Added Jan 6, 2012
I found the V neck dress, 107 from 12/11 very intriguing, from the neck line to the midriff band to the pleats and gathers of the skirt. I decided to make two variations. The first variation is a shorter, just above the knee dress in Black and Pink Devoure velvet. The black background is sheer and the pink velvet is soft and shiny. The cuffs and midriff band are in black cotton/lycra knit. Both fabrics have been in my stash for a while. I made wide puffy sleeves and close fitting wide cuffs instead of the flutter sleeves. Flutter sleeves make my my wide shoulders look even wider. The midriff band is top stitched by hand using Wonderfil’s “Razzle” thread in a pink that perfectly matches the paler pink velvet. To make a contrast neckline I cut the bodice pattern half and inch from the last tuck fold line and added seam allowances to both sides. I make the tucks and then sewed the band to the bodice. After that I continued to sew as instructed. I made a separate satin slip for wearing as a dress. I can also wear it layered over a black tank top, black leggings and boots for a casual look.
The second variation is sleeveless. This is made with vintage rayon Challis. The fabric has a green background and a small paisley floral in purple, pink, blue and yellow. I used purple thread for construction and top stitching. I can wear it like a jumper over a long sleeve t-shirt in winter or wear it without any other layers as a summer dress. I made two wide strips so I can tie the dress in the back and make it fit a little closer to the body and make my shape look a little more like an hourglass and less like a pear.
I cut four strips 3 inches by 24 inches, sewed them wrong side together leaving one 3 inch end un-sewn. I turned them, pressed, them, and pinned them into the side seam so they were lined up with the midriff band. After I simply sewed up the side seam as directed. On the zipper side I pinned the strip to the front of the dress so the strip goes over the zipper. A tie band on the back can put a lot of stress on the zipper, with this method there’s no stress on the zipper and it pulls the front of the band snug to the body.
The armhole edges were overlocked with the serger, turned to the inside, pressed and top stitched in place. If I had the time I would have cut proper facings but I had to have the dress ready to wear in only a few hours. So I took the easy way out. The back tucks aren’t laying flat for me, I think I need to re-stitch them so they do lay flat -again I was rushed.
Both dresses are quite nice. One is better for things like art galleries and uptown dinners, the other is a bit more classic and conservative for every day. I really like both the fit and the style of the dress. It’s comfortable, stylish and shows off curves that I want to show and hides the one I don’t want showing -meaning the midsection bulges. It was easy to sew, the only fiddly bit was the deep V of the midriff band and the tucks. They weren’t difficult, they just took a bit of time and extra attention. I think I might make more variations of this versatile dress.
Devoure Velvet, Wonderfil Razzle thread in pale pink, Rayon Challis
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