Dixie DIY: Ballet Dress

DSC03112Wow guys… two makes in one weekend. I think that’s a record for me. I’ve been so busy having fun every weekend that I really wanted to chill out and spend some QT with my sewing machine. I made this sweet little knit dress using the Dixie DIY Ballet Dress Pattern. I really love this dress. It’s comfortable, skims the body enough to show you’re a lady, and easy to make.

I was going to add a skirt to my Maria Denmark t-shirt pattern, but then felt lazy. Dixie already did the work for me, it’s only $4, and (this is really why I didn’t buy this pattern sooner) Etsy now allows *instant* PDF downloads. Also I wanted to help a sistah out.

DSC03115I cut a size medium, but ended up taking the side seams quite a bit. Next time (and there will be a next time), I’m going to start with a size small and go from there. I didn’t make an changes to the pattern, other than shortening the sleeves. I really wanted to see how this was going to fit and wear before I started going crazy with the one billion hacks and variations I’ve got swimming in my brain.

I need to add about one inch to the front bodice piece. It pulls up on account of my bosom. It almost feels like an empire waist dress. Marie had the same issue when she made the dress, so I’m going to assume this would be a needed adjustment for somebody with a full C-D cup bra size. Also the sleeves are pretty loosey goosey. When I make  a long sleeved  version I’m going to slim them down quite a bit.

DSC03121I love the drape of the skirt. It flares out in the most flattering way and moves and swishes with you as you walk. This photo isn’t the greatest but it shows how it skims, but doesn’t cling to my figure problem area, known affectionately in my house as my pizza pouch. I eat the shit out of pizzzzzzzzzzaaaaaaa.

DSC03123I changed the order of construction, because I like to work flat with knits as much as possible. I work in a production studio for a knitwear line so I can do this in my sleep. If you’re interested here is my usual order of construction:

(1) Sew shoulder seams, apply twill tape for stability. (2) Sew sleeves to shoulders. (3) Attach elastic to the top edge of the skirt pieces on the wrong side. Be careful to not stretch out the elastic. I used my walking foot. (4) Sew skirt pieces to both the bodice front and back (5) Sew the side seam in one long continuous seam, matching the underarms and waist. I like to start at the sleeve hems because I get to the match points sooner. (6) Apply the neck band (7) Hem, I used my twin needle for this.

xx, Cynthia

 

 

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25 thoughts on “Dixie DIY: Ballet Dress

  1. So adorable! I’ve not heard of Dixie DIY. Went to the link and it says that it is a higher than natural waist waistline. Could be why it seems almost empire line on you. I think that’s probably the ‘ballet’ part. Looks really good on you and I bet it’s comfy!

    • It’s higher than my natural waist in the back, but is even higher in the front. I’m going to add length to only the front bodice piece to even them out a bit.

      • I noticed the pattern says the waist is high. What is that about? That seems to be the new thing and I don’t like it. I have had to add inches to every pattern with a waistline. Thanks for sharing your construction method. I am going to do my next dress that way.

  2. Gorgeous fabric, the colour suit you so much. I have Dixy’s ballet dress pattern in my queue – it, along with a few other knit/jersey patterns keep getting bumped down because my birthday is not too far away and an overlocker/serger is on my wish list.

  3. Love the gorgeous print, that color looks great on you! And thanks for the pattern tip, I also sport a pizza pouch so I’m always looking for some good concealment ;)

  4. Eeep, this is so super cute on you Cynthia! I think for larger busts, adding some length to the bodice is a must, but a fairly easy fix. And like you I totally want to make more of these babies! Hmmm, from your day job (which sounds super cool by the way) do you get to bring home unwanted jersey material?!?

    • No, it’s not exactly sewing like we’re used to. We actually knit the pieces of the sweaters, and then use a linking machine to stitch them all together in the studio. Any mess ups get unraveled and knit into another sweater.

  5. Pingback: Ballet Dress Redux | Dapper Duds

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