In the previous post I mentioned that I’d like to make a knockoff of the Madewell Morningside dress and though some things went very wrong with this one, it’s closer than I’d expected my first version to get.
I used the a-line tank dress, Burda 06/2011 #107 with some changes. First, I added a yoke–measuring down about four inches from the back neck for the yoke in the back and down about two inches in the front. Next, I changed the neckline–closing it up a lot. Of course, once I’d gotten it sewed up, it felt a little weird, so I opened it into more of a v–so it probably (approximately) matches the original draft now.
I’d planned to do a facing to finish the front neck but instead used bias binding. This creates a lot of layers in the corners and thus they’re on the thick side so I think next time I’ll use a facing as I planned. (I didn’t really have enough fabric to do a facing with this one which is why I tried the bias binding.)
The only other change I made to the pattern was to the hem, adding a curve and a small vent.
I sandwiched a simple mandarin collar between the two yokes (which worked really well–I’ll definitely sew it that way next time) but my collar was both too wide and too long around the neck and flopped around weirdly. I didn’t want to rip out the neckline, so instead I trimmed away the collar and of course wound up cutting into my yoke accidentally in one small spot (that’s fixed now). The neck edge doesn’t look as tidy without the collar, but it’s wearable.
For the next version, I’d like to either include the band collar (I’ve already reduced the size of the pattern piece), or perhaps add a long neck bow. I also plan to make the back yoke deeper and the front yoke more angled (so it’s longer at the arm and shorter at the neck). The inspiration dress has a neck facing that’s top stitched in place, and I think I’ll try that treatment on mine as well. I’d also like to make the cap sleeves a smidgen longer, but I’m not 100% sure how to do that properly, so we’ll see if my guess works or not.
Side seams are finished with french seams. For the hem, I used Wonder Tape, adhered to the right side and folded over twice for a tidy top stitched hem. The arm openings are finished with bias binding that’s then top stitched to the inside because I wanted to lose as little length on the sleeves as possible.
The fabric is a fantastic rayon challis from Fashion Club Fabrics. It was a little stiff when it arrived, but washed to a lovely softness. To cut it out, I starched the heck out of it and then left it starched through construction–I’d imagine that made everything much easier, but this is a pretty simple dress. I’ve washed the dress several times now and it’s holding up nicely so far. I won’t be putting it in the dryer (though I did in the pre-washing stage).
All in all, I’m really happy with my new dress!