Sewing first dress- pattern or freestyle?

(7 Posts)
whatthefoxsaid Wed 20-Mar-19 11:32:38

I'm sewing my first dress (for me, made one for DD and learned a lot!!) and just wondering whether to try and follow a pattern or go a bit more freestyle, using a dress I love as a bit of a template?
Its very basic, sleeveless shift dress. I think the darts will be the hardest bit but I'll probably put less in the body as I'd prefer a slightly looser fit.
Any thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
whatthefoxsaid Wed 20-Mar-19 11:34:33

This is the one I'd like to attempt to replicate, minus the satin hem.

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Frenchfancy Wed 20-Mar-19 11:36:56

Honestly you will learn so much more from a pattern and get a better result.

Freestyle is OK if you have someone to explain why things need to be done in a certain way but if you are on your own then get a pattern.

Pythonesque Wed 20-Mar-19 11:38:54

Personally I'd use a pattern of some sort as a starting point. I'm not sure I've ever made anything exactly to a pattern - not done loads of things - but if you start from one you can understand what you are changing and why.

Alternatively, look for information on pattern drafting. I've got an old RD guide to sewing that has quite a lot of drafting information in it (I'm not sure it is in all editions though); but I think I found something online more recently.

Using a dress you love as a guide sounds an excellent plan, but a pattern to compare with will help I think.


Bananasandchocolatecustard Wed 20-Mar-19 11:46:04

Tilly and the buttons have beginners dress patterns. Plus she has a step by step blog with photos to explain everything.

whatthefoxsaid Wed 20-Mar-19 17:06:47

Thanks all! I think you're right and I'm just being impatient which I know rarely leads to a good finished product.
I keep looking in charity shops for the old sewing books but no joy so far, I see them recommended a lot though.
Looking at my fabric I don't think there's actually enough for a dress so I might start with a skirt from a pattern and see how I go- I'm not the most confident and I think it might help me with pattern reading etc.

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Virginiaplain1 Wed 20-Mar-19 17:51:18

The Tilly and the Buttons Stevie dress dress (or top) looks a lot like the dress you want to make. It's a good pattern for beginners and doesn't take much fabric.

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