So here it is — my big sewing accomplishment from the New Year’s holiday. I am so pleased with how this make turned out. I didn’t copy a particular RTW design but I do think it looks a lot like some Kate Spade dresses I have seen. What do you think?
This dress is made from New Look 6457 and I used one of my NYC fabrics — a luscious silk Dupioni/Shantung with a white background, large grey and black paisleys, and scattered black and dark cobalt/navy sequins.
It is trimmed with black satin (self-made) piping at the princess seams, neckline, armholes, waistline, and hem. I finished it with a handpicked lapped center back zipper and handstitched invisible hem (with grey lace hem tape).
As far as alterations go, I used the bodice front pieces from Simplicity 2648 (see Peplum Top from last week) because I knew they already fit. I lowered the front neckline 1.5″ and the back neckline 3″. I took 0.5″ off the bodice length.
I added piping to the princess seams because I like the look, although this wasn’t called for in the pattern. The pattern called for a gathered, Dirndl skirt, but I wanted something with a cleaner look, so I cut the pattern skirt pieces but converted the gathers to box pleats in the front and regular pleats in the back and lined them up with the princess seams.
I learned several new techniques while making this dress — how to make piping from scratch, how to insert a lapped zipper, how to handpick a zipper, how to insert a zipper guard, how to apply hem tape, how to insert a hook and eye, and how to insert a dress lining without any hand stitching (yay!).
I fully lined the dress, the bodice with a stretch satin because it feels so good slipping on and off, and the skirt with Bemberg rayon. I hemmed the skirt lining by machine and frilled it up with grey lace hem tape to match the dress skirt.
I applied a zipper guard to keep the zipper from eating up the lining or dress fabric.
On the dress’ first outing, my husband and I went to one of our favorite “fancy” restaurants in town. Toward the end of the meal my husband said a casual hello to another man as he was walking out and told me “that’s Larry the Cable Guy.” I was like “Oh, okay, huh?” After a moment of my husband explaining things to me and after we had paid our tab, we met “Larry,” who is really Dan, outside the restaurant, chatted for a few moments, then snapped a pic so I could show y’all that this dress also attracts celebrities :)
Here is a view of how I wore the dress for its second outing (to church and brunch), plus an action shot of me ironing some invisible fabric. I topped it with a chunkier necklace (The Limited), RTW black ponte jacket with leather trim (Elie Tahari), and black suede tall boots (Stuart Weitzman). And fresh hair and make-up.
So while there are a few things that are not perfect about my dress, I will not be pointing those things out to you and I dare you to spot them (well, I don’t really dare you, but you know what I mean). I am so glad I have finally made something substantial I am proud of and will wear over and over again.
And because I promised a glimpse of what’s on my sewing table, Gertie’s shirtwaist dress, as a shirt with a peplum (are you tired of those yet?). This is a wearable muslin and if it turns out, I will be making the dress next. What’s on your sewing table?