Winter Comino Dress

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I think the theme of this dress is “Why bother planning?”

I’ve had this rayon knit in my stash for a year, and for that whole time I knew I wanted to make it into a ruffled Comino Cap dress. I did that thing, though, where you like a fabric and therefore hoard it instead of sewing the damn thing up! (I think I have trouble trusting that there will be more fabric in my future that I will also love. Fabulous fabric always feels like a finite resource, and I’m constantly running out!)

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But then, someone posted a similar style print on IG, and I found myself cutting out this dress ON A WEEKNIGHT! Friends, I never sew during the week!!!

  • I cut the skirt, then realised I should have lengthened it.
  • I suddenly decided I wanted this dress to be winter-friendly, and substituted the Maria Denmark oversized tee pattern instead for it’s longer kimono sleeves.
  • Then I wished I have kept the Comino Cap high scoop neckline instead…
  • … and I should have cut the bodice longer because I wanted it to blouse like the Comino Cap!
  • And because the bodice was short, the ruffle I’d been planning would need to add length, and not just be decoration! Cue Big Honking Ruffle.

ruffle Collage

And yet somehow, when it was all done, the skirt was too long, so I had to trim 2″ off the top, and 1″ off the bottom…and also bring in the waist a total of 4″, because the elastic I put in the waist seam wasn’t tight enough. Taking in the waist eliminated any blousing in the bodice… and really, I ended with a very different dress than I intended when I started!

Which brings me back to my original thesis: Why bother planning? I mean, this is my kind of project. My favourite type of fabric, TNT patterns, a style I wear often. DId I have to make so many changes mid-process because I plan poorly, or because that’s the kind of impulsive sewist I am? I’m really not sure, but I’m not going to stress about it. In the end, I have a dress!

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(I started trying to do jumping pictures, but stopped when I realised “Maybe that’s a step too far when you are taking pictures in a graveyard?) 

Yup, these are graveyard pictures. I scoped a bunch of locations as I drove 45 minutes to my parents house, but every time I found some where scenic I realised a) I don’t know where I can legally park, and b) I think that’s trespassing. I’m envious of Brits who have the “Right to Ramble” which gives them the right to access at least some of the countryside around them…. I drive through beautiful rural areas at least 2 hours a day, and NONE of it is public access, so I can’t get pictures anywhere. Plus, the smaller the town, the smaller (or nonexistent) the parks are, so the big parks I use in the city don’t exist in the country. In the end, I gave up and went to a big old graveyard on the edge of my parent’s hometown.

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(That’s a sign, not a grave right next to my car, I promise! There were no burials in this area.) 

In my mind, this dress is a little bit 50’s, inspired by Heather and Naomi constantly looking fabulous on Instagram. But somehow on me, the vintage elements like cut-on sleeves, nipped in waist, full skirt and longer hem either look frumpy or modern. I guess I just don’t have the right accessories or hair to bring out a vintage look!

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(Me, “hiding” behind a tiny tree branch. I don’t know why!) 

The good news is, I’m sure I’ll wear this dress happily. How could I not? Turns out, it’s verrrry similar to a couple other rayon knit dresses I’ve made in the last year:

identidresses Collage

Do you make a lot of changes mid-process? Please tell me I’m not the only one who loves planning but ends up improvising!


40 thoughts on “Winter Comino Dress

  1. No, no, no, you’re not alone! I always change my mind in the middle of projects. I like to think that’s because I have a flexible mind and I’m highly adaptable!😉

    This new dress is lovely. You really found your style.

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    1. Let’s both say we are “flexible and highly adaptable”. It’s true, and sounds a lot better than indecisive and prone to not thinking things through!😛

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  2. haha, that’s pretty much how I work too, change my mind a lot during a project but I find it creative and in the end I like the result!! This dress came out gorgeus and this print is fantastic!! Suit you very well!!

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  3. Lovely dress! If you need something random to wear for a Better Pictures Project shoot this winter, I bet it would be stunning against a snowy backdrop, too.

    I do sometimes make changes midi process. Mostly winging it to adjust the fit, since I like to take the wearable muslin route whenever possible. Or if I don’t have enough fabric. Or if I just get lazy, lol! (That’s why none of my Thurlow trousers ended up with the called-for belt loops.)

