Hot! The “Strawberry Soda” Dress

The Facts:
Fabric: For the lining, bubblegum-pink broadcloth ($3); The main fabric is also a plain weave, crisp and a little bit lighter than the broadcloth, so I’m going to guess lawn? I have a hard time with fabric identification and would love some insight if you have any. (The main fabric was also $3, thrifted).
Pattern: Truffle Dress from The Colette Sewing Handbook
Year: Contemporary
Notions: Zipper, hook & eye
Time to complete: 9 hours
First worn: To a Valentine’s Day party (under a black blazer and over black tights).
Wear again? I hope so. But I feel like the whole thing needs to be taken apart and put back together again first.
Total cost: About $6, not counting the cost of the book.

I started working on this dress this past Saturday night, and it was such a pleasure. Even the print – which I had been lukewarm about at first (It looks kind of fizzy, I think, like a soda) – started to grow on me after a couple of hours. The pattern is really so thoughtfully designed. It came together smoothly, and even though many of the techniques were at least somewhat familiar to me, I felt like I was learning a lot, which was fantastic.

I finished on Sunday morning. Zipped it up. And realized I had managed to mess up – of all things – the side seams in some late-night mis-measuring.

It can be discouraging any time you try on a dress and find that it’s too tight.

But when a dress measured and made expressly for you fits like, oh, a sausage casing, the blow seems much crueler.

(It was hemmed. All the seams were finished.)

So I set it aside until Monday night when I took it apart and put it back together.

It looks all right from 5 or so feet away, but, the fact is, this dress is kind of a disaster. A little rushed the second time around, the zipper looks like I installed it blindfolded. During an earthquake. And in re-doing the side seams, I think I over-corrected a bit, especially in the bodice. But, it has potential. And more importantly, I I know what’s wrong and how to fix it, and that feels like progress.


Jennifer T.

Jenn Torres lives right in the middle of California. Sewing is one of the things she's trying to get better at.


Comments are closed.

  1. Progress and Potential are great. It’s a good thing you still see these in your dress as you are right – it does look good, and when you are satisfied with the construction, it will be great.

  2. I does indeed look like soda bubbles! I love the ruffle bit at the front!

  3. Oh, I’ve made dresses like this before — I just recently had to wedge a knit strip into a woven to give me some breathing ease (talk about shoddy, but heavens, I love the dress). But your dress is darling! Worth fixing :)

  4. Very cute indeed! Looks like you saved it, because it looks great in the photo.

  5. Bummer. I can’t believe you took it all apart and redid it right away. I would have set it aside for years.

    • Oh, I have terrible discipline when it comes to fixing sewing mistakes. But we had plans to attend a Valentine’s Day party and the host requested that guests wear red. This was sort of my only option, short of buying something new (which I considered). A deadline is a good motivator. My challenge now will be getting around to the problems that are left.

  6. Can’t even notice the mistakes in the photos. It looks lovely.
    And how great is the Truffle Dress?!?!

    • I really love the pattern! And, like I said, I really enjoyed putting it together. I definitely plan to make it again, and I’m sure it will go more smoothly.

  7. Makes me feel better knowing I’m not the only one with a Humpty Dumpty project waiting for my attention (and patience). Your Truffle dress photographs well for what it’s worth and makes your waist look really tiny.

  8. It looks pretty in the photo, it certainly is a nice pattern

  9. Love the fabric, very festive and fun to wear.

  10. Oh…I’ve had zippers like that, and even if no one else notices, it still bugs me. I love the dress, though – the fabric is fun and cheery, and I definitely love that you used the Truffle pattern – this is probably my favorite version I’ve seen yet!

  11. I agree. This is my favorite Truffle yet. How lucky you are to find such a fabulous fabric for 3.00! Good luck getting it right — although it looks really great from here! :)

  12. Progress indeed and that is what it’s all about, pushing ourselves, I bet the next time you put the zipper in it wont be such a natural disaster. The dress looks great in the photo but I do understand that feeling of not being happy with the finish. Maybe next time.

  13. This is gorgeous! Truffle is on my ‘to do’ and I may just have to bump it up to the top.

  14. Just love the name of your dress! I think it’s definitely worth taking a breather and coming back to :) We all have those OMGWTFhaveijustdone! sewing moments. Keep at it, because this is so pretty!