When we were shooting this dress in front of the apartment building, one of our neighbours came out and asked what we were all dressed up for, and we answered “Just cause we feel like it!”. He either thought we were cool or very very weird – either way, I thought it was appropriate – after all, Elisalex doesn’t believe in the concept of being overdressed, right? We followed by having dinner together in a local (fairly divey) Chinese restaurant, whereby everyone there in their jeans and ratty clothes stared at us while their dinner got cold and we discussed finances and video games LOL.
This was my first time sewing a princess seamed bodice – weird right? What took me so long? I initially did an FBA following the standard method for just extending the princess seam at the bust point, but I had made the muslin from a fabric with a slight stretch because my initial fabric was going to be a stretch sateen. When I decided to use this fantastic Radiance silk cotton from Hart’s Fabric, I knew I needed to revisit my FBA and ensure it was going to fit perfectly. I wasn’t sure how to do a fairly big FBA (4″!!!) but found this great tutorial by Mary from Idle Stitch & it worked like a charm!
I’m really proud of the fit on this one – I worked really hard to get it just right; even Maz commented how well it fit! Of course I did another muslin after the second FBA (as always) which confirmed the bust was a great fit, but I then had some pretty major back gaping so I took out a 1″ wedge from back bodice to correct this. Three bodice muslins in all. Then I made a muslin of the top part of the skirt, and forged ahead!
I only had 2yds (preshrunk) of the fabric to work with so I took 9″ off the hem, which actually worked out perfectly because I prefer my dresses either above-knee or maxi length, so this was ideal. The fabric was a bit lighter weight than called for, and if it was 100% silk, it probably wouldn’t have worked because it would be too soft and drapey, but the silk cotton was PERFECT as it added just enough crispness to hold those box pleats and the unique tulip shape of the skirt
As for the pattern; it is drafted really well, and the instructions are very clear. I thought the method for lining bodice was explained particularly well; I like the easy finish on the side seams – clever! I did need to look up the BHL sewalong to see how to finish the lining, as there were no instructions for v1 in the pattern instructions.
I’m particularly proud of the zipper installation – I’ve had some major issues with invisible zips lately, and it looks like we might be able to be friends again. I got a perfect seam matching at waist, and painted the zipper pull to match the dress fabric, as I had to use a light grey zipper.
I also spent a fair bit of time and care adjusting the pleat placement to match the princess seams in front and back, and I’m happy with how it turned out.
And here’s my brave and wonderful photographer, also looking very sharp!