Ashley of 52 Dresses

Ashley and I finally collaborated on some photos for her website 52 Dresses Project. We hid from the rain under St. John’s Bridge on an especially wet day. Dress #14 is a white dress with a hemline cutting just above the knee, a few pleats on the front, and a geometric design on the neckline. Take a look at her website to see her previous dresses and the great photos taken by her husband Tyler (especially dress #2 on a ferry in Washington!).


When did you start making patterns, and where did you learn?

I started making patterns late last year when I enrolled in Intro to Patternmaking at Portland Sewing in the Hollywood District. I had no idea how to do it and had only attempted, poorly, before taking the class. There are 4 levels and I’m just finishing up the last one, I’ll be done in about 2 weeks. Along with that, I’m also finishing up my last draping class, which is another form of pattern making. It can be difficult at times, it really depends on what it is. Sometimes I get it right the first time, sometimes it takes me several times to get the look and fit that I’m going for.


How did you come up with geometric piece on the front neckline? How is it attached?

On this dress, the shapes are hand sewn onto the neckline. I wanted to keep the dress simple, because I thought the fabric looked so natural, but I still wanted to have fun with it. The idea just kind of came to me and I just played around with it a bit until I liked it, and then sewed all the pieces on. I still wanted them to move a little, which is why I chose to hand sew them.


What’s next? What are you going to do now to challenge yourself?

I’m not sure what’s next. I’m working on Dress #15, although it’s still in the pattern process. I have a lightweight denim that I really love and I’ve been wanting to make a denim dress for a while, so I’m excited about finally being able to do it! Every time I get an idea, I draw it out, but I always end up changing things when I actually sit down to start it. I think I need the stress a bit.

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