A while back I saw this dress (at least I think it's a dress, it may be a tunic) by Philip Lim on pinterest and thought how I would love to wear that. (I know, that may not be what you were thinking, but to each his own, okay;). Sewing is changing the way I think about clothes. Instead of thinking "Where can I find this?" "Can I afford this?" or "Will this fit me?" I think "Maybe I could make this." That starts the wheels rolling, and I think about what fabric and patterns I could use.
There are not many dress patterns with raglan sleeves, so I decided to use New Look 6225, view D, which is a raglan top pattern with cap sleeves, and just extend the lines of the top down to my knees (one of the few times having a relatively straight figure is to my advantage). I made a size 14, and added one inch to the side seams, tapering out from the underarm. I also lowered the neckline in the front by 3 inches. Because I was being a little experimental, I basted the side seams first to check the fit. I found out that this is a good practice: the fit check is much more accurate than just using pins, and if it needs to be fixed, basted seams are MUCH easier to unpick. For the fabric I used a cozy charcoal sweatshirt fleece from Joann Fabric that has no stretch, which worked out since New Look 6225 is drafted for wovens.
Usually I am not a fan of asymmetrical hemlines, but I felt in this case it was necessary to add a little 'oomph.' Instead of cutting each pattern piece on the slant (I was getting a headache trying to make sure each side was correct), I made the dress a normal length, then tried it on and marked where I wanted the hem to go on each side. I then chopped it off, leaving enough fabric to turn up the hem. (One note here: I wish I had made the dress longer and given myself more room to work with, because the differential between one side and the other needs to be greater than I anticipated for it to have the right effect.)
This is not the most flattering view of my backside, but honesty in blogging and all that;)
I also got photo-bombed by my husband and older son, who hammed it up and danced grotesquely for the camera. But those photos are certainly not fit for public consumption;)
Lessons from this dress:
It's fun (and possible) to copy -- or loosely adapt -- ideas from pinterest or other inspirational sites
A top pattern can be turned into a dress pattern
Basting seams is worth the extra time -- they are so much easier to unpick, and they allow me to check the fit before I permanently commit to it
I can take pictures of myself when necessary