Project Minima:

Monday, November 11, 2019

What a Day Trip Dress!*

~ I woke up to this today ~
January in November.

~ See that tree behind me? ~

No, not the two evergreens on either side...

~ The one in the middle with all the green leaves that haven't turned yet or fallen off. ~

It's 22 degrees out, the other day it was 50.  Oh my.

~ Meanwhile, this is my Trip Dress* from Tina Givens patterns ~

I won the cape thingy at a raffle. 
I threw on some extra clothes with it so I could wear it outside.  Like a stretch mesh T-shirt, wrist warmers, obi belt and stretch jersey straight leg pants that I've made and worn previously. 

The scarf, gloves and beret are so old I don't remember when 
or where they came from.

~ a rear view ~

~ obi-less ~

Which was how I intended to wear it.  
Too bad you can't see the collar, but it was too darn cold.

~ and a side view ~

Let me tell you, this Trip Dress was just that - a Trip! (ha). 
The fabric is challis.  I decided on a size S (my last one was XS and worked out fine), but I was worried about the wrap bodice coverage so thought more is more.   

If you're not a sew-er, you can skip to the end pictures.

  • There's been modifications. I don't know what it was exactly, but the whole pattern seemed to be warped (?) or just oddly shaped here and there.  Anyway, the bodice didn't come together and I ended up adding a 3-4" wide binding on either side of the 2 front wrap pieces.  It actually ended up looking good, but I had to sleep on it to come up with the idea.  

  • I usually use my own sleeve pattern for any TG patterns that call for set-in sleeves, but somehow I forgot to do that with the Trip Dress and used hers.  Her sleeve patterns are always symmetrical in that the front and back of the sleeve head is the same which makes it ill-fitting and pouf in the front among other things.  So mine does that, but with all the camo print, it's less noticeable.
  •  I added lightweight interfacing to the collar because I wanted a more pronounced and structured collar than what the pattern photo showed. 

  • I also added the lightweight interfacing to the cuffs of the sleeves so they coordinated with the collar.  Rather than slitting them and letting them hang loose and fluttering as in the photo, I doubled them back so they formed the bell shape and sewed them onto the end of the sleeve.  Still leaving a 5 1/2" long cuff.

  •  I had a heck of a time trying to get the bodice fronts to overlap smoothly.  I tried one over the other and then reversed it to see which would work best.  I finally had to trim both of the edges of the bodices because no matter what I did they were wonky as all get out.  Nevertheless, they made an odd curve down the bodice neckline.  I believe, from the illustration, it was supposed to be an asymmetrical angle.  (This didn't have anything to do with my added binding because it was the same amount added to each side, so I don't know what was going on there.)

  • Which leads to the skirt attaching to the bodice.  Oh my.  This is also supposed to be at an asymmetrical angle - high on one hip, low on the opposite hip.  The skirt is cut into 2 identical pieces, one for the front, one for the back.  They are both cut parallel and horizontal at top and bottom.   Got that?  The bodice, however, seems to be all over the place.  It, or mine, was not a nice smooth curve going high to low from side to side.  It was more like a roller coaster going up and down in small and then larger dips and curves.  And the skirt looked horrible pinned to the bodice like that.  Not to mention the skirt had huge triangular shaped dips at the side seam joins so that it laid 4" onto the floor.  So I endlessly trimmed the bodice until I got to a smooth curve that had one hip low and the other high.  I basted the overlapped front bodice together, pinned the skirts onto it and sewed it together.  

  • Decided I had to have side seam pockets, made them, sewed them on and then sewed the side seams together from the sleeves down the side bodice and side skirt seams.

  • The dipping skirt "hem" at each seam line looked ridiculous, in my opinion, with all the other asymmetricals going on, so I trimmed the triangular pieces off so that the hem ran at a smooth, straight angle.

  •  Last, but not least, there were 4 hem pieces to be added.  Each were oddly shaped, truncated, horizontal triangles that were supposed to be sewn together end to end and then applied to the hem of the dress.  The way they were constructed, it allowed the widest end of the triangular shape to sit at the longest length of the skirt (which meant it dragged 4" onto the floor).  This is even after I cut the 4" or more off the dipping skirt hem mentioned above.  So.  The dress was already long and I'm 5'5".  I decided to fold the sewn-together-end-to-end triangular pieces in half lengthwise as if they were like binding (right side to right side) and sew them together.  Turn them right side out, press and then sew that narrowed version onto the raw hem of the dress, thereby nicely finishing off the dress.   

  • I don't know if I would ever make this again, but if I did, I would like the lower waist aspect to be narrower, maybe higher, maybe not.  I would like the bodice wrap-over to either be straight or be obviously slanted.   I would use my own sleeve pattern.  I don't know, I'm tired of writing about it...

~ Here's some buttons I used ~

~ and my Docs from ebay ~

Time to skedaddle over to Patti's Not Dead Yet Style and then Catherine's I Will Wear What I Like when she goes live.  Come on by.


  1. Heh, I always read the stuff that's not for non-sew-ers, what a rebel. You look fantastic in this print, and I love your expressions in the Snow Pix! xo


    1. Yea, it's my SNOW SCREAM! The fabric is named Desert Camo. ha!

  2. Love your perseverance. I usually have challenges with TG patterns but they're so beautiful and unique in the end that they might be worth it. Yours sure is.

    1. I totally agree with your TG sentiments. No one else makes sewing patterns of that style and I do luv her designs. It's the drafting and instructions that are so lacking. Although they do stimulate my creativity, that's for sure. I'd luv to see some of your TG makes, bohemiannie.

  3. So impressed that you managed to "make it work". The struggles aren't obvious in the finished product which looks really good on. How did you magic up the snow like that? Such ingenuity to get the picture perfect backdrop for your dress! But seriously hope this early snow isn't a sign of a horrible winter to come.

    1. Yes, I'd rather "die" than not make my sewing work, tpotty. I do believe that weather contributed to my pulling together some semblance of an outfit as well. Well, it's not snowing any more, but it's even colder now.

    2. Sewing Workshop have another fun "fur" fabric like mine Could see you making something outrageous with it. Found it when I should have been doing something useful like sew.

  4. Diane Erickson had patterns with similar issues: when I finally got over my snit, it was a pleasure to have a jumping off point to improvise. But it was a big big big snit, and that has stopped me from actually using the TG patterns (I've bought a couple and riffed off the ideas with pattern pieces in my NeverFail file).
    This reminds me that it's time to see what fits in the 'keerist its cold' Winter Collection, and fill some holes and mend some pants. Improvising warm clothes has made some pretty fine choices, though. Yours especially. Looking SHARP there.

    1. I have some of Diane Erickson's but haven't tried them yet. TG has several free ones you can improv with if you want. Just remember they run huge! I do luv me some layering.

  5. HA! Love that first photo ;) Great almost-camo print on the dress. We are having January in November here in Ontario too! The sidewalks are insanely icy, the snowfall from last week is still on the ground and I had to wear one of my down-filled coats. TOO SOON, I say, TOO SOON!!

    1. Exactly. That snow is still here, but it's colder now and I'm wearing stupid down-filled coats every day. bah, humbug. Maybe there will be a heat-wave in January...

  6. Thanks beautiful lady. We are going to relook at this pattern....

    1. ah Tina! How wonderful that you came by my blog! I do luv my Trip dress and am glad I "made it work" for me. I'm not one to just let it go, you know. I so luv all your designs and can't thank you enough for the membership.

  7. Love your post-apocalypse look here, and your make it work determination.