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Kate dress (and thoughts about sewing everyday clothes)

Kate dress Kate dress

Kate dress / picture from Style Arc website

Kate dress / picture from Style Arc website

Next from my growing Style Arc pattern stash! This is Kate dress, a wrap dress inspired by Kate Middleton’s engagement dress. It has several reviews on PatternReview who mostly highly recommend it.

As usual for Style Arc patterns, I cut size 6. I shortened the bodice about 2 cm, but next time I might reduce it to 1 cm. The original hem is quite long and I had to shorten it about 20 cm. I left out the sleeves at the end of sleeves and lengthened the ties about 15 cm. My fabric is polyester knit with abstract floral pattern.

Kate dress Kate dress Kate dress Kate dress

Per the instructions, the neckline is finished with clear elastics. I overlocked the elastic on the wrong side, folded it iniside and topstitched using coverstitch setting. I also used a piece of fabric selvedge to reinforce the shoulder seams. This is very important in sewing with knit fabric so they won’t stretch out.

Kate dress Kate dress

I put on the dress and asked my husband’s opinion. He said, “It’s pretty. And… shiny.”

The slight hesitation in his voice got me start asking myself about my choice of sewing projects. I love making dresses, I love wearing them, and I feel good wearing them. But as a stay-at-home mom, I have to admit that these dresses are not practical. I practically live in old cardigan and skinny jeans that I didn’t make myself.

This recent post by Sallieoh about finding TNT pattern resonates well with my thought. When I look at my wardrobe, it’s a closet full of beautiful, handmade clothes, and yet nothing to wear. It is a problem that many of us have to face.

I think that is why I really love my previous project, the floral bomber jacket, because it is something that I do wear everyday. My Sara leggings and Plantain tee got a lot of wear as well. They’re both quite basic so it says a lot about what I need in my wardrobe. I need more wearable things that suit my reality.

My reality is taking care of the house and the dogs. I cook and clean. I pick up the dog’s droppings and sometimes scrub the floor when they have ‘accident’. Slippery floral wrap dress has no business being worn in situations like these. I can probably wear the dresses when I go out, it’s just that I don’t go out that much. No need for a wardrobe full of dresses. How about weekends? On weekends we often go to the adoption events where I usually sit on the floor with the dogs. No wrap dresses please.

I guess I need to spend sometime to think a bit more about this. I love looking good and wearing this old cardigan and jeans everyday doesn’t make me feel good. But I have to understand that to look good, I don’t always have to wear pretty dresses. There are other things that I can make, ones that look good and wearable at the same time:

  • pants: skinny jeans, comfortable pants.
  • tops: not just T-shirt but also blouses and shirts (I don’t have a button down shirt!).
  • skirts: not too short, knee length and long ones are more wearable.
  • jackets and cardigans: a well made one has proven to be so wearable.
  • dresses: maybe long dress made with comfortable knit fabric. But not too many!
  • etc: coats, hats, and I can still make pretty lingerie!

It’s funny that by writing this down, I can see that there’s a big hole in my wardrobe. So many things to sew!

Pattern is  Kate dress by Style Arc , size 6.

30 Responses to Kate dress (and thoughts about sewing everyday clothes)

  1. Seattlerain says:

    Love your shiny new Kate dress! Like you, I’m a stay-at-home mom who lives in dresses and skirts. There is a distinct lack of warm winter jeans and pants, mainly because I don’t feel comfortable in them. Your Lola pants look fabulous, too. I’ll be following along on your journey to round out your wardrobe because you pick such great patterns!

  2. Rebecca says:

    I too have the same problem, lots of fabulous clothing but none of it very wearable. I think that’s where the “artistic” side of sewing comes in. I think it’s okay to spend hours creating something beautiful, even if it won’t be terribly practical. That being said, I’m due for some leggings and t-shirts!

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