How I Created The Teri Dress {The Flora Modiste Sewing Projects}

The Teri Dress Sewing Project: How To Sew An Invisible Zipper Featured Image

Aaaand we're back! At long last, The Flora Modiste has returned from a beautifully long holiday and we're getting back on track. This first post back is all about the very first sewing project we ever did here on TFM: The Teri Dress! (Stay tuned--Next week's post will be a completely recreated, HIGHLY improved tutorial on how to sew an invisible zipper--The first sewing tutorial we ever released!)

If you'll recall, before leaving last month, we had started on reworking all of our original posts--The most recent post being a reintroduction to The Flora Modiste sewing projects. So here we are, reintroducing: The Teri Dress!

I'm not sure if you guys will recall, but this version of the Teri is a bit different than the original I posted about two years ago. Call it the Teri 2.0 if you will.

So.. Why change it?

Because I didn't really wear the original. Like ever. It's hard to admit, but it's true. I think I wore one version of the Teri Dress--The simple, seamless black maxi version--Once. On a summer river boat cruise in Europe, and that was it. Once in two years is not a good average. And since I'm going back to rework and improve all of our original posts.. Why would I sew up a new version of a dress that I ended up never wearing? That's literally not only a waste of time for me.. But it's a waste of time for you guys too.

And I firmly believe that time is one of our most valuable resources, so I'm not about wasting it. Which is why, as I was cutting & sewing up this new version of the Teri, I kind of somehow completely changed it.

(Inspired to start sewing? Knowing how to sew an invisible zipper is an incredibly useful skill, and can be applied to a wide range of sewing projects: From dresses to skirts to pants. Grab your printable, step-by-step sewing tutorial below!)

The Teri Dress sewing tutorial: How to sew an invisible zipper

The Teri Dress Sewing Project: How To Sew An Invisible Zipper Full Side View

The Teri Dress Sewing Project: How To Sew An Invisible Zipper Full Back View

But keep in mind--I still used the exact same pattern when cutting Teri 2.0 that I used previously to create all three versions of the original dress. I simply just tweaked the dress as I was sewing it up.

It was actually pretty invigorating--I sewed the basic shape of the dress together, then tried it on. And I literally just pulled and pinned and draped until I found a silhouette that I liked. I seriously haven't done that since I was in school at FIDM--It was so fun! (Yet another benefit of learning how to sew--Once you know enough, you can pretty much tweak anything to fit how you want.)

But back to the Teri Dress. How is this new version different than the original? Let me count the ways:

  • Length: While the original dress was a full maxi, this new version is more of a midi. It still has traces of the original high-low hem though. Oh my!
  • Pockets: Because SOMEHOW I didn't put inseam side pockets into the original? Unforgivable.
  • Empire Waist: While this new version of the Teri doesn't necessarily have a "true" empire waist.. It's pretty close to one. The original version had a long, sleek silhouette.. But I like this fun, empire-like version better--Definitely more interesting to look at.
  • No Asymmetrical Seams: The original Teri had asymmetrical seam lines running along both the front and back of the dress. While I LOVE asymmetrical seams.. I ended up feeling like it didn't really do much for this dress. Like there was no PURPOSE for them. Out!
  • No Pleats: The original Teri also had a small little pleated section near the hemline. And I loved those pleats.. But they just felt a bit out of place with this design. Again.. No purpose. Out!

And last but not least.. The fabric that I used for this new version of the Teri is so different than what I used previously. One: Stripes. I will always, always wear and love stripes.

(Inspired to start sewing? Knowing how to sew an invisible zipper is an incredibly useful skill, and can be applied to a wide range of sewing projects: From dresses to skirts to pants. Grab your printable, step-by-step sewing tutorial below!)

The Teri Dress sewing tutorial: How to sew an invisible zipper

The Teri Dress Sewing Project: How To Sew An Invisible Zipper Updates

But also--The fabric is so much lighter, and so much more comfortable than what I used for the original versions of the Teri. It's perfect for wearing all on its own on a hot day, but also works well when layering in the winter. Truly a perfect fabric for living in San Diego!

The fabric itself is a lightweight, woven blend of hemp and organic cotton. And it's actually a fabric that I have been considering using for a DIY collaboration that I am working on with the vegan, sustainable brand Vesta. Which I am super, super excited for! Because I am considering using the fabric for our next round of DIY kits, I really wanted to work with it to see how well it would hold up to sewing at home. Which meant it was the perfect time to test out with this new version of the Teri Dress.

