Smaug the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities




That’s right. I am wearing a dragon. I’ve been trying to work out how to get a dragon into my clothing for a while now, and this is it! Isn’t it beautiful? I especially like how the tail curls round to the back. And the shape of the dress is lovely. I like the pouffy skirt, and love the neckline. A lot. I still have a couple of fit issues to sort out with the bodice, but I think just because of the neckline it will have to be repeated several times. I bought fabric for the next variation today. Never mind that I already have fabric and plans for two dresses that need to happen before the end of July… that’s plenty of time, right?


I made the dragon by sewing together the skirt pieces into a long rectangle, sketching the dragon with chalk (based on a drawing Tolkien did of Smaug that’s on the cover of some editions of The Hobbit) then going over it with my sewing machine – just the straight stitch, no faffing about with fancy things. Not that my machine would be any good at fancy things if I tried. I did a double line around the wings, to make them stand out a bit more, but decided to leave everything else single. I like that the dragon’s tail continues all the way around the back, it would feel a little silly to have a small dragon just on the front. This satisfies my craving for dragons without feeling ridiculous.

I also like the wee peep of red at the back from the zip. I was looking for a black zip, but couldn’t find one (I was looking in op shops for cheap zips – this is a vintage metal zip), but I think I prefer it with the red breaking it up a little – I don’t wear black very often, and it feels strange being so very plain, so any colour is welcome.


(I thought that was an appropriate time to post a back view. You can’t really see the red zip in the photo, but I promise it’s visible in person)


I think I’m going to try to come up with both my favourite and least favourite things about each dress I make, so here goes!

Favourites – obviously, it has a dragon on. That can’t be beat. Also the pockets are wonderfully deep, and well hidden – you really can’t tell they’re there, even if you know. And the neckline which is fabulous.

Least favourites – the bust darts are weirdly bobbly and pointy. Sure, most non-sewers won’t notice – one of my flatmates didn’t even know what I was talking about when I told her – but I know, and it bugs me. It’s really hard to take photos of your own boobs, but here’s my attempt to show the weirdness:Image


And the sleeves are too tight – even after widening the sleeve ends by two inches (flattening the sleeve cap while I was at it) I have lowered range of motion at that joint. I don’t actually own any other woven things that have sleeves, only knits, so I’m wondering if it’s just a consequence of sleeves in general, but I feel that it should be possible to get better sleeves than this.


A few more photos, just for fun:Image


Pattern information – the bodice pattern was from March 2013 BurdaStyle, stocked by my local library (so free!). The skirt is a gathered rectangle – outside is 80″ wide, lining is 60″. It’s entirely self-lined. It isn’t as thin as I thought when I decided to fully self-line it, but I like the extra bulk for a more winter-weight dress. And the skirt lining makes it way more pouffy, which is always a good thing, and I think flattering to my shape.


I topstitched the neckline and sleeve hem in red, to tie the bodice and skirt together a bit better.


This is how I wore it to class – a black merino underneath for warmth, red cardigan on top, and black boots.


All that gorgeousness, and it came at a total cost of $5! The fabric was $3, ribbon $1.50 and zip $0.50 – all from op shops. Win!

5 thoughts on “Smaug the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities

  1. Pingback: Silk for Summer | medstudentsews

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