it simple, not so sophisticated that I couldn't throw it on with a pair of rubber boots and work in the garden. The pattern I had had a strange v-neck so I again modified it to have a surplice (crossover v-neck) top. I used pattern paper to remake that part of the pattern, and it worked! The elastic empire waist gives it that casual feel, and also means I didn't have to add a zipper (never have--sounds scary!!)
Although I tweaked with the fit quite a bit, even taking it apart once it was almost complete and doing it again, it is still looser that I'd hoped and not as modest either, BUT it is well suited for my at-home outdoor linen day dress. I love the detail at the shoulders, it was the first time I'd done basting and gathering so I feel like this upped my sewing skills a notch. I look forward to more dress projects in the future!