January’s Me-Made Dress

Starting off my 12 months of me-made dresses with a bang! I will admit this dress nearly didn’t get made in time for January but here she is! Starting off super simple with this baby doll style. Personally this loose style of dress is my favourite as it doesn’t need any tricky waist lines, sleeves, buttons or zips (all things that make my self-drafting brain freak out). I picked this gorgeous pink gingham from Spotlight in the middle of last year and knew it would make the perfect summer dress. 

Now I will admit that getting a bodice to fit my shoulders has always been a struggle and even my amazing dressmaking sister admits my shoulders are ‘difficult’ to fit. So there is a lot of trying on and then adjusting. It took quite a bit of work to get the cut of the shoulders right along with placement of some bust darts in the bodice so that the neckline wouldn’t drop or fall open. In the end I added some very cute May Gibbs fabric as a yoke (its a sewing thing too I promise) and that straight away gave some more support to the bodice, fixing most of my problems… that was a very big woohoo moment mid sewing haha. Having the different fabric on the inside is a nice little feature and I only wish I had more of it to do a full lining on the top and then with some fiddling I could’ve made a reversible dress. But it was not to be. 

Now a baby doll dress design can end up being a bland style of dress particularly on a very neutral style fabric (yes I just called gingham neutral) – which is why often there are sleeves, or layer tiers for some ‘wow’ factor. I was trying to avoid all of those things, so in the end I added a small tie at the back of the bodice to add something extra to it. But hands down the best feature of this dress is that it has POCKETS!!!! I am very determined to do my best to make each and every dress this year to have pockets (now that I know how to self draft them into any skirt). 

Below is a super rough sketch of the pattern pieces I used for this dress design (without seam allowances, not quite to scale and a little bit crooked). Please note, this is not a proper dress pattern or tutorial, but more a document of my process through this journey to make one dress a month for 2022. 

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