Hand-Made Dress Swap

Hi there! It’s been awhile!

Summer came (and is on its way out) and I’m getting back into the groove of sewing and planning for the fall.  Since I’m not quite ready to acknowledge fall–I want to tell you about a fun sewing project I had at the beginning of summer.  Have you heard of the #handmadedressswap over on Instagram?  I signed up this spring and was paired up with a woman from Australia.  It was quite simple and as the website states: You make a dress for someone and they make one for you. Simple. No money is exchanged.  I’ve been following the dress swap for a bit on Instagram and signed up as soon as applications were being accepted.

It was fun!  And a bit nerve-wracking (well, not really) just in the usual way of “Oh, I hope she likes it!  I hope it fits her!”  I was paired with a lovely woman named Erica who specializes in working with African Wax Print Fabric.  She has a an online shop called Been And Done and makes beautiful things!  After many emails and messages we both picked out the patterns we liked and got to sewing.  We both wanted dresses in this fabric.

Erica chose the Deer & Doe dress pattern “Belladone”.  It makes such a flattering dress!  It nips in at the waist and has front pockets too.  She had requested the back cutout and I made that but could not for the life of me get the back top piece to lie flat.  It’s the third time I’ve made this dress and have not had success with the cutout piece. Does anyone else have this problem with the Belladone?  I fiddled and fiddled with the back until I threw my hands up and decided to make the plain back.  I’ve also never sewn with African Wax Cloth before and wasn’t sure about the texture of the yellow fabric that I bought.  It was beautiful but didn’t have any body and so the finished dress seemed a little dressier, in my opinion.  I think I need to learn more about this type of fabric as it is BEAUTIFUL and I would love to sew with it more!  Here are pictures of the finished dress:


















For my dress I chose Simplicity Amazing fit 1277 dress pattern.  I really liked the side panels and the hidden, flat front pockets.  After I received my dress I bought the pattern.  It’s very flattering on!  I will be making more.

One thing I loved about this swap is that I was paired with someone with children.  We both completely understood if we were running behind schedule as there were little ones around to take care of.  That was pretty great!  We got our dresses in the mail right around the same time and received them around the same time too.  The dress I received was so beautiful!  So, so gorgeous!  But sadly, it didn’t fit.  I couldn’t zip it up (note to self: eat less bread).  This wonderful woman sneakily sent me ANOTHER ONE!!  She was so incredibly kind to do that and it really made my day.  Thank you again Erica!  The dress was sewn so perfect and I just love it!

Here is my beautiful dress:


















Many thanks to Taz who does this amazing dress swap.  Thank you for organizing the swap.  What a wonderful idea and thank you so much for letting me participate!

Thank you also to Erica for the beautiful dress and your kindness!

I’m off to sew….more projects coming soon! Have a great week.

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6 Responses to Hand-Made Dress Swap

  1. Jgroeber says:

    So good to see you here. What a beautiful dress and a lovely idea. I cherish every piece of art I’ve “swapped” for. There’s something special about knowing you give and receive with another creative type.
    So when do we get to see the dress you made on Erica?

  2. Lisa says:

    Oh my goodness. The dresses turned out great! I love the fabric you made hers in. I always keep myself eye out for a colorway of that design that I like and the yellow is great. I think the problem you had with the back of the Belladonne is pretty common. 🙁 The dress she made you looks great too. Congratulations for finishing!

  3. Barb parker says:

    So cool to hear your dress swap story! Sewing is awesome. I would love to give it a try one of these days! I’ll observe Amory’s lesson. Love you!!! xo

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