Typically my social calendar is less than booked yet, every once and a blue moon an opportunity arrives that allows me to stitch up a special occasion dress. The event was a wedding in early August and I knew in advance (even with all the moving hustle and bustle) that my July sewing would be dedicated to fancy fabrications.
At first I struggled to choose a dress silhouette for the event. In the end I narrowed my choices down to two patterns with the silhouettes: classic cocktail or retro inspired flare. Then to only make the choice harder on myself I found fabrics in my stash that would work for each pattern. So… logically I decided to construct both dresses and wear which ever end result I liked better to the event and the other dress would be my Monthly Stitch party dress.
I flew the 4000 miles to Baltimore to attend the wedding with my camera in tow in order to photograph the end result with myself all gussied up. Then the bad luck struck… I stood in the muggy heat with my makeup dripping taking photos only to realize after a few to many poses I had forgotten the memory card in my camera. Yep… that happened; I felt like a rube.So here we are weeks later when I finally got the gumption to swallow my pride and put my cocktail dress back on to show you.
Fabrics: The body is a black satin twill that is lined with gold viscose lining, the lace contrast is a netted lace with gold a embroidered floral pattern (remnants from the scrap bin) which is lined with a tulle netting for structure and stability in lieu of the facings that the pattern directed.
Due to the translucence of the lace/net combo the seam allowances would show on the upper bodice. I elected to finish all of the upper bodice seams with black seam binding for a clean look.
Additionally I enclosed the seam allowances within the sleeves between the lace and net lining.
To construct the sleeves: I first stitched the sleeve hems of the lining and lace together.
Lastly I flipped the right sides out to enclose the seam allowances between the two plys and create a smooth inner sleeve.
Satin twill is a hearty fabric which is great for this garment as it traveled well. However the bulk caused me some distress during the construction process. The pattern calls for interfacing on the bodice fashion fabric pieces because the bodice is boned, I only interfaced the contoured center front piece of my bodice. Also there are pleated bows jetting out from the bust piecing. According to the pattern you are to stack the bows on top of one another and stitch the bodice front seams encasing the bows. Well...that would be 10 layers of fabric where the pleats fall on the bows in my thick fabric stitching that bulk was never going to happen. To combat this issue I off set the my bows and found I like the look better, I also tacked the bow ends to the bust line so they did not flop around.
The pattern intends the zipper to extend up the center back to the neckline. I started my zipper at the body of the dress leaving the lace upper bodice CB open with a button and loop neckline closure