When this pattern released last spring, I about died and practically tripped over myself running to order it. My local Joanns didn’t even have it in stock yet, that’s how fast I hopped on it. I fall hard for a cut away high neckline. And then, amusingly, I did nothing with it for at least 6 months, probably because fitting woven garments scares the shit out of me.
On one of my pilgrimages to Califabrics brick and mortar store, The Fabric Outlet, I found this beautiful wine colored rayon challis (which seems like it’s sold out, but here’s one that’s close) and knew immediately what it should be for. Added bonus: no one will know if I spill red wine on myself while wearing this dress.
Woven garments intimidate me like whoa. I’m such a sewing perfectionist now and I always want to get the fit just right. And fitting a woven garment is so much harder than fitting a knit one. I think that’s why it took me about 6 months to get up the courage to make this dress. But I put on my big girl pants and tackled this project and it was TOTALLY worth it.
I made very few fit adjustments after my initial muslin. I took in the side seams about a quarter of an inch (a standard for me, it seems). Then I shaved off another quarter of an inch at the top of the princess seam, grading to nothing at the bust apex. That gave me an easy hollow chest adjustment. I also took about 3 inches off the skirt all the way around.
In the future, if I make this again, I’ll shorten the back by another inch or two, since it hangs a little lower than I think it’s designed to (for reference, I’m 5’3). Instead of double turning the hem, I used a black bias binding that I made out of a silk crepe I had in my stash. It was just the right weight to fall nicely with the drape of the skirt. And I love the detail it gives to the hem. Next time, I’ll use some wash away stabilizer to combat the little hem bubbles, which kind of bug me. But that’s one of those things where I have to remind myself: no one cares. Literally no one but me cares about the hem.
I wore this to a wedding we went to last month, where my boyfriend