This dress started with fabric, just because it was a lovely colour and I’d already just bought the same fabric in another colour, and was part way through that project. Anyhow a day trip to Canberra meant a trip to Queanbeyan Spotlight where I found a dark red stretch crepe. 2 metres of that, and a navy which I’m still to cut into and I was back home searching through my patterns again.
The winner this time was Vogue 7795, however it took me about a week to decide to definitely make this one. My original thought was that it was just too busy with and angled waist, uneven hem and pleats/tucks in the side seam, so I decided to modify, to make it a bit more current. I liked the long sleeves, unusual waist seam and hem but I folded out the pleats. I also added a bit of detail after looking through Ebay (it’s addictive) and found a lovely Karen Millen dress (I’m a fan) with a little bit of detail that I wanted to try. I didn’t want the tab part though but the neck band, and shoulder zip looked pretty. Due to limitations in zipper colours though, I couldn’t find an exact colour match with the fabric and at this stage I’m still considering replacing it with a black zipper. I also didn’t want a back zipper or facing, minimal fuss with just enough detail. This pattern was released in 2003 so in now out of print, I have however found it on Ebay if anyone is interested http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Vogue-7795-Sew-Pattern-Draped-Handkerchief-Hem-Dress-18-20-22-/251799359774?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3aa069511e
So step one was to remove the back zipper and seam allowance on the back pattern piece, then cut a band for the neck and remove extra seam allowances. On stretch I mainly use my overlocker, except for the zippers obviously, so seam allowances are 6mm instead of the 15mm which is what is found on most commercial patterns. Step 2 would be to fold the darts out, and pin the darts in place, I think I still have the pins in my pattern piece despite the fact that its now back in the envelope so I can post a picture of that. I’m fairly short too so I took about 20 cm’s off the length before I even cut, but that was simply a case of fold out the unwanted length on the skirt parts, pin, check the side seams still match in the length, then you’re good to go. So that was my modifications.
Now on to the sewing. As previously mentioned, my first step was the band. The second step was the zipper. For this I over locked plastic elastic to the edges of the shoulder seam , and then sewed them on like a normal zipper, however with the zipper tape on the outside. After that it was just following instructions in the pattern envelope, omitting zipper and pleat reference. The only other thing I did was use jelly tape/plastic elastic in the waist seam, and I twin needled the hems.
Over all I like this dress, it can be dressy or casual and I’m sure once it gets cooler (I’m in Australia and it’s January) I’ll be wearing this dress everywhere.