Dressing for the Apocalypse

We’re back and full of vim and vigour and vodka. (Whiskey, actually. I am currently out of Vodka, le sigh). Apologies for letting Nanowrimo eat so much of my time but I am pretty proud to announce that I ‘won’ by writing 50,000 words in a month. 

But enough of that, onto the Dress.

The Dress:

Dress Pattern - Cynthia Rowley #1801

Some people can be all ‘I’m going to make this with no pattern,’ but let’s take a moment and be honest: you, me and the sewing machine. I am not that advanced.

Ah, honesty. So relieving and soul crushing at once.

Anyhow, I found this Cynthia Rowley pattern during one of the Simplicity sales earlier (same one as where I got the jacket pattern, actually) and the blue example on the bottom left was a good approximation of what I would need.

The Alterations Needed

Apocalypse Wendy
Apocalypse Wendy

To match the source image I would need to make a couple minor to moderate changes. Luckily nothing close to the amount I had to do (and still have to) for the jacket.

1. Lower-cut neckline to past bust line

2. High slits up the side of the skirt to the mid thigh or higher (depends entirely on how brave I feel)

3. Tattered hemline and… honestly lack of a hem.

4. Narrow the shoulder straps. Although on her dress you can’t see whether she has sleeves or not, it will be more comfortable under the jacket without added fabric.

The Process

If you haven’t already, check out the post about dyeing the fabric that I ended up using. Unfortunately the dye didn’t stick as much as I had hoped, but it’s still a deeper shade of blue than when I had first picked it up.

…maybe I’ll have to grow some woad next summer to make it really pop.

Woad dye

How very Braveheart.

So like always, I kind of forgot to take some in between step images (still learning!)

But as always cut out the fabric, bonus if you have a helper with her own biological cutting implements to help you lay everything out flat.

Cat 'helper'

She loves this part, but hates actually cutting out the pieces.

Then I started sewing the pieces together. The pattern called for facings, interfacing and pockets but I didn’t bother with those, seeing as the skirt of the dress would be so tattered and mangled that pockets would be visible and the dress in the reference is more slouchy and soft looking than interfacing would allow.

Instead, for parts that needed to be stiffer I doubled up on the fabric to give some reinforcement without losing that comfortable ‘lived in’ look.

Pre-fittingThis is the top of the dress put together before I adjusted it. I would have taken a picture but it would have been indecent and I would have had to change this from a Cosplay website to one of those ‘glamour model’ sites.

Also I’m way too shy for that.

Instead here is the fitted version, all tucked up at the shoulders and sides so that the deep V doesn’t gape open.


Yes, it’s still inside out, because I wanted to check if I had to take anything else in.

Did I mention yet that holy shit sewing a dress is so much easier than a lined jacket? no?

HOLY SHIT! Sewing a dress is so MUCH EASIER than a lined jacket!!

I mean like, one night of playing with the cat cutting out the pattern and then the next night I finished the top and had time to do the skirt.

The skirt itself was pretty simple so I’ll skip the ‘sew both sides together, gather’ pictures that I obviously didn’t take and get to the fun part. The Skirt Massacre!

Dress Carnage

There was more, but Cat decided she was going to go after all the pieces. I’m sure that half of the snippets are now stuck under my fridge.

I had a kind of method for this, if you can call it that:

Step 1: cut slits and check how high they go. Plan for wearing short shorts underneath for windy days.

Step 2: grab scissors and (very important!) makes sure you have not drank anything recently. I’m serious on this. Fingers are awesome for things like opening beers and prodding people. You should keep any you currently have.

Step 3: grab a handful of fabric and start chewing through it jaggedly with the scissors. Be careful of aforementioned fingers.

Step 4: put on dress and repeat steps two and three until satisfied!

Nearly complete dressTada!

I still plan at going at it a bit more, and seeing if i can add a bit of dirt stains that will look good instead of like I’m a slob.

The straps are still thick, but in the final picture you’ll notice that I added bands around the straps to pull them in and add echo the folded bits on the bodice and waist.

Yes, double sided tape will be necessary for this costume.