Prior to sewing, I rarely wore dresses. I really didn’t like them at all. My bottom half is at least a size bigger than my top (quite usual for someone my size), so they never fit very well. Now I sew I enjoy wearing dresses much more as I can custom fit them. One of my favourite styles is the sheath dress. Again I was not a fan as I associated them with the poorly shaped bank uniforms my mother always had to wear. However being more conscious of clothing and fashion, I’ve found out that every time that you see a woman in film or television who is meant to be elegant, she is usually in a sheath dress. It is also favoured by some very elegant real life women!
Can I add that I’m disappointed that I can’t find more pictures from Suits as I love Jessica Hardman’s style, she has the most amazing dresses! And unfortunately articles about the show only ever seem to focus on where the men in the series get their suits! I also love that Vogue offers the latest designer dresses, which almost always includes some awesome offerings.
But that in mind, I have previously mentioned that my favourite sheath dress is the Vogue Very Easy dress, V8612, because it’s super easy and looks great.
I made the dress up in linen, as it’s a fabric I quite like, despite the crazy wrinkling the minute you start to wear it. I purchased it from Sckafs at Indooroopilly as they had a really lovely selection of linens in late last year (I haven’t been for a few months so I don’t know what’s in stock). And I decided to to hot pink and black as they are my colours and high contrast colour combinations are good for power dressing (my intention is to wear this for work). Also even though the pink is a pure linen, the black is a blend, so it does not wrinkle as much. This is a photo of the finished product in my wardrobe.
The next dress I made up was Vogue 1241, a Kay Unger design.
During my week off after Christmas I visited a discount fabric store with a stash of patterns that I wanted to make up on the front seat of my car. I decided to browse and then if I thought I liked a pattern, to pick out one of the patterns I intended to make. When I saw the fabric I purchased for this one it reminded me of the dress so vividly I purchased it straight away and have already made it up! The pattern recommends satin, crepe or jersey, but the fabric I used in the end was actually a slightly stretchy cotton. I like working with stretch cottons as they are easy to sew, hold their shape and are cool in the hot Brisbane climate. My husband said he likes this dress. He called it a milf dress, which apparently is a complement…
And the final dress that I have finished, and inspired this post is a Simplicity pattern – 2648.
I made up the variant C – the one photographed on the packet – however because of the pattern in the material I used, I omitted the band on the front with the buttons. The fabric was a stretch cotton in a navy chain print. I love that navy is in again this season, I like it so much more than black. And I liked the fabric because it’s a bit nautical. It was quite cheap and I just got it from Spotlight rather than somewhere nice.
I chose the v neck as it suits me best. And the cap sleeves are much easier than proper sleeves, which I always have to make bigger.
A fair bit of effort went into matching patterns. I was not able to match them exactly as darts and curves in the pattern make it difficult, but I was able to make sure that from top to bottom the chains were aligned. If you look at the picture below, the waist seam, where I did the matching is almost exactly in the centre. It’s a busy picture, but if you look closely you can see it!
I also took care to diligently press after every seam was sewn. I’m usually a bit lazy about pressing, but I have to say that the end result was much better. As an aside, for those that do not know what pressing versus ironing is; when you iron you move the iron fairly constantly, when you press, you hold the iron in place for 5 or more seconds to manipulate a particular part of the fabric.
The finished product is not spectacular as the dress is quite plain, but I’ve tried it on with the belt in the second of the next two photos and it looks smart and well turned out. I think I will pair it with some red accessories to create some really fantastic outfits!
I’m also glad that this turned out as I have also just finished a Burda Style dress that has turned into a disaster. I am not sure that I can save it. It’s a dress that uses pin tucks instead of darts to create the fitted shape. I made a poor fabric choice, making up the dress in organza rather than chiffon. Organza is much stiffer and does not drape very well. And despite the fabrics all being silk, it looks like rubbish. Not all of my fabric substitutions work out, so it’s nice to have something turn out well.
PS please excuse my messy wardrobe!