Tulip-shapped short sleeve dress | RTW copy

Tulip Jersey Dress

I’m sure you guys have learned by now that I am probably the most selfish sewist ever! I HATE sewing for other people! I don’t like how hard it is to get hold of them for fitting, how they always want things I quite dislike (ditzy florals, beah!) and how in the end, I have no new item to add to my wardrobe. Selfish, I told you! Plus half of them are blinkin’ ungrateful! With one exception: my sister. We are virtually the same size, so I don’t really need her for fitting, I can just take my measures. She is always suitably impressed and grateful. And she wears what I make for her. Even so, I still procrastinate like the dickens when she asks me to make her something.

But last week I took a few days off for my birthday and had a SEWCATION! This is the best possible gift for me to me and this time, it was also a gift for my sister. She lives in Denmark and my mum and auntie came over from Copenhagen for the weekend. So I just had to finish the dress Ioana (my sister) had requested and bought the fabric for in April LAST YEAR!!

Tulip Dress Jersey Abstract Print (2017) #01

Tulip Dress Jersey Abstract Print (2017) #09

You will excuse my posing with it, but it only got back to Copenhagen today and I was too keen to show it to you, so I took some sneak pics on Friday before I handed it over.

This is a copy of one of my sister’s favourite dresses, that was actually mine ages ago and is in fact close to 15 years old. We always share clothes and sometimes they do the rounds a couple of times between us, as we get bored then remember them again. Our tastes do not coincide that much anymore, as Ioana is a working mum of 2, running her own business and is training for a triathlon – yes, pretty much opposite to me. So comfort is her number one priority, that and pockets. This little H&M dress has all of that and it’s been worn to absolute comfort over the years. It still has some life left in it, but she loves the design so much, she kept asking me to copy it for her.

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So for Easter last year, I was in Copenhagen with time to spare, so we decided to pay a visit to Stoff & Stil, just to, you know, nosey about a bit, as you do. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, just rummaging through the remnant bin as I am wont to do, and we came across this little piece of jersey. She asked if I could make the copy dress for her out of it and I can’t say no to my little sister. So we bought it, brought it back to London where it lingered in one of my many fabric drawers for more than a year. Every time I was looking for something else and came across it, it was staring back at me accusingly. I had the good intentions to start a few times, especially around Christmas, but I could never be bothered to trace the pattern of the RTW dress. Until this Friday, when it really was a now or never kind of a moment.

Tulip Dress Jersey Abstract Print (2017) #04

It really is a very simple design, with a kimono sleeve, v-neckline back and front and a tulip skirt, with a bit of an empire waistline with a narrow yoke. And pockets! So it wasn’t too complicated to trace, and I was done in about half an hour. I carefully saved the pattern pieces, as in case it came out ok, Ioana will be sure to want many many more copies. The woman knows what she likes :).

Tulip Dress Jersey Abstract Print (2017) #11

Here are the details.

Pattern: RTW copy, original is size M in H&M

Fabric: Cotton jersey with a good amount of spandex (medium weight but has a great drape) from Stoff & Stil in Copenhagen

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Tulip Dress Jersey Abstract Print (2017) #07

Alterations: I added 5 cm to the hemline; the original had an elastic thread in the yoke area, but I didn’t want to risk my bobbin case being ruined with the thicker thread. I had initially planned to put elastic through the yoke and so I made a casing, but I felt it was fine without it and omitted it in the end.

Construction: It took all of an hour to put it together, using the overlocker. The skirt came out slightly wider than the bottom of the bodice, so I gathered it slightly with my sewing machine, then attached to the yoke and the yoke to the bodice. I used two pieces for the yoke (main and self-lining), the wrong side together, which were then attached at the same time to skirt and the bodice. I had left a bit unsewn for the elastic but then closed it off. I used bias binding for the neckline. All the edge finishing was done using my Babylock coverstich machine, with the two needles in the narrow position (2 & 3).

Tulip Dress Jersey Abstract Print (2017) #12

Verdict: Very happy with how this copy turned out, and thankfully, so is my sister (she just texted me). I am planning on making another version for the winter with long sleeves for her and maybe one for me as well. I have some ribbed jersey in my stash that is just crying for it.

Tulip Dress Jersey Abstract Print (2017) #05

I’m off to enjoy that warm and fuzzy feeling that I get from unselfish sewing about once a year, haha!

Have a nice week everyone!






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  1. 27 June 2017 / 10:14 AM

    This is super cute and super flattering! You have a lucky sister.

    • Alex
      29 June 2017 / 10:25 PM

      Thank you! She is worth it 🙂

  2. 27 June 2017 / 11:10 AM

    You have done a lovely job for your sister and it may just find its way back to you at some stage, from the sounds of things. I love the fabric and the style.

    • Alex
      27 June 2017 / 11:18 AM

      Thank you Sue! You need to put Copenhagen on your list when you come to Europe again!! And I’m sure I will make a version for myself soon too 😁.

      • 27 June 2017 / 11:45 AM

        I have been but pre my sewing obsession! It’s on the list for the next year or so.

  3. 28 June 2017 / 9:33 AM

    Lovely, good idea to copy old shop bought favourites. Even better to take a SEWCATION, you’re brilliant!

    • Alex
      29 June 2017 / 10:24 PM

      Definitely recommend the sewcation! I was thinking that I could go to a spa and treat myself, but I would be spending the entire time thinking about sewing. So I might as well save my money and stay home and sew. 🙂

  4. 29 June 2017 / 1:59 PM

    Hilarious.. Love the opener! 🙂 Your dress is fabulous

    • Alex
      29 June 2017 / 10:23 PM

      All true :). Thanks for stopping by!

  5. 30 June 2017 / 6:22 AM

    The dress is a perfect and the fabric is so beautiful. Great job.

    • Alex
      30 June 2017 / 7:10 AM

      Thank you! My sister was very pleased!

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