Pattern Drafting - Frog Dress

Hello again :) 

I suppose this is a part 2 installment of my earlier post about drafting a dress bodice block. 

With Norwich Sewcials we hosted a second drafting retreat, and again I thought it would be nice to wear something from my own drafted bodice block. 

My previous dress was an 'easy fit' version with just bust darts and no further shaping. I thought I would take the next step and create a 'fitted easy fit' bodice. I think that just means you can breathe.

I bought this gorgeous stretch cotton from Beyond The Pink Door - no prizes for guessing why I was drawn to this print. (Ahem - frogs.See top left shoulder!)

The Winifred Aldrich drafting method has you pop additional darts in the front, back and waist shaping in the side seams to achieve a more fitted block. I duly undertook these amendments to my pattern - and low and behold - a fitted bodice was created. 


This project was not without it's issues though. I absolutely could not get the skirt to fit - and that is my fault for not actually drafting the skirt pieces to match the bodice. I sort of - winged it. What I ended up was with a huge amount of sway back. 

Had I drafted the skirt properly I would have found this fitting issue a lot earlier. But of course this was all last minute as usual (:sigh:). 

This was resolved by pinching out the excess at the back waist seam and tapering to the side seams, taking a wedge of fabric out which mimicked a sway back adjustment. Thank you to The Fabric Wrangler who received about 400 photos of my bum during this process. (And that was before I showed her the dress.) (Just kidding.)

The second fairly obvious issue was that I didn't have enough fabric and the dress is a lot shorter than I'm comfortable with. It looks cute with opaque tights but an issue of a big booty - is of course that any amount of bending makes the length a bit obscene. I just have to stand up straight when wearing. 

I found some buttons from Hobbycraft that had a slight 'swampy' vibe and they seemed to go quite well. They are actually bright green pearl on the right side, but the underside looked better amongst the leaf print of the dress.

My absolute hero piece of this outfit is the belt! I found a lovely vintage 'kissing frog' belt buckle on eBay, a lengthy of green elastic and viola! Frog Belt of Dreams. I'm thinking of getting some other colours of elastic so I can swap about as needed.

 I wore the dress all day for our sewing retreat and whilst the fit was comfy - I just don't think I'm a fitted kinda gal. The length bothered me a bit and I felt I kept pulling it down all day, especially with tights on. The fabric was much stifffer than I'm used to aswell. I have a feeling this may get chopped to short tunic length to make it 'intentionally short' and wear it with leggings more like a peplum stop type situation. Unsure yet. Let me know what you think :)

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  1. I think you look great, but if you’re not happy you’ll never wear it. If I don’t feel good in stuff, I always end up having a bad day so now stuff like that never ever goes back in the wardrobe. Life’s too short to feel rubbish before you start the day! So I’d take the bits you love, the froggy top part, and add a deep band to make it into a shirt or even a peplum frill. You’ll wear it so much more. Good luck!
    Seaside Karen x

    1. A peplum is a great idea - I'll perhaps tackle this one in the new year with fresh eyes :)