Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Color-Blocked Tracy Reese Dress Revamp

I made this dress 6 weeks ago but wasn't quite happy with it. It was a well drafted pattern and the fit was exactly right, but I didn't feel like the proportions worked well with my body. Thanks to some helpful feedback from my readers, I decided to shorted the cropped overlay by an inch. That wasn't too terribly difficult, but I did have to stitch some things by hand that were previously machine stitched.


After that, though, I still wasn't happy with it, so I chopped 5 inches off the length. Now I love it! Sometimes I give up on things that seem like a ton more work because I completely hate altering, but I'm so glad I persevered this time.

More pictures after the jump and don't forget to tell me what you think!





Here's another picture of the shoulder detail in case you missed it the first time. (And because it's my favorite part of the dress.)


I think this cropped length is much more flattering on me. I have several midi skirts in my closet that I regularly wear so I can't really explain why the original design was so dowdy. Perhaps it was fabric choice.

54 comments:

  1. Wow what a difference the alterations make looks perfect now Blessings, Baa

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  2. Oh! It has been worth the work, dear Amanda. The proportions are now perfect. Have you also reduced the width of the "skirt"?

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    1. The skirt is an A-line shape so any removal in length is going to result in some reduction in width as well. But otherwise no, I did not reduce the width of the skirt portion. Thanks Enri!

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  3. Wow. What a difference a few inches make. You look taller and more erect somehow. Looks terrific. Of course. Because you made it :-D

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  4. I like the new version much better

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  5. Glad you shortened it, looks so much more youthful.

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    1. You're so right, it definitely feels younger with the shorter hemline. Thanks Linda!

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  6. Much improved. You now have a very pretty dress.

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    1. Thanks! I'm now really excited to wear it!

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  7. The shorter length makes a huge difference, more modern and youthful. Think you are right that the fabric choice suits the shorter length.

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    1. I think it's so interesting that the fabric here really seemed to throw the proportions off. I mean, the envelope example is perfectly lovely, and it's in an smaller scale geometric print. It's definitely something I'll keep in mind for future garments. Thanks Kay!

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  8. I'm not a style expert andcant tell you why, but I can say, wow! You look awesome in the after dress! Love that shoulder detail, too!

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    1. Thank you Nurse Bennett! I'm glad to not be the only one mystified lol.

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  9. Wow, what a difference. "After" is definitely and improvement on proportions.
    Glad you re-did and persevered.

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  10. Most definitely worth the alterations! Looks wonderful.

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  11. The "after" does look nicer and less dowdy, and I think the shorter skirt length is what makes the difference. The top seems okay at at either length.

    My theory is that midi-length skirts can easily look hip and current, especially if paired with a modern tops. However, a midi dress always look dowdier, probably because it is so much of the same fabric. This is especially true with long sleeves The only way a midi dress wouldn't look dowdy is if it's very body-conscious.

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    1. Hmmm, I like your theory. My Easter dress last year had a midi length skirt, but it was sleeveless, so the proportions worked. And yes, I think the top could have worked at the longer length too, but it's what I started with so there was no adding back to it. Although it was the most work so I wish I had started with the skirt length. Oh well, live and learn. Thanks for your thoughtful response Betty!

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  12. Like everyone else, I like the change and what it does to the impression it makes.

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  13. Yes, looking at the two versions, I think it is the fabric. The black at the bottom of the original seems to weigh the dress down, but removing that and having the extra black exposed at the waist stops that from happening. Looks much nicer now. Well done on working it out.

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  14. Just can't believe the shortening of the dress made such a difference.....I'm into making a few new summer dresses this year....and I'll deliberate on the length for each. You know one of the things you do best is picking a pattern and choosing the right fabric for it....that's a talent that not everyone has. So Bravo to you.....does that zipper on the shoulder work? Very cute idea....love the fab too!

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    1. I'm still planning a midi dress for summer and am hoping to not have the same issues with it. The zippers did work, but they didn't open the shoulders up at all. I stitched them directly on top of the fabric. I also tacked the zipper pulls down so they wouldn't pop up, so they are pretty much stuck now. Thanks Laura!

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  15. Agree that the new length is MUCH better. You are so tee-nincey that the original iteration swamped you.

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  16. great save, it's so nice when you get that light bulb moment and figure out how to change a finished garment to make it more as you imagined. I think the large scale print did overwhelm you a bit. proportions are so important - even the width of the sleeve can make a difference. Looks perfect now.

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    1. I agree, proportions are SO important. Thanks Beth!

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  17. The shorter length made a huge difference in the look. You are young - you can wear your skirts above the knee. Looks very attractive. Below the knee is too dowdy looking.
    Your re-do looks fantastic.

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    1. Thank you! I do wear most of my skirts above the knee, I just thought I'd give the midi dress a try to switch it up some.

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  18. The second one is so much more flattering and youthful. It just fits you better, both in size and proportion, as well as age. I really like the new version. Great save!

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  19. Yes your revamped dress does suit you much better, changing the length makes a huge difference. I think midi skirt lengths can be hard to wear sometimes, perhaps the combination of the large bold print and length was off? Anyway, good job in figuring out what needed to be changed to make it work for you, the dress has some great designer details.

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  20. This is much better. What a difference! Worth the effort!

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  21. Shorter is better and makes the dress perfect for you now! Gorgeous!

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  22. Great Save! From frump to fab!

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  23. Wow - what a difference and great save! The new version is more your style which you always seem to nail. Proportion perfection is my new sewing goal and your example is a great reminder for me. Thanks, Amanda, and I look forward to your posts on Mood's new sew-along. Karen

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  24. Hello, is beautidul and perfect Amanda! Great work! Sílvia

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  25. Amanda, love your second version! Dressing is all about proportions. Now that you shortened the top there is a much wider black waist that looks more in scale to your print. Shortening the skirt helps to balance the look. Definitely worth all your hard work. Stunning!

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    1. Thanks Helen! I can't always figure out why the proportion of something looks off, but at least I'm able to tell that it is, in fact, off. While getting dressed it's easy to switch something out if I don't like the silhouette, but critiquing something I've made is more difficult. Anyway, you put it into words perfectly!

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  26. WOW! What a difference! It looked great before but now it is AMAZING!

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