A few weeks ago, I was invited to the lovely wedding of a long time friend of mine (Congratulations Mr & Mrs Lockhart ;-). I immediately started to think about what pattern dress to make. My brainstorming came up the with:
What drew me to the dress first, was the pretty ruffled collar and simple flattering lines. Next was the idea of making my own personal touches to both the inset and sleeves.
The Fabric and Lining Choice
I decided to go with a nice black linen fabric that I had picked up from Joann's, I also decided to use a posh red lining and teal brocade fabric for the inset and arm additions.
Taking the inset pattern piece, I cut it from the leftover brocade fabric from a bed pillow project awhile back (top photo). The result is the pretty picture you see bellow. However, constructing the inset as the directions say is another matter.....
In the beginning I did follow the instructions (top left photo), however I did not want to slip stitch in the inset. Instead, I folded the left side of the bodice onto the right, sandwiching the inset and inset lining (top right photo).
I then sewed the inset on the the right side ruffle, leaving the lining free (bottom left pic).
Taking the inset lining and bodice lining with right sides together I sewed the two of them together with the bottom right picture being the result. I think I remember it right LOL
My second design change was an added sleeve cuff (top left). The bottom left photo shows how I sewed the brocade cuff fabric onto the black linen sleeve fabric. I then cut the altered sleeve piece out of the a joining fabrics. Making sure to place the added length of the pattern was placed on the brocade fabric.
Although gathers can bring a nice flare to a dress, I generally don't like how they appear on myself. Especially where most designers like to place them, such as the bust area.
In this case, instead of the gathers I made bust darts. No special instructions really, I simply pinched the fabric, until the extra was gathered up and pinned (top photo). I made sure that the resulting dart lined up with the bottom skirt dart (bottom photo).
I am pleased with the final product, the dress went together well, the additions added an extra flare, and I have another cute dress to add to my wardrobe. Now if only I would finish my current project to the left ;-)
Until next time, and always remember to keep life's seams lined up!