Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sneak Peak - Christmas Party Dress

Yes, it's that time of year again when scissors are drawn and the thrill of the deadline takes over.  Yep, Christmas party time again - what to wear.  This year decided to give myself plenty of time to make the dress.

Pattern:        Vogue 8755
Fabric:         100% linen from Tessuti Fabrics (no longer available)
Alterations:    Oh, just a few
Help:           I am so grateful to Mirta, who within only 2 lessons
                has taught me so much.

Help Explanation:  I enlisted the help of a sewing teacher to help me alter the pattern - have never done this before and I wanted to learn the technique properly, rather than experimenting and getting it wrong.  Fabric no longer available and party just around the corner - this was no time for experimenting.

I thought  this pattern would look good, however the front pleat turned out to be too wide which gapped quite a bit - not to my liking.  I could have eliminated it totally but decided to make it a style feature, so I sewed the pleat down, so it looks like an inverted 'v' - mirror imaging the top 'v' on the bodice.

LHS pinned to sew down

This linen fabric is quite soft and light, so a lining was definitely in order.  I was just going to line it, but Mirta showed me how to do interlining - I'd never heard of this before, but I am now totally won over by this technique.  It is basically sewing your lining with your main fabric, as one.  One advantage for me was that, because I was inserting piping of a different colour, the seam allowance would hide the piping and the white lining would only show through -  - clever!!!

Interlining - cotton voile

First alteration - the sleeves.  Wanted an elegant cap sleeve - the pattern's sleeve didn't thrill me.

The other advantage of doing your project with someone else is that they can fit you properly.  The bust dart needed to come down a bit, so was shown how to do this too - locked into the memory bank.

Extending sleeve and lowering bust dart

Second alteration - didn't like the neckline - I know I'm a bit picky.  It's too high and round, so decided to make it a 'v' which follows the design style.  Had already cut the piece out so decided to do this myself.  First try was not low enough, but the second was perfect.

LHS 'v' RHS - original neckline

Third alteration was, eliminating fabric from the front - when I tried the dress on, there was too much fabric, so cut off excess from the side to make it a true 'A' line dress.  If you look at the picture, you wouldn't think there would be so much bulk.  This is a good pattern to use as a 'block' and alter to your heart's content.

Large pleat and therefore too much bulk

Now to add the colour.  Jess, (DD and my style consultant) said that it would look cool to have a hint of colour just peeping out from the fabric.  She chose the citrus/yellow (colour which is in at the minute) - found the perfect colour in linen and decided to pipe the colour around the cap sleeves and front bodice seams.

Piping ready to go

Thought I'd see if the piping would suit the dress or if I was over doing things a bit - "less is more" so had to be careful.  Yes, I think I like this - it's staying.

Shoes from Danielles Shoes & Accessories in North Balwyn Village and OPI nail polish - hmm is that colour a bit on the daring side????? 

Okay - let's be daring!!!!!


  1. The colors are stunning. It is going to be beautiful!

  2. this is looking fantastic. I cant wait to see it modelled!!! Love the fabric, and very envious of your pattern altering lessons...

  3. Oooh we are going to look the bees knees!!!

  4. I love the fabric and admire your patience in making the all the alternations and the colour highlights. Loving the interlining. Enjoy wearing it.

  5. I love the touch of yellow piping!