Self Drafted Side Cut Out Dress 2.0

I think we have a winner! I revised my bodice block and the bodice pieces I used for my first version of this dress and now the whole thing fits much better. My first version turned out disappointingly baggy.
I lowered the V in the back and got rid of some annoying gaping here and there. It still has those side cut outs which I like more now that the bodice is more snug.
I also added side seam pockets because every dress needs pockets but often I am too lazy to do it.
This is a light-weight quilting cotton I bought locally at the Cloth Pocket. It’s mint with gold printed dots. Coolest of all – it’s a border print! I love border prints!
I lined the bodice in some scrap white fabric and used a center back invisible zip.
I shortened the skirt by about an inch and a half compared to version 1. I think I like the slightly above the knee look more.
I’m pretty smitten with this dress!


Also, in other important news. I’ve decided to transition my blog from Blogger over to WordPress and the process might get messy. So if you see images not loading or getting weird redirects for the next day or so this is why.

I hope that once everything is fully up and running again I’ll be able to do a lot more with this blog logistically but in the mean time will still be functional but may not.

So to make up for any inconveniences here are some fun gifs that describe my emotional state as I deal with this daunting task…




See you all at WordPress later (I hope)!

Self Drafted Side Cut-Out Dress


Here’s something new! My 2015 has not been off to the best start in terms of sewing productivity but I have finished one new item – this dress!


The Pattern: I drafted it myself based on my bodice block (which looks like I’m going to have to make smaller, this bodice is way too big) with some minor alterations.

I added a narrow waistband and a slightly curved gathered skirt but the cool part is definitely these side cut outs which are fun and summery (it’s oddly warm in Texas today despite the fact that it is supposed to be winter, whatever).

I like the look of a gathered skirt with a little curve at the bottom as opposed to a pure rectangle because I think it give the hem a little more poof but I can still use a border print without it looking wonky. I plan on using a border print in my next version.

It closes with a center back invisible zip.


Because of the cutouts I had to completely line the bodice. But I didn’t want to have to line the skirt or add any sort of support to the waist line so I went with a waistband, problem solved.

The Fabric: Just some quilting cotton which works fine for this style of dress. My MIL actually got this for me for Christmas so I’m glad it’s getting used.


The Changes: For this section I’m going to talk about what I plan on changing for my next iteration of this pattern.

– Make the bodice smaller. It’s way too big in the bust and waist and I think it’s because I haven’t altered this block in well over a year and it just doesn’t fit as well anymore.

– Lower the v-neck in the back and change the angle of the shoulders an back seam slightly to compensate for gaping. As it is now the back V is ok but it gapes slightly depending on how I move my arms.

– I want to make the shoulder line narrower at the at the armhole, as in, move the armhole edge closer to the neck and further from my shoulder bone. But in doing so I’m making the armhole bigger and need to make sure I don’t have any gaping, especially in the front armcye. We’ll see how that goes.


– The cutouts are fine. I like them as is. I didn’t add any interfacing to the waistband but if I use a lighter weight fabric in the future I’ll need to.

– I also want to add pockets. I’m always to lazy to do it (so much extra cutting out and edge finishing and blah, I just want to sew up my side seams fast!).

The Results: Not bad for the first try. I’m trying a new method of drafting the entire thing digitally in Adobe Illustrator. first rather than just on paper. I’m hoping it will save me time in the long run and also make my drafting more precise.


The only problem I had was the loose fit of the bodice but I couldn’t have known that without making a muslin first anyway. Now I can go back and make alterations to my original plain block and re-draft this dress’ bodice from there.

Cosplay Complete!


Hey readers, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted but I feel like I have a good excuse – I’ve been focusing on some costume work and getting ready for PAX South, a gaming convention in San Antonio. Now I’m back home and relaxing from a busy weekend. And I can finally show you my completed Elizabeth Cosplay!
To recap from my last cosplay post – this is the character Elizabeth from the 2013 game Bioshock Infinite where she lives in a floating city in the sky called Columbia set in 1912. Here’s a few in-game shots of her:

If you want to see a bit of Liz in action you can watch this trailer on youtube. However, it’s definitely a violent game so keep that in mind before you click.

PAX was my first convention so I was nervous at first but once I saw plenty of other cosplayers running around I felt more confident about being dressed up in a silly costume. I only wore it for a few hours – my boots weren’t very comfy and Justin tied my corset a little too tight, oops.

I got lots of compliments and quite a few photo requests. I usually went with my standard “fiddle with the pinky thimble” pose. This character doesn’t have any weapons so there’s not exactly a cool action pose I can do.

I only saw one other Elizabeth there which was surprising because I figured she’d be pretty popular.

I wrote about most of the pieces of my costume in my in-progress post but here are the finishing touches I made since then —


Necklace: a length of satin-y ribbon with clasps at the back (which I realize now should have been tighter). The bird brooch came from this etsy shop and I was surprised by how nice it looked considering how inexpensive it was. It’s pinned to the ribbon but the weight drags it down.

Jacket: I added the collar and hemmed it… with stitch witchery. ‘Cause lazy. Also, the shiny material shows stitches, even when trying to make a blind hem. The stitch witchery was just easier and gave it a clean finish.


Skirt: At the last minute I added a pocket in one of the side seams which helped out so much with carrying cards and phone and whatnot. Pockets FTW!

Petticoat: Actually, this is a huge petticoat that I originally made to go over a Civil War era hoop. The petticoat is probably too big for the skirt, to be honest. For the hem hem I attached a 1 foot wide box pleated strip of fabric which gives the hem a nice kick but took it FOREVER to press and sew.

It also got pretty dirty from walking around. :( Oh, well. It’s white which is easy to clean.


Shoes: Bought some “victorian-esque” style boots from Amazon. They have a zipper on the insides which is kind of cheating but that’s ok. They did they job but certainly weren’t that comfortable.

And my thimble is on the right finger! In the game Elizabeth is missing part of her pinky which she covers up with a thimble.


I’m actually really proud of myself. I’m not usually one to dress up at events like this and I tend to shy away from attention in general but I went out of my comfort zone and I think I did a pretty darn good job of recreating the character.