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Not a natural born seamstress

Added May 19, 2011

by zenica

South West, Unit...






This is my version of Cate. Would I do it again? Definitely not. The instructions for the top could be in Chinese, they wouldn’t be more intellegible – but that might just be me. I found a way to piece it all together.

The advantage of this pattern: few pieces. The disadvange: the instructions and the straps. I think I will have to take them off and replace them with slightly shorter, straight ones and move them toward the middle a little so they don’t keep falling off my shoulders and my bra doesn’t show.
EDIT: I was so annoyed that the straps ruined the whole dress that I took them off and replaced them. Result can be seen in the two last pictures. I am so much happier now :-)

Apart from that, I am not too unhappy with my first ever dress. I love the fabric. I made a bit of a mess of the concealed zip… I don’t have a zipper foot as far as I can see. Next time, I’ll simply anker the zip and hand-stitch the side with the teeth. Much neater and faster in the end…

The title: the project reminded me of why I usually stick to toddler garments and small projects. I just don’t have the patience. Oh well, I will have to pick up my courage again soon as I have two more fabulous fabrics at home for dresses to take on holidays.

Material Notes

thin cotton and a sort of broderie anglaise knit, which added its own challenges with its side-ways stretch




Garment Type
Beach, Bohemian, Casual

9 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Kim2011a_large

    Jul 16, 2012, 03.56 PMby Kim Briski

    Great job, it’s beautiful……I have a friend that says “better done than perfect” That’s what I go by. Oh, and the galloping horse test…If you cannot see the imperfections when worn on a person on a galloping horse…well, it’s all good. :)

  • Seamstress_large

    May 22, 2011, 10.41 AMby Geeky Seamstress

    I also had the same problems with the pattern, it’s not great! and I ended up removing the straps completely and making is strapless, before deciding that I just wasn’t suited to an empire line :-)

    the fact that you managed to make it as your first ever dress, and make new straps is absolutely great progress!

    1 Reply
    • 14_arboretum_1_large

      May 25, 2011, 09.24 AMby zenica

      I am so glad I’m not the only one not understanding the instructions, makes me feel better ;-) I like the skirt part, I might try and make up my own top and use the lower part only. I saw some maxi dresses that had the gatherings around the middle in front and on the back, that should take some width off it – or so she-with-the-enormous-bum hopes :-D

  • Missing

    May 20, 2011, 01.16 PMby fuzzyg

    Seamstresses are made and not born, and I think you’re really doing very well, considering only the final result and not the potentially painful process :-). Check out the zipper tutorials at fashion-incubator, you’ll have a much easier time on the next round..

    1 Reply
    • 14_arboretum_1_large

      May 21, 2011, 08.11 AMby zenica

      Thank you very much for you encouragement! :-) I did have a look at the zipper tutorial video on this site, which was fantastic. I simply couldn’t sew it on properly as I am missing the right kind of foot. I might resew it by hand to make it a bit neater. Plus, next time, I will only attach the zip to the fabric and hand-sew the lining onto it. I think that would look better on the inside.

  • 6187192372_a11a43b275_b_large

    May 19, 2011, 09.55 PMby ananemone

    I think it’s quite nice; I made the Cate recently and had the same difficulty with the instructions – I think the main problem is that they’re for a slightly different pattern, perhaps originally published in the magazine, so some of the directions are a bit off.

    There was that one picture of what the inside of the bodice should look like that made it all make a lot more sense.

    Lovely fabric and it looks very nicely constructed! I have troubles with zippers too…

  • 14_arboretum_1_large

    May 19, 2011, 01.18 PMby zenica

    Thank you all for your kind comments! I am so much happier with the results now that I have changed the straps. I just might give another dress a go…

  • Sam_7802sk_large

    May 19, 2011, 01.15 PMby Dilyana Drumeva

    Very very beautiful! I want that fabric!

    1 Reply
    • 14_arboretum_1_large

      May 19, 2011, 01.17 PMby zenica

      Thank you! I got it off the internet from France. They ship pretty much everywhere in Europe for 9.90EUR as far as I can remember. Let me know if you’d like the website ;-)

  • Missing

    May 19, 2011, 01.03 PMby maha2

    very nice i wait a next dress good look

  • 100_4303_large

    May 19, 2011, 12.42 PMby sewno

    I think that you should be very proud of yourself a lovely maxi dress and looks very neat and tidy

  • Dsc_0184_large

    May 19, 2011, 12.07 PMby fanettemdb

    Attractive work in spite of your difficulties including the explanations, Courage for your next dresses;)

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