The “Carrera” Dress


The Facts

Fabric: about 1.5 metres of black-and-white tshirting knit from my stash, approx $4 per metre
Pattern: self-drafted, based on a similar dress I own
Year: modern
Notions: none
Time to complete: 2 hours (including accidently cutting half the skirt wrong and having to re-do it)
First worn: for these photos, taken on our regular evening stroll, trying to get an overtired little baby to sleep (*sigh*)
Wear again? yep, probably tomorrow
Total cost: $6


I started this dress a few weeks back, for the black and white challenge over at the Sew Weekly. I got as far as cutting it out, started to sew it up, and then…. my overlocker died. 😦

So much for that.

To be fair, it didn’t fully die. Just the knit fabric 4-thread stitch wasn’t working right – the right-hand needle kept catching on the lower looper, which made me fear for the safety of my eyes. (Anyone else do that? Have moments where they imagine parts of a sewing machine needle breaking off mid-stitch and flying at their eyes? That’s the main reason I don’t sew jeans these days – it scares me. Gah.) Anyway, since my overlocker was fine with 3-thread stitches, I carried on using it, never quite getting it to the overlocker hospital, because, well, I struggle to be without it for several days in a row so I kept putting it off.

But finally, it got there, and it got all fixed and stuff, and it’s back home and working well, and so this dress got finished!


I based this one off a RTW dress I got in a clothes swap party a while back – I’ve found it’s perfect for breast feeding, as the crossover bodice easily pulls down to one side or the other, and since the dress itself isn’t a wrap-around, there’s no risk of accidently pulling the rest of it out of whack when you pull one part of the bodice. Perfect.

Approaching it in my rather common haphazard way, I took a basic knit fabric top pattern I drafted a good decade or so ago, and blithely took scissors to fabric, inventing the dress pattern as I went along. (I must admit here, I made a boo-boo when cutting out the front of the skirt to start with and didn’t flare it out enough over my hips. Oops. Spotted it as soon as I’d cut it, thankfully there was plenty of fabric left for a re-cut, and the rejected piece is going to be used to make some trousers for the little man so all’s well.) Since it’s summer here now, I went with a sleeveless style. The fabric is a 4-way tshirting, so I played around with the stripes a bit as well. (Odd fabric this – the black stripes are printed on the white tshirting, rather than being woven in. Gives it a bit of a texture, but also means the printing can look a bit “cracked” when stretched lots, which isn’t quite as good.)


The whole thing was stitched together on my overlocker. Gosh, I do love that thing! The stitching probably only took around an hour, the rest of the time was spent mucking around with inventing the pattern as I cut it out. So all up, a pretty fast make, and it’ll do it’s required job nicely (i.e. no ironing needed, easy and comfy to wear, and fast access to certain parts when needed).

As for the name? We took these photos on our current usual evening walk (an attempt to get the little one to sleep for at least 15 minutes during Baby Witching Hour. Good times.) We wandered through Carrera Park, thankfully he’d finally fallen asleep by then so we took the opportunity to grab some pics. More graffiti ones – something about graffiti, I like it. Probably the colours? Anyway…. I also tested this dress out on the swings. It works well on them, too. 😉


13 responses to “The “Carrera” Dress

  1. Looks great for self drafted. How do you do it all with a small baby???? In awe of your talents. I just got my first overlocker this morning for my birthday. Sitting here scratching my head trying to figure it out. Hopefully I’ll get as attached to it as you are to your very soon.

  2. Very cool frock 🙂 I can;t beleive it took only a couple of hours to make – you’re very talented
    I always sew with my eyes closed because things are always flying off the thing – something about using the right feet and things I think….

  3. Really impressive, especially as you made the pattern up on the fly! I was a bit worried about the odd bits on the back of the right shoulder until I realised it was the last bit of your tattoo peeking out :). Miniature photos on phone!

  4. lovely!! it’s almost like the Tiramisu dress pattern from Cake, except sleeveless…. and how clever of you drafting it yourself!! ^_^

  5. i’m always amazed at how well self-drafted patterns turn out (as i am too chicken to give it a try). you’ve got a great cut and fit going on, and i love the stripes!

    • Thank you! 🙂

      I totally encourage you to try drafting a pattern – there’s a good tutorial over on for drafting a basic skirt, which is a good starting point. Go on, give it a try! 😉

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