September 14, 2015

Behind the Seams - The Dress

Colette Crepe
I had originally bought this fabric to test a pattern, but that didn't happen.  Then I remembered that I had a copy of Crepe.  I've always wanted to make this dress - a woven wrap dress with a lovely sweetheart neckline?   Yes please.  

But - that isn't what I ended up with.  And not for lack of trying.  I traced crepe - because that's what I do and matched the bodice up with a double darted bodice I have that fits well.  Then I tried to make it fit on my fabric.  I'm guessing my now - you know it didn't work.  

BHL Elisalex
So, then I turned to my Elisalex bodice, because while I've never made that tulip skirt and had it look good on my hips - I love the bodice!  It fits well and flatters.  So - I took a page from Carolyn's book and layered my pattern pieces, I put the center front of Elisalex on the bottom, then put the Crepe over it, topped by the tracing paper - of course, I didn't think I'd blog this, so no photos.  

Then - I made a new tracing of the center back.  Keep in mind that Elisalex has armhole princess seams, not darts - and it works for me.  My changes were only made to the center sections - the parts that went to the shoulder.  Once I had that new back - I literally just drew a new v and went with it!  The bodice is fully lined.  
Butterick 5930

Of course, I stupidly cut out the bodice pieces before even making sure the skirt pieces would fit on my yardage.  And - as Murphy's Law would have - they wouldn't fit.  I did not want the skirt that I generally put on the Elisalex bodice, nor did I want to put the Lilou skirt on this bodice - I wanted a full and flirty skirt.  There is a huge stack of patterns on my cutting table and Butterick 5930 was in my line of vision.  Hmmm - wonder if it will fit.  The skirt is pieced and has princess seam lines.  I measured the pieces of my bodice and the skirt and adjusted as necessary to make the seams line up - not that you can tell in this print!  

I was able to cut most of the skirt pieces (and by most I mean the center front and back pieces, but no side pieces) from the yardage I had left.  

There were large pieces of fabric - that were almost big enough.  So - I pieced in some fabric to make it work!  I couldn't even get JB to see what I was trying to show him while taking the pictures- again - it's all about the print!

I hand picked the zipper.  I think this is the 3rd hand picked zipper I've done and I really like doing them.  I will admit - I'm still not perfect at lining up the top of the zipper.  

Because my bodice fits and falls at my waist - the skirt hung even and I was able to turn up a 2" hem.  I put pockets in the dress and then put in a machine blind hem.  Because - print!  

I stretched myself a little bit making this dress - changing things, layering patterns and drawing what I envisioned.  Piecing fabric to get enough and basically just making it work.  I really like this dress and I'm glad to have worked through it and added it to my closet!


  1. Wow! You were definitely determined, and it paid off beautifully!

  2. Wow! What a job to get this great dress !

  3. The print is great, and I hope you enjoy it immensely after all of that work. I think it looks wonderful on you.

  4. LOVE that print, and your ability to fit your body. Two years out and not a chance I have time to learn to sew...


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