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    1. You know, I actually found myself wishing for a snowy backdrop, and then I thought “Shut your mouth, brain, because snow will come soon enough!”😛
      Belt loops – I have literally never made any. One step too far, when a project could just be finished!

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  4. We have a cemetery with some lovely, park-like areas at the edge of our neighborhood. It’s quiet and secluded and I’ve scoped it for photos…but have been hesitant because I didn’t know if it was weird to take blog photos in a cemetery. (I keep having flashbacks to that episode of House of Cards where Robin Wright/Claire Underwood got chewed out for jogging through a cemetery.) So, it’s not weird/in bad taste to take some photos there (assuming that I don’t get anyone’s graves in the shots)?

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    1. Honestly, I don’t know if taking cemetary photos is weird or ok, either. I didn’t see a single person there, so I felt like it was ok… but I don’t think I’d do a spooky halloween shoot there or anything where the graves were up close and could be read/recognised! I suggest trying a photoshoot, but if you feel uncomfortable one you start, you’ll know it’s not right for you!

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  5. I love this dress! Probably not surprising since the fabric colors are all in my regular color palette. Anyway the dress looks warm-ish and the hem ruffle is cute and gives it some visual interest.

    Your list of on the fly changes did make me twitch a bit. God I hate on the fly changes. At least you got something that fit in the end!

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    1. You are so meticulous about doing all your adjustments beforehand! Do you do that even in knits? I honestly think I’m so worried about sewing something too small that I constantly oversize things and then have to cut them down.

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  6. Ha! It’s all about jumping in a graveyard then thinking better of it!

    I can’t NOT make a ton of changes every time I sew. As soon as I have something even vaguely resembling a garment, I’m trying it on and tweaking it. And I’m also an obsessive planner. These two tendencies combined make me a seriously slow sewer.

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    1. I used to be a planner – I’d draw out sewing plans every month. I don’t even know when that stopped, but it’s been a long while!

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  7. Well, it looks gorgeous on you regardless. I love how swingy it looks. I do change what I’m doing in the middle quite frequently. It doesn’t often turn out well. But yours DID!

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    1. I think the beauty of knits is that you can go a bit too far with on-the-fly adjustments, and the fabric will forgive you!😉 That’s why knits are my favourite!

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  8. This dress looks stunning on you! We would not known about all of your trials and tribulations if you weren’t so honest. Winging it works for you🙂

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  9. It’s great looking even if it’s not what it was supposed to be. And I completely concur about feeling like good fabric is a finite resource. But we keep finding great new fabrics using great resources – so I think we have to change our attitudes!

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    1. I still haven’t sewn up anything we bought together in Toronto – have you?
      Oh well, hobbies are hobbies, and I’ll sew when and what I want to!😉

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  10. I’m a compulsive planner and a horrible direction follower. I frequently end up with my instructions buried under pattern bits and by the time I get around to unearthing it, I’ve gone off the trail so far, I’m no longer in the same country. Of course, when I do try to follow the directions I’m frequently reading along and going “But it’s just flipping stupid to do it that way” and once again, I’m off trail.😀

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    1. I’m always laughing at my ridiculous poses while I take pics, so it’s nice to be able to share my train of thought with you guys later! Mostly it’s “Why am I doing this? This must looks crazy!”

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  11. Your dress looks beautiful! I too find myself hoarding my favourite fabrics instead of sewing them up – like I don’t want to waste them. But isn’t it wasting them if I’m not wearing them? Sheesh.

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  12. This looks great and I love your locale! I think I`m done with outdoor pictures for the year… no snow yet but man it is cold.😦

    I absolutely know what you mean about the finite resource of good fabric feeling—which is silly, really, because there’s always more fabric…😉

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    1. I need to remind myself that somehow Fabricland has provided 80% of my wardrobe for years, and it will continue to provide! (On sale days, of course!😉

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  13. Fantastic dress! The fabric is so pretty!! I’m glad it all worked out for you, it’s heartbreaking when a favorite fabric ends in a wadder! Oh yes… I definitely make changes as I sew. I’m now sewing a coat and changed my mind about the pockets twice already!

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  14. I totally get your hesitation cutting into this fabric, it’s so pretty! I love the resulting dress! I don’t tend to make very many changes while sewing, mostly because I don’t tend to be very adventurous…😉

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