My best dress yet!

My best dress yet- apart from the wrinkles after wearing it all day.

I worked an entire weekend on this lovely dress & I am thrilled with it.  It’s very flattering, the colors are pretty & contrast well, the pattern (Vogue 8701) is a lovely retro inspired design, plus the skirt twirls!

I only had a 1/2 yd of Maude Asbury’s Kitchy Kitchen quilting cotton in bright orange & I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. So pretty & soft. I decided to use it for the lining of the bodice & it works perfectly- it makes me smile when I see it & it’s breathable. But best of all, it looks great against the dark purple of the fashion fabric. Speaking of the fashion fabric, it’s a substantial twill with a light, burnt umber grid on it. The lining helps bring out the orange tones in the grid.

When I attached the lining at the neckhole, the orange peeked out & winked at me. So I stitched it down to be visible from the outside & added a belt of matching fabric.

Oh the belt! I had tiny, teensie, itsy-bitsy scraps of fabric left from the bodice. Not enough to make a belt, at all- but I did it!

I used fashion fabric on the back & interfacing instead of belting. I did not want to go to the fabric store & spend more money. I had a 1-1/2in buckle & tiny 1cm buckles, but I thought the belt looked best at 1″ wide. So, I made my 1″ wide belt & used two of the smaller buckles. Bingo!

I am very proud because I managed to make it so that none of the backing shows around the edges of the belt. I also hand stitched much of the two 1 cm wide parts of the belt.

As for the rest of the dress, getting the fit right was a little challenging. I accidentally bought the pattern up to a size 12, when I’m a size 14. This was my first time grading a commercial pattern. I started sewing by creating my own patterns & only recently began using commercial ones, so grading is new territory for me.

I’m not sure how well it went. I think next time I might just cut out a size 12 since I had to take in so much of what I graded out. Although it would probably behoove me to first measure the flat pattern & see how well that matches up to my own measurements.

Since the dress pattern called for a full lining & I didn’t have enough of the cotton, I used some cheap, red poly lining. It was on hand & saved me from spending more money. One day though, I dream of using only nice linings like silk.

However, the lining works well enough. Sometimes when I twirl I can see bits of the red, which is a nice surprise.

In these photos I’m wearing a crinoline, although obviously not a very poufy one. It added a nice hint of shaping, but the dress also looks very good without it.

I have yet to make up the same big four pattern twice, but I just may have to redo this one in summer weight material.

Twirling Time

2 thoughts on “My best dress yet!

  1. Pingback: 2012, The Year of Making Things « Disparate Disciplines

  2. I’m sooo impressed you made that in a weekend! It came out great, and is utterly flattering on you.

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