And you guys--the fabric is SO easy to work with.

Kind of incredibly easy, actually! No slippage, hardly any fraying, and it's pretty wrinkle resistant as well. I feel like the fabrics holds its shape well, but also has a subtle fluidity to it too. Aaaand I think it's going to be kind of perfect for this upcoming collab--Stay tuned loves!

Sewing the dress itself was also pretty simple. The hardest part was probably that pesky zipper--But stay tuned, next week's tutorial is all about how to sew an invisible zipper! The neckline & armhole bindings were a bit time consuming, as all bias bindings are. And the only other real construction detail to the Teri are those inseam side pockets--Easy.

(Inspired to start sewing? Knowing how to sew an invisible zipper is an incredibly useful skill, and can be applied to a wide range of sewing projects: From dresses to skirts to pants. Grab your printable, step-by-step sewing tutorial below!)

The Teri Dress sewing tutorial: How to sew an invisible zipper

The Teri Dress Sewing Project: How To Sew An Invisible Zipper Teri Close Up

And alas.. The namesake for the Teri Dress.

If any of you know me personally, or have been following The Flora Modiste for any length of time, then this should make you smile. Teri is my sun in the sky, and one of my actual best friends--Included in the rankings with my husband, sisters, and parents. (Everyone says their best friend is their dog.. Right? Woman's best friend and all? RIGHT?!)

Teri joined our family almost 9 years ago now, when we adopted her from the ASPCA while living in San Francisco. She was only 2 years old at the time, and is approaching her 11th birthday! This little queen has traveled all over with us--She made the move to New York with us, then back to California.

She goes on vacation with us, goes camping with us, and loves her road trips.

But most of all, Teri loves the sunshine.

Let me ask you: What is it that we love about dogs? Among the top reasons (I believe) is that we love them for how absolutely genuine and pure they are.

Every day, I take Teri on a walk for about a half hour. When I start to get slightly irritated with her for stopping to go for what seems like the MILLIONTH time (like actually) I look down at her and she just looks up at me with a HUGE smile on her face, her eyes blinking in the sunlight, looking as happy as she could ever be.

Just because we are out walking together in the sun. Can you think of anything more pure than that?

(Inspired to start sewing? Knowing how to sew an invisible zipper is an incredibly useful skill, and can be applied to a wide range of sewing projects: From dresses to skirts to pants. Grab your printable, step-by-step sewing tutorial below!)

The Teri Dress sewing tutorial: How to sew an invisible zipper

The Teri Dress Sewing Project: How To Sew An Invisible Zipper Front View

The Teri Dress Sewing Project: How To Sew An Invisible Zipper Close Up Teri

After this (almost daily) exchange happens between Teri and I, I can't stop smiling and all irritation has disappeared. As a result, all I feel is pure love and joy. I feel like I can do anything.

It's a gift that Teri is always giving me, every day, and that is the type of energy that I want to embody this sewing project series. It's a gift that I in turn want to give YOU.

That even if you're having the most shitty, irritating day, I want you to feel encouraged and empowered after leaving this blog. I want you to feel like:

"Actually, yah, I CAN do that."

So yes. I have named this first monthly project after Teri because, to me, she embodies a beautiful, pure, and genuine sense of self that is absolutely contagious. (That little muffin is the light of my life, truly!)

I hope that this visit back to our very first sewing project (from two years ago, what!) has inspired you with your own sewing in some way. And stay tuned next week for a brand new, completely reworked tutorial on how to sew an invisible zipper, just like the one used to zip up the Teri Dress. Because it really is one of the most useful sewing tutorials out there!

Overall, the funnest part of this project was just figuring out how I wanted to tweak it while I was wearing it. And then just going with it! Have any of you ever done that when reworking one of your own sewing projects? Let me know below, I would love to hear about it!

(Inspired to start sewing? Knowing how to sew an invisible zipper is an incredibly useful skill, and can be applied to a wide range of sewing projects: From dresses to skirts to pants. Grab your printable, step-by-step sewing tutorial below!) 

The Teri Dress sewing tutorial: How to sew an invisible zipper

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