Loopy Dress

1 loopy loops1 Measurements BackMy newest client, who got in touch via this blog, lives on the other side of the world so I’ll never even see her 😥 She asked for a copy of a dress I made for myself that I blogged a while back.  We exchanged a few emails to get an idea of how this would work, discussing fabrics, a deadline, payment and measurements – but mostly measurements.  I sent a couple of pictures like this one.

Then off I went.

The main worry was making the dress too small.  The black fabric I picked has the tiniest amount of stretch and I used the Winifred Aldrich close-fitting dress block (which, as you may know, isn’t all that close-fitting) to design a sloper on which to base the dress pattern.

Making the inside of the garment nicely finished is very important to me, even more so when sewing for a client who might only have RTW garments to compare to, but on this occasion I abandoned my usual French seams.  The dress will probably have to be adjusted by the client and while contour darts can quickly be narrowed or widened, letting out a French seam can be a bit of a nightmare.  Not only are there two stitching lines to unpick, but the inner seam is likely to be closely trimmed.

1 inside outInstead, I left the seam allowances untrimmed (in case there are places where the garment needs to be made bigger) and bound them Hong Kong style.  The white binding is consistent with the colour scheme of the dress: can you guess what it is yet?!

1 scrap practice


The dress has a ‘loop and button’ closure but not of the delicate, bridal variety (this is meant to be a utalitarian garment).  I’ve only done loops once before so thought I might do some desk research to enable me to do it as professionally as possible.  The buttons on the left side are placed exactly at the centre front, as for a shirt with buttonholes, but the loop side edge therefore has to move back and it’s really the loops that are placed at the centre front of the right side.  But which part of the loop is the exact middle?  The  outer edge?  The hole?   And as for the rouleau strips: how long to make them in relation to the button size?

Well, maybe there’s a magic formula somewhere but I realised I’d have to make some samples and take measurements from those that worked!

I did pick up one helpful tip (from here, as usual) for sewing loops.  Use sticky tape when aligning the strips with the raw edge of the garment as there’s less movement than if using pins or tacks.

1 raw edges together

Place loop strips at tailor tacks, raw edges aligned, stitching facing up, and affix with narrow strips of tape

Trim away SAs and remove tailor tacks

Oh, and place the stitched side of the strips up so when the sewing is done and flipped over, the stitching doesn’t show.

No need to peel off all those bits of tape: this whole section will get cut away.

It was hard to ‘let go’ and put the dress in the post.  I guess I feel it’s not quite ready as I haven’t seen it on the client.  And I no longer have control, if that makes sense.  But we posed for a photo together, the dress and I, with the ever-present Blogstalker looking on.

1t blogstalker is so silly

7 thoughts on “Loopy Dress

  1. How brave to make something for a long distance client! I bet you can’t wait for it to arrive and for her to tell you lovely it is and that it’s now one of her favourite dresses. With all the attention you pay to detail, I’m sure she’ll be delighted. I must admit, I do let the odd ‘finishing touch’ slip when it’s on the inside and it’s for me but I would be far too stressed out (and not skilled enough in any case) to make something fitted for somebody who is not friend or family and getting it free and therefore can’t complain 🙂
    The Blogstalker has the look of all cats when they want to come in but don’t want to demean themselves by asking.
    I love your T-shirt and, if they do that slogan on a mug, which I’m sure they probably do, I’m going to put one on my Christmas list.

  2. I read another blog Sew it or Throw it where the author made a wedding dress at a distance. Very brave I thought. But tell me, is this a waitress outfit? It seems very elaborate if it is. The loops, the bound seams – these are couture techniques. Or is it a very smart dress? And how will it be cleaned? I always separate the white and black items. Anyway I am dying to find out how well it fits – what an adventure.

    • I too would worry about washing it but this won’t be worn very much. It’s a copy of the dress worn by Magenta in the Rocky Horror Picture Show (i.e. the film) and is destined for a Halloween party and, I guess, RHS events (that’s Rocky Horror, not Royal Horticultural Society!)

      I love this style but have never worn mine . Even if I made it in other colour combinations, I think it would still look a bit like a uniform.

  3. Sorry Marianna, I’m lost, did you make a uniform perhaps? Is there a zipper allergy involved or this naughty role play attire perhaps? If so were is the doily headpiece and frilly apron? x

  4. Very brave to dressmake for a long distance client. I hope she likes it – the fact that it’s costume makes things easier but that is one well finished costume!

  5. Hi,
    I can’t wait to get my dress. I’ve been looking for the perfect dress so I can be Magenta for Halloween. I came across your website and knew it would be the dress for me. I’m very thankful that your brave enough to do it. I can’t wait to get the dress and try it on. I’ll let you know how it fits. I know I wasn’t the best about measuring myself but know it will be perfect.

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