Fair Fit Spring/Summer Dress Collection - How I Designed Dress 5 and 6

Dress 5 and 6 - How the Fair Fit dress is customized for sleeves.

When thinking about the pattern, I wanted to incorporate use of the Fair Fit Raglan Sleeve customization that I'll teach in September.  This pattern was really a leap for me, as I explained in this post, that I didn't really use sleeves on the first Fair Fit collections in the years 2011, 2012, and 2013. It was because I was stuck on the idea that they needed to be "set in" sleeves. It was my friend Casey who encouraged me to put a raglan sleeve on the dress, as the pattern for that could much more easily be draped and customized for different shapes and sizes. 

Fair Fit Spring/Summer Dress Collection - How I Designed Dress 5 and 6

As soon as the raglan sleeve pattern was developed, a whole new world opened up. I was able to play with all kinds of variations, and for this collection I focused on very simple short sleeved versions that could be worn in spring and summer weather. Watch the video to see the process of design for dress 5 and 6.

To see more of the variations, and preview of the patterns and process used to make the garments in this collection, I email the latest updates to my newsletter subscribers. If you would like to see more of these Spring Summer Fair Fit designs, you can go here to subscribe. I will also follow up with more posts, videos, and helpful articles for sewists interested in custom design and you will get the latest class announcements and promotions when enrollment opens again.

Designing Dress 5: 

Dress 5 is entirely repurposed. The top of dress 4 is cut from one of Paul's short sleeved button down shirts. It was easy to cut this top of the bodice, as the shirt was sewn Fair Fit style, and was already designed to have a light grey exterior and a light green interior contrast fabric. All I really had to do was recut the pieces using the Fair Fit pattern and sew them raw finish style.

On raw finish dresses, I recommend using some kind of bias facing to finish them off so that the neckline has increased sturdiness and stability. I used a double fold bias tape this time in a complimentary tan to finish off the raw gray edging. 

Next I took a Fair Fit Skirt sewn in clean finish, shown here, from last fall's collection that I designed for the November launch of the Fair Fit Method. I seam ripped all of the draping seams, and then re draped the pieces on the form I customized to Erika's shape. The result was an A Line mini shift dress that I just love. I took care in the draping to add more ease. This design was not intended to be form fitting, rather I wanted it to have the shape of 60's shift style dresses like these.

Fair Fit Spring/Summer Dress Collection - How I Designed Dress 5 and 6

The addition/subtraction of design ease is a way that the dress can further be customized. I took this a step further in Dress 7. I'll share more on that dress and how it was developed in next week's post. 

Designing Dress 6

Finally, we needed a "day to night" kind of dress for our character. I wanted her to be able to wear a dress to the office, but that dress could also function outside of work for when she goes to visit her friend on the levee. Depending on how the dress is styled, this dress could have more variation and potential to function in different kinds of life situations. 

Fair Fit Spring/Summer Dress Collection - How I Designed Dress 5 and 6

Again, this was a dress I made to show Fair Fit variations last fall, but one that I was unlikely to keep using in my personal wardrobe. So I took the torso and skirt, and re draped it to a new look for Erika. This dress was another variation that happened at the last minute. It started off with a slub linen repurpose of a shirtdress that was too big for me.

I had ripped off the skirt, and attached it to the top, but I discovered in the check fit this dress was too casual for our character and that the material just did not have a place in the collection. I'll save this skirt for another day and see if it can work in a future project someday.

Fair Fit Spring/Summer Dress Collection - How I Designed Dress 5 and 6

I can't wait to tell you about Megan's dress (Erika's friend on the levee) and share with you how she made that dress while testing the Fair Fit Dress course. I'll also share with you how I added design ease and some pattern drafting methods to create an entirely new Fair Fit dress variation for our character's date dress. 

See you next week!

Watch the full video of our Fair Fit collection here: 


Does this look like fun? If yes, sign up below so that you can be the first to know when enrollment opens again soon.