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out of my comfort zone dress

Added Jul 11, 2011

by Passiona Cottee

Sydney (Inner We...






Not my colour way!

Inspired by Michelle is Well’s sew-a-long. I am attempting a project runway Australia sew-a-long. This is the first garment challenge. A cocktail party dress in an assigned colour. Each contestant had 12-hours; one colour; three fabrics. This took 11 hours.

Two fabrics are visible to the eye. The centre silk satin and the side matte panels. The side panels are really two fabrics. I layered silk organza over silk dupion. This reduces the shine. It also elevates the simple silouhette into a structured sophisticated look.

Sorry I didn’t catch the bottom in the photos!. It sits just at the knee.

Firsts in this garment:
– My first fully-lined dress!
– First use of boning for bust

What I need for next time… ironing the seams curved bust is really hard . It’s time to get a ham! And one of those itsy bitsy tiny sewing machine feet to sew the understitching on facing corners – or can you offer me some other advice on how to do it?

My motive is not to BE on the show. I just want to extend my skills and repertoire. Read more and follow me on this journey – here

Material Notes

silk satin; silk dupion; silk organza; cotton lining



Related Techniques


Summer, Spring
Garment Type

7 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Me_pecks_large

    Jul 30, 2011, 01.05 AMby nessys

    Darl! This is incredible! The joys of pay TV!!! Wish I had it so I could watch the show too.

    I am really impressed – you’ve done a great job. Boning! I am really impressed with you – all this skill from someone who was afraid of zippers! I’m afraid of boning!

    Nice work Sweets! I made my own tailor’s ham – popped it up here as project of mine if you want to take a peep. Works well for me. Also – re understitching – what about hand stitching in tiny prick like stitches? I tried this on my just finished bm’s dresses and was really impressed (I usually shy away from hand stitching – but it really works a treat, gives you a lot of control and hey – it gives you a taste of couture sewing!). xxxx

  • P8040142_large

    Jul 12, 2011, 05.23 AMby koobakii

    Wow, this is power cocktail dressing at it’s best, a perfect style for your slim figure. Once you’ve perfected your fitting and lining, you will never look back. My working wardrobe in London was a variety of 5 coloured/pinstriped sheath dresses paired with suit jackets, a timeless yet simple, creation, very appropriate for your corporate world I would imagine. Mmmm …… as always, endless possibilities.

  • Ghetto_girl_goes_to_colo__large

    Jul 11, 2011, 05.01 PMby turtlegirl00

    I think the color is stunning! the lines of the dress are simple—so the color helps make it pop! gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!!

  • Naburdaprofil_large

    Jul 11, 2011, 11.11 AMby janul

    I think this color looks great on you!

    2 Replies
    • Dsc_0028_large

      Jul 12, 2011, 01.51 AMby Passiona Cottee

      Thanks, janul… we’ll see if it gets an outing this summer after-all.
      I followed the link to the gallery of your paintings – they’re wonderful!

    • Naburdaprofil_large

      Jul 12, 2011, 06.44 PMby janul

      thanks a lot! so glad you like them :)

  • Holliebell_large

    Jul 11, 2011, 09.33 AMby freakusbzzz

    It’s Pash!! I would never have guessed it from the gallery photo.

    I think you did a good job for 12 hours. I cant believe you have never lined a dress before! I think if you had a little more time to do fitting and one of those teeny irons we should have bought at the fair it would be perfect.

    I’d take you out on a date wearing tis dress.

    2 Replies
    • Dsc_0028_large

      Jul 11, 2011, 11.44 AMby Passiona Cottee

      hehehe… aww shucks.
      A mark to move with: work with a dress form to improve the fit!
      Thanks, Hollie

    • Holliebell_large

      Jul 11, 2011, 09.15 PMby freakusbzzz

      Lets see how big my tax return is! Then we can go get one.

  • 532698_10150742947249316_1888144941_n_large

    Jul 11, 2011, 08.48 AMby keren

    oh and I have NO IDEA how you got that done start to finish in 11 hours! For me it takes maybe 3 times as much?

  • 532698_10150742947249316_1888144941_n_large

    Jul 11, 2011, 08.47 AMby keren

    wow. I would be too scared to use that color but it’s stunning! Great job and especially congrats for trying to improve your skills! I too need to learn the more advanced techniques which is why I jumped at the opportunity to attend Gertie’s online course – I’ve finished my muslin and I am enjoying every minute and learning so much! If you want you can check it out here. And this is Gertie’s blog. She is amazing really! Fit is so important in complex dresses such as these. I was so lost before!

    I also unfortunately do not have a ham but I will order one from overseas. I went to the shop and they told me to make one myself! Hmph! Anyway what I do is iron the seam on the edge of the corner of the ironing board O_O.

    Regarding the understitching, if I know what you mean, I think you just need to go as far as you can and leave it there, you don’t have to get all the way in there. The purpose of it is just so that the lining will be inclined to stay out of sight, and it’s enough. If you insist, I would maybe do it by hand but I’ve never found that necessary.

    Good luck at the show! :-)

    1 Reply
    • Dsc_0028_large

      Jul 11, 2011, 11.41 AMby Passiona Cottee

      Your tips mean so much to me! Thanks, keren. Gertie’s course sounds great – online is what us busy girls need, too. Now, I’m looking forward to seeing your finished bombshell, fitted dress :)

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