Hot! The “Carrera” Dress

The Facts

Fabric: about 1.5 metres of black-and-white tshirting knit from my stash, approx $4 per metre
Pattern: self-drafted, based on a similar dress I own
Year: modern
Notions: none
Time to complete: 2 hours (including accidently cutting half the skirt wrong and having to re-do it)
First worn: for these photos, taken on our regular evening stroll, trying to get an overtired little baby to sleep (*sigh*)
Wear again? yep, probably tomorrow
Total cost: $6

Surprise surprise, it’s another breastfeeding-friendly dress! Notice that cross-over bodice? Easily pulled to one side or the other, without accidently half-undoing the rest of the dress as tends to happen with “real” wrap-around dresses.

I started this back for the black-and-white challenge. And then the unthinkable happened – my overlocker died! (Well, in actuality, just the 4-thread stretch stitch on it died, the rest was fine). It took a couple of weeks to get it to the overlocker-hospital and back again (one day, I must learn to drive – it’ll make that sort of thing a lot faster), but I have it home and working again now, so stretch fabrics better watch out coz I’ve got plans for a lot of them!

This dress was based off one I already own, which is nice and comfy, easily dressed up for work, and meets all of Drake’s exacting requirements regarding super-fast access to certain areas. I used a self-drafted knit fabric top pattern I made years ago, and just invented it as I went along. (I have a terrible habit of doing that – just merrily cutting away, blithely assuming it’ll all be fine. And then something happens, like I accidently cut one half of the skirt too narrowly and have to re-cut it. The initial skirt section is destined to be trousers for the little guy sometime in the next couple of days. Then we can be all matchy-matchy. Again.)

I played around with the direction of the stripes, since this is a 4-way stretch I could have some fun with that, so why not, eh?

All in all, I’m pretty happy with this. Half the making time was playing around with cutting out pattern pieces to get the look I was after, so it was a super-fast make, and will do the job wonderfully as an easy summer dress. It also works well for playing on swings at the Carrera Park playground. ;-)



Kat stumbled upon The Sew Weekly at the end of 2010. Inspired by Mena's creations and dedication to sewing each week, Kat stitched along with all the weekly themes for 2011. Through The Sew Weekly and the girls who contribute to it, she deepened her passion for vintage styles and started amassing a large collection of vintage patterns. Now she needs an excuse to try using them all.


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  1. This is very cute! What a year you have had! You are doing so well to find the time to do sewing with such a small baby. Smart to go for a walk during the witching hour and the perfect time of year to do it in NZ. I found that my boys needs are immediate and you get used to responding quickly but they are usually pretty simple needs. Food, a quick hug. Boys are great. Enjoy his first Christmas. Lots of love at Chrismas – Trish xx

    • Thanks Trish! Yep, been an interesting year, that’s for sure. ;-) This Christmas is going to be rather different from last Christmas. I’m having fun making things for Drake’s Christmas stocking, tee hee!

  2. I love how you played around with the stripes. It makes it visually interesting. Looks comfortable and practical for the warm weather. Enjoy your Christmas!

  3. Smart girl : ) I wish there had been more stretchy fabrics out when my daughter was born. The whole cotton/lycra thing was still pretty new back then. I also have a dim memory of being completely UNABLE to sew when my daughter was that small so KUDOS to you for being able to do any at all!! (I’m guessing you and my daughter are about the same age, your haircolor is the same shade she wore off and on for years.)Would love to see a pic of you and your son in your matchy-matchy outfits.

  4. I can’t believe you’re managing to fit this in around an infant! Go you! Love the shot on the swing!

    • It’s all a matter of prioritisation. I just avert my eyes from the state of my garden and focus on the sewing machine with tunnel vision instead. :-p

  5. Thank you so much for this inspiration, I love this dress, and your whole look…those green converse, and your beautiful hair. I’ve just got an over locker for the first time and can’t wait to make something as pretty and as practical (though I no longer have need for front openings) as this.

    • Thanks Tempest! :-) Over lockers are super awesome! I couldn’t do without mine – if I have to live without it for more than a day I miss it horribly. (Sad, but true. Eek! Clearly, I have a sewing “problem”. Huh.)