Party Dress Season

It really does not get any better than strapless, bias cut plaid. And I need something to wear to the Christmas parties. To make this dress, I started with a foundation from an OOP Vogue pattern (2806), made with silk taffeta left over from another project, Rigeline boning and some cotton batting to reinforce the cups. Then I drafted a pattern for the dress to go over it. I saw a dress similar to this one in Selvedge magazine that I wanted to copy. I loved the bias at center front, the buckles holding it closed and the fringe at the front opening.

Honestly, I need to either get better at pattern drafting or stop doing it entirely. The pattern I wound up with is OK, but there are many little things that I don’t like about it, such as the side seams pitching forward on the skirt. This wouldn’t happen on a commercial pattern. Unfortunately I wanted a very specific design. I was totally fixated on having the dress hang on the true bias in the center front and center back, and on the straight grain on the side seams. I also really wanted 3 darts per side, front and back. I probably should have let go of these things and found a commercial pattern to use instead of forging ahead with pattern drafting. There are just too many little things to keep in mind when drafting, and if you don’t do it every day, it’s too hard to remember them all.

The fabric is from B&J. I was originally looking for an English wool, which is thicker and fuzzier than Italian. Then I saw this Italian wool and the colors were so perfect that I had to buy it.

I could not photograph this dress on my form because I had the form made when I was a bit heavier. Since the dress is so close fitting, it won’t fit on the form. Full Disclosure — the above photo is taken with a wide angle lens, which elongates anything at the periphery. My legs are really not that long.

action shot

Dress with foundation zipped up

Dress fastened


Foundation front and back before I attached it to the dress

Dress back. In a couple of photos, it appears that the hem is uneven. I’ll have to check that.

Inside of dress when laid out flat. For the lining, I used the last of a roll of silk that I bought at the silk mill almost a year ago. I will miss this fabric. It has a wonderful hand, similar to a Hermes scarf. If I recall correctly, it was only £2 for a roll. I’m so sorry that it’s all gone.

Outside of dress laid out flat.

There are a couple of questions about previous posts that I need to respond to, but I’m finding myself without much energy for blogging lately. Please don’t think I’m ignoring you. I’ll get back to the questions after the holidays.

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One Trackback

  1. By Me Made June Wrap-Up « Adventures in Couture on June 30, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    […] strapless dress, blogged here, worn with bias cut organza top, blogged […]

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