Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lumberjack Dress

For years now, I've been getting so much use and pleasure out of the Built by Wendy books, that I thought it was high time I shared a few of the resulting projects here. I own Sew U Home StretchBuilt by Wendy Coats and Jackets, and Built by Wendy Dresses, but the latter has been my most-used book by far.

My one caveat in recommending these books is that I don't feel they are terribly helpful for beginners. The instructions are often general and somewhat vague (and I've found straight-up mistakes as well); that being said, once you've got a few "regular" patterns under your belt (I'm thinking SimplicityMcCall's, etc.), and are comfortable with the basics of garment construction and sewing techniques, they are a wonderful resource for basic patterns and ideas that can be riffed on endlessly.

This one is called the Lumberjack Dress, and it's a variation that is included in the book (though, as I mentioned, even the included variations end up being patterns of your own making for the most part). I spent quite a bit of time perfecting the fit of the basic Dirndl dress, and making plain versions with very minor tweaks and updates until I had it fitting just so, then I started going wild with variations. With its full, swingy, bias-cut skirt, adorable leather toggles, rounded collar, and ultra cozy flannel fabric...this might be my favorite thing I've ever made.

I'm hoping to share the other versions with you in the near future, but I'm currently in an awkward hair grow-out phase, so I'm mostly avoiding cameras. ;)

In the meantime, tell me: Do you sew? Have you ever wanted to learn? Do you make up your own patterns?

P.S. Here's the free pattern for the hat pictured above.

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  1. Sorry i'm so late to the party: I just found your blog while I was searching for more info about the Built by Wendy books! I've been wanting to see what others have made using Wendy's patterns. I gotta say, this is one of the cutest dresses EVER. Love it!!

  2. Sorry I'M so late to reply to your comment! Thank you for the kind compliment, Rox. I've made SO many dresses based on the Built by Wendy dirndl dress, and it's a fantastic jumping-off point. I've been neglecting my blog something awful lately, but I fully intend to share more projects based on this pattern in the future. Let me know if you have any questions about the books. I love to geek out on patterns!