The purple dress (based on an H&M dress)

posted in: Finished projects | 28

I have had an interesting, and in many ways surprising, experience.

I bought a dirty pink dress in the H&M sale for £5. I ripped it apart and used the front and back pieces as a pattern. I added a little width at both the side seams as it was too small for me.

How to copy a RTW dress
Copying a RTW dress

This dress is pretty stretchy and very close fitting through the bodice. I don’t know why but this was such an easy dress to make. I stitched up the dart seams and tried it on. There was a need to just take a little bit out at the armhole seam. Then I did the hemming in the car. The colour looks different in every picture. The middle one is fairly true. I like this pattern, but if I made it again I would make a paper pattern first. I would balance it better, and I may make it just a little less cut-in at the armhole seam, or maybe even add a little sleeve.

Now it is finished I think it maybe a bit too revealing for work (I will actually wear it with a jacket or cardigan).  It doesn’t need a belt but I feel better wearing one. I have accessorised it with a low key purple belt and scarf, but I also tried it on with a silver belt and a showy silver necklace – that would be more suitable for a night out. Perhaps I unintentionally made a “day to night” dress.

I omitted the side zip as I found it would go over my head quite easily. I bound the neck and armholes with a bias strip. It is very comfortable.

Overall, despite there four dart/seams front and back, it was terribly easy and quick to make. A couple of hours, maybe?

I don’t think I have made a dress like this before. I think I am beginning to understand the appeal of jersey dresses and an overlocker.

No facings, interfacing, lining or hand stitching. The pleats just happened. Easy to press.


28 Responses

  1. twotoast

    Looks great – what a clever way to get a good fitting dress! I love my serger – on woven’s and on knits. It gives the seams such a tidy and professional finish!

  2. mrsmole

    Cute, cute, cute dress and so great that all you needed to do was pinch out an armhole dart and put ease into some seams and more length. The photo of the front pattern piece…is the back piece the same shape with cut out darts? You mention it has 4 pieces…what were the other two? Pockets, facings? Is the front neckline lying flat?

    • fabrickated

      Thank you! The pattern is of the back (I had already picked up the cut out front when I remembered to photograph it). There are only two pieces Mrs Mole – front and back, but four seams/darts in each. The neckline doesn’t look good in the fitting picture, but it lies nice and flat in real life.

  3. Karen K

    Lovely dress and what a satisfying success story too. I’m going through a jersey loving phase at the moment during these long Summer days, when you want to be out and about, not inside sewing. Especially ponte. The good stuff tho. Enjoy!

  4. Jennifer

    What a lovely dress! I couldn’t imagine trying to piece it together from the existing dress, the fit and finish are amazing, and that purple is so flattering. Gorgeous!

  5. Demented Fairy

    Very very nice- and I love the purple on you! I don’t think it’s too revealing at all, although obviously that’s a very personal thing. make more, it’s a winner…how would it work as a maxi do you think?

    • fabrickated

      Well that is a thought! The problem I think is the width – it fills most of the width of the fabric as it is. I may do some work on the pattern as it is lots of fun.

  6. Susie

    This is so funny to me: knocking off an H&M dress! It looks fantastic on you. The color is probably much better suited than the original, and it likely fits better than even one in your size. It is very flattering to your figure, as well. I’ll bet it is super comfortable. I do my share of seam ripping in the car also.

  7. Gail

    Pleats that just happen result from good pattern making. Dress looks great on you. You have a bit of a purple thing happening in your wardrobe. Feeling regal?!

  8. Brenda Marks

    This is impressive! Well done for this first try, and I’m sure you can improve upon it if you choose. However, I’d wear this with pride. : )

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