a kooky gabby

So this is what my "wearable muslin" was for... 

This is the Gabby Dress again with some more adjustments.  But first, how about this crazy fabric?  I got at a yard sale, I think for about $5.  I should tell you that I intentionally placed the little people upside down; in making this dress I wanted to balance some kookiness and some style and I really didn't want a big old doll on my belly like a care bear or something.

Being impatient as usual, I sewed this up the same way as the "muslin" and when I tried it on, found it to be too loose and baggy, forgetting this is how the muslin fit.  Since I was trying to balance kookiness and something else, I wanted this to be a little more of a fitted A-line dress.  So I narrowed the sides some more and cut down the back and added a zipper so that I could still pull it over my head.

I loosely used this tutorial after seeing these very cool exposed zippers at Closet Case Files, particularly on this amazing dress.  Again, I had some colorful zippers that might have looked cool, but somehow wanted to keep this from going too kooky, so you know, exposed zipper in a neutral color = balance?

I mentioned before that I want to start challenging myself; this is not the big challenge, but I was trying to improve my quality on simpler things.  I am not a gentle person and I pull and tug a lot, so I appreciated when this pattern advised being gentle when sewing the neck binding, and you know what?  I think it's my best one yet.

I'm thinking of posting a big "GENTLE" sign above my sewing machine.  But maybe in a gentle font.


  1. I am so in love with this dress! I think you made all the right choices.

  2. Heatherlou222.7.12

    First of all, this is stinkin' cute. I really love that you flipped the fabric upside down. Quirky in the best possible sense of the word. I'm with you on the impatient tip - I've also been focusing on slowing down and trying to make better quality work. I started using muslins recently, but only on tricky garments that I suspect I'm going to have fit issues with (anything really fitted basically). Especially if I'm doing pattern modifications - they are invaluable. Sometimes just doing the tricky portion in muslin makes it feel less "time wastey". Or choosing a nice fabric and making two dresses! (as I notice you did here). Secondly, thank you for the super kind comments. Really, truly appreciated.

  3. Cirque Du Bebe23.7.12

    This is beyond amazing! What a fabric find, and I love all the details you've added.

  4. smunch23.7.12

    Wow, thank you so much! You know, you are one of the sewists I am talking about that has made me inspired to push myself - your mint dress is AMAZING, and I think I read that you have not been sewing all that long? I've been sewing on and off for years and it is time. Thanks for inspiring me!

  5. smunch23.7.12

    Thank you! I thought you would appreciate this fabric ;) You have amazing finds too.

  6. smunch23.7.12

    jesse.anne.o has left a new comment on your post "a kooky gabby":

    I am so in love with this dress! I think you made all the right choices.
    Jesse.anne.o - I have no idea where this comment is, it was emailed to me but did not show up in Disqus for some reason! But I wanted to respond - thank you! Can I just tell you that I thought of you when I tried this on?! This fabric seems like your style - I wish I had more fabric so I could make you one too! I appreciate your comments.

  7. That fabric is vintage Marimekko, I have something very similar my mom made into a bed spread when I was younger. What a great fabric find and a really, really fabulous dress!

  8. smunch4.8.12

    No WAY! If I had known that I probably would have been too chicken to cut into it. Wow. Thanks for letting me know and thanks for your compliments!

  9. It is so strange that the comment resurfaced elsewhere. Weird Disqus!

    I am flattered that you had that association!