Built by Wendy, Sewn by Lizzy

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy book cover

The arrival of spring weather has given me the urge to sew a summer dress.  Does this happen to you when the season changes?

I was also inspired by a library book: Built by Wendy Dresses: The Sew U Guide to Making a Girl’s Best Frock.  The book was published in 2010 and has had mixed reviews, although some reviewers hadn’t gotten around to making anything from it yet.

 

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy book cover back

The all-important Back Blurb

 

I have been an admirer of Wendy Mullins/Built by Wendy since I saw her interviewed in this video.  I liked her wearable/slightly 1980’s/rock and roll fashion aesthetic, and I liked that she’d remained an independent designer for many years.  She came to fashion designing from a home sewing background, rather than a stylist or retail one.

 

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy project

The dress I planned to make is project 1 in the book.  It’s a raglan sleeved dress. 

 

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy pattern sheet

The book has a tissue paper pattern sheet in the back with three basic dress patterns: a sheath, a shift and a dirndl. The sheath dress, which is the one I need, is actually slightly A line.

 

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy project pattern instructions

The instructions tell how to adapt the basic dress pattern to the style.

 

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy project sewing instructions

The sewing instructions

 

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy project variations

Each style has ideas for variations.

 

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy other dresses Bohemian Rhapsody

Some of the other dresses in this book….

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy other dresses Palm Beach Tunic

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy other dresses Valentine dress

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy other dresses American Pastoral

 

 

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy traced pattern pieces

My pattern pieces, all traced off ready to cut out a toile. However, I had reservations about the one piece raglan sleeve. Usually these are only seen on very loose fitting clothes eg windcheaters, and more fitted clothes have a raglan with a shoulder dart or seam.

 

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy sleeve on dressmakers model

I pinned together the tissue and tried it on my model. I know this is only paper but I predict the sleeve will kick out at the hem.

 

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy sleeve with dart taken out

I took out a 5cm wedge from the sleeve to form a dart at the shoulder.

 

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy sleeve with dart taken out and filled with paper

Then I added the same amount back on the sides and leveled the hem. I filled in the shoulder dart with paper.  Just guessing here, but I think the sleeve will fit better.

 

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy dress toile on me

Ran up a toile from some op shop fabric, obviously donated by someone who holidayed in Vanuatu. The sleeves appear to have a bit of drag in the photo, but they look better in real life.

 

Built by Wendy Sewn by Lizzy dress toile on me top detail

There’s extra fabric in the front neck, and I’ll angle my shoulder darts slightly to the front (because I have a rounded posture from too much leaning over). Otherwise not bad.

 

I’ll decide on some fabric and work on this dress more during the week.  Stay tuned.

Cheers!

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