IKEA curtain to summer dress
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IKEA Curtain to Summer Dress

When we lived in Groningen, I used to go to the IKEA every now and then to to see if they had any new fabrics. They tend to have mostly home deco weight on the bolt, so I also checked the bedsheets and curtains section. I’ve already made a Pattern Magic dress out of a bedsheet and shorts from the bolt. This time the curtain section had the good prints, but I didn’t want to spend €40 on fabric. Fortunately the fabric bin in the sale section had just the curtains I had been eyeing earlier: win! I snatched up a 2,5 m panel for 15 euro.

IKEA curtain to summer dress
IKEA curtain to summer dress

It’s a 50-50 linen cotton mix, perfect for a summer dress. It’s not my colour at all but the print was just too good. The print is large so I needed the whole 2,5 meters to match it. It doesn’t run evenly at the straight grain, I had to choose where I wanted the print to be centred. I went with the neckline, and made sure the horizontal breaks hit at the right spot. I couldn’t match it at the waist so I hid the mismatch with a strip of black bias tape. That piece of tape made a world of difference as you can see here. Plus it acts as a waist seam reinforcement.

IKEA curtain to summer dress
IKEA curtain to summer dress

You might recognise the pattern as the By Hand London Anna dress, one that’s been on my list for a long time. The boat neckline and accentuated waist are very much my style. I did make a lot of adjustments, and used only the bodice. Six skirt panels would not have been a good idea with a print like this, so I drafted a 1/4 circle skirt. That meant I lost the center back seam so I moved the invisible zipper to the side seam. Next time I’ll also cut the back bodice on the fold.

IKEA curtain to summer dress

I actually – shocker! – made a muslin of the bodice. By now I know how my body is weird in all kinds of angles and I wanted this dress to work. Here’s what I did:

  • rounded back adjustment
  • forward shoulder adjustment
  • small bust adjustment of 5/8″ (1,5 cm)
  • lengthened the bodice by 1″ (2,5 cm)
  • a sway back adjustment
  • scooped out the front neckline by 3/4″ (2 cm)

Told you, weird in all kinds of angles. After lengthening the bodice the bust darts were too low, so I lengthened them back up 3/4″ (2 cm). Instead of adding fabric back on to the waist after the SBA I added it back in at the darts. Those darts were still the same size and thus producing too much ‘flowering’ at the bust. So I sewed the inner ones smaller, which in turn produced the fabric that was taken out by the SBA.

IKEA curtain to summer dress

Besides wanting a summer dress, there is another reason for this project. It’s a try out for my wedding dress! Yup, we’re getting married! At least, if they let us, it’s proving to be difficult because we’re not registered anywhere at the moment. It’s going to be small, probably just the two of us, and later we’ll do a brunch or something in the Netherlands with both our families. A wedding is really not something we want to spend a lot on. I do not believe it should be the most beautiful day in our lives – that is such a sad thought! And way too much pressure. But I’m excited of course, and I’ll be making my own dress! I was thinking of the Anna Dress in a silk or something equally fancy, but I’d like to keep it simple. Although I almost changed my mind when McCall posted this image. I am still tempted. We’ll see!

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34 Comments

  1. Congrats!!!! and the Anna Dress will make a great wedding dress. Hope you can sort out all the red tape etc smoothly

    1. Thanks! I hope so too, it seems we’ll have a better chance in France than in the Netherlands.

  2. Congratulations on the engagement, Lisa and Stef! (:
    I’ve always thought that a dress like the Anna would make a beautiful wedding dress, and if I needed a wedding dress, it would very likely also be an Anna or a similar style! Hope everything will go well and you will have a lovely day—though not the best of your lives, because I agree that that’s a very sad thought.

    1. Thanks Jana! It’s a lovely silhouette, I can imagine it’d look great on you too!

  3. Congratulations! Small weddings are delightful. We scaled ours down and had the most fun. Marriage is even better!

  4. that dress is beautiful! that pattern totally makes it..
    and congrats! that’s great news, and it must be exciting to sew your own wedding dress (totally see why that mccall beauty is tempting you)

    1. Thank you! It’s tempting me a great deal! Not sure I can withstand… But I don’t like the idea that I’d only wear it once or twice.

    1. Thanks Erin! Me neither, I’m having the hardest time finding the right fabric… Guess there is some pressure after all.

  5. Your Anna turned out lovely and would make a perfect pattern for a wedding dress with the added bonus that you’ve already figured out all your necessary adjustments! (Although that McCall’s pattern is gorgeous too!) Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

    1. Thanks Sarah! Yes the main challenge will be the fabric if I go with something fine.

  6. Congrats to you and Stef. The Anna will be beautiful. A lifetime together is so much more special then the one event.

  7. Aw congratulations!! This dress is already beautiful, and such a great idea to make it up in some really lush fabric to get married in! Though that McCalls pic is utterly gorgeous too, and in fact I still regularly wish we could get married again just so I had a good reason to make beautiful clothes like that! Small and relaxed is definitely the way to go too (and it suits you, if that makes sense :-)). Just a brilliant way to have a really good party with the people you’re close to. Oh, now I want to do it all again too!

    1. Thanks Jo! I’m kind of re-thinking it a bit now, I mean, what’s the point of making a beautiful dress when only a few people get to see it? Maybe a party is the way to go after all…

  8. Congratulations!!! This shape is really lovely on you and would look so nice as a wedding dress! But the McCall’s dress, ooh la la! :)

    1. Thanks Sonja! It’s still a tough choice! It’s probably come down to how much time I have. We havent set a date yet.

  9. Congratulations to you both! Live long and prosper.
    We were 17 on my wedding day and I don’t regret a bigger shindig one bit. My take is do as you please, it’s your day.

    1. Thanks Carmen! A party is appealing, but usually less fun when you’re throwing it anyway, so I agree!

  10. Congrats on your engagement! You know the old saying…”winter in a yurt, marry in the spring…” Actually I just made that up, but it’s true n’est pas? I think weddings are too high pressure nowadays, so your plan and your dress both sound lovely.

    1. Thanks Julie! Hehe, sounds like it should be a saying… Although maybe only for hippies and Mongolians :)

  11. Congrats!! And it’s nice that your wedding will be small. I didn’t enjoy planning ours and began to completely understand why people elope. The McCall’s dress is a real stunner. Nothing against the Anna dress, but the other is so special. Good luck with everything!

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