Eco-Friendly Travel Dress

Name & Location: Catherine,  Millerton, NY
How long have you been sewing:  16 years
Why did you want to commit to The Sew Weekly Challenge?  To push myself to become a better sewer, create lovely things and make sewing friends.
What do you love most about sewing garments I adore that fantastic moment when the pattern and fabric become garment reality.
What do you hate most about sewing garments?  I hate it when some lazy misstep on my part ruins everything!
What do you want to accomplish this year with regard to the challenge:   To sew really fantastic clothes and improve my sewing skill set.
Your biggest non-sewing goal of 2012:  To organize my four children, my husband, my burgeoning stash and my rickety old Victorian house into some semblance of order!

Eco-Friendly Travel Dress
The Facts
Fabric:  A remnant of Mystery Fabric, probably Nylon, that I pulled from the garbage of a local upholstery shop
Pattern: 6934 , Schwabe Der Neue Schnitt 12/1953
Year: 1953
Notions: one zipper
Time to complete: four hours
First worn: October 2011
Wear again? yes
Total price: 50 cents
I pulled a bag of fabric out of the trash at a local upholstery shop sometime this summer, washed the remnants and forgot about them.  But when I decided to experiment with  the vintage patterns  in one of the German  sewing magazine I had bought online, I wanted to use something that  cost very little and that I didn’t like.  So I chose this weird, mystery fabric that was in long narrow strips and had been in the garbage.  In making it up, I realized that not knowing German was actually kind of a handicap.  I could basically put the garment together, but I didn’t really understand the sizing or whether or not seam allowances were included.  And since I didn’t know German, I didn’t know where to look in the magazine to find the answers that I needed.  Moreover, Google translate translated the sewing terms into phrases about highways and parking garages!  After fooling around with the muslin, I did  finally  come to  the conclusion  that  I would need to add seam allowances  to get  the fit shown in the picture. So I changed the pattern, cut it out in real fabric and made it up correctly.  That dress looked like the picture, but, strangely, I liked my happy-accident of a muslin too.  For a pattern made up incorrectly and in an ugly fabric from the trash, the dress seemed to work.  I liked it.  So I decided to finish it;  the total cost was fifty cents for a zipper from the thrift store.   And now I have a vibrant dress that repels liquids, folds up small enough to fit into a film canister and retains no wrinkles.  I am thinking of it as an eco-friendly travel dress.



Catherine is a 34 year old mother of four. She's been sewing since I was 19. This year she decided to challenge herself to sew in a more daring and elegant manner.

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  1. This dress has such a fantastic story! Great job!