The Alston Dress


I want to post a million zillion pictures of this dress because y'all, I made it myself. Not just the sewing part either--the pattern!!

I've named it the Alston after the new last name of the friend whose wedding I am planning on wearing it to. (Not this version--white eyelet to an wedding? no way!--but another version in navy silk and lace that I'll have queued up.) I love the look of white eyelet and I already have another dress and a shirt in mind using the same fabric, in addition to this dress and my pleated skirt--also, how much white eyelet is too much? Asking for a friend...

Back to the dress: the Alston has raglan sleeves, a pleated midi skirt overlay with a shorter lining, and a round neckline, with waist darts and a shaped waistband. The highlight of the dress are the panels: the plunge front, sleeves, and upper back. In this eyelet version, those panels are sheer, but I imagine it would be great underlined with nude or white for modesty, or even colorblocked. I'd also love to make a "night-out" version with just the shorter skirt "lining" and no overlay for a slightly sexier look (I don't really do sexy, but I can do slightly sexier occasionally). The back on this version is sheer all the way to the waistband, but I also have pattern pieces for a higher back panel (that covers my bra strap) and the original back panel that's all one piece. I love the exposed zipper gold zipper, but I think for the navy one I'll do an invisible zipper. I'll also make it a bit snugger at the waist. The fit on this is perfect for a sundress (I mean, it's drafted specifically for me!), but there's a little more ease than I'd want in a more formal dress.

If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, you'll know that I drafted this dress off of my first sloper using a few of Suzy Furrer's excellent classes on craftsy, Patternmaking Basics: The Bodice Sloper and Patternmaking and Design: Creative Sleeves. It was the most math I've done in ages and it took an entire long weekend (plus a few more days) of doing basically nothing else and working late into the night, but my moulage fits like a second skin--I'm obsessed--and my sloper is amazing. At this point, I basically feel like I can do anything!! Do you remember when you sewed your first successful garment, and a whole new world of creative opportunity opened up? This is like that, over again. (And if you haven't sewn a garment--what's keeping you?!) I started with a pretty challenging design (duh, it's me) and there are tons of little details on this dress. That's really the reason why I designed and drafted this myself: I couldn't find a pattern for it, and even my closest pattern (vintage Simplicity 4475) would have required a lot of hacking. At some point, you just have to start from scratch, right?

The resources I used to make this dress are Patternmaking Basics: The Bodice Sloper for the body and Patternmaking and Design: Creative Sleeves and the raglan sleeve section of Patternmaking for Fashion Design vol 5. for the sleeves. That's it! (Well, I also called in my husband for measuring help and moral support and Madeline when I got stuck on my swayback alteration.) I'll do a review of these later this week--for now, I just want to bask in the glow of having made my own design, from start to finish.

Would you ever draft something totally from scratch? I felt like I was drifting into madness at times but in the end, I think it was totally worth it. I hope you agree!!

xoxo,
allie

ps: i told myself this dress would be done for my birthday... and it is! happy 28th to me :)



this post may contain affiliate links.

15 comments:

  1. Please, please consider releasing this!! It's absolute perfection on you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing! Wow! Pretty! This is so perfect on you, I can't wait to see the navy version. Congratulations, all your hard work has paid off...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the bodice details. I think also that the soft pleats on the skirt are super sweet in the eyelet. I think this would be gorgeous with piping! The ideas are popping! Wonderful dress!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Allie, you are my hero! I watched all your IG stories, while you made up muslin after muslin, this dress is just fantastic!!! I am soo envious of it and will now finally bite the bullet and sign up to the craftsy call you mentioned. THANK YOU!! You are an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Happy Birthday! What a wonderful gift to yourself. I love everything about this dress! Bravo to you! Keep sewing, designing and inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's an amazing design for your first! WOW. It's beautiful - detailed and of course built to suit you perfectly and it does! You should be proud of yourself :) This is indeed the best gift you could possibly have given yourself - well on your way to pattern drafting. We'll be seeing your patterns on the market one of these day and I look forward to the day.

    ReplyDelete
  7. So fantastic!! I loved the dress on first sight and was looking forward to see what pattern you used--even better that you designed it yourself! I love the back especially, the proportion of lace is so flattering. Can't wait to see the navy version!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is amazing!! You should totally get this graded (or grade it yourself) and sell it. This is truly a unique pattern. I've not seen anything like this.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It is a beautiful dress. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! What a fantastic birthday gift for yourself! I'm excited to see the navy silk and lace version :-D

    ReplyDelete
  11. First, happy birthday!

    Second, wow! What a showstopper! ��

    The sloper class looks AWESOME. Definitely on my wishlist. Right now, I'm struggling to fit a Big 4 pattern and realizing that I need a fitting crash course. (Well, I want more detail than a crash course, but I actually need to SEE fitting technique vs. reading about it.) Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow, that is an amazing dress!!! Stunning! And Happy Birthday! Looking forward to seeing the Wedding version! (Can I fit more explanation marks in this comment?)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Happy birthday and congratulations! I definitely remember that feeling you are talking about and I can see why you are feeling it. Your dress has so many interesting details and it looks great. I'm excited to see your other versions well. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy Birthday Allie! Your dress is absolutely stunning!! I love it!

    ReplyDelete

@helloallieJ

Back to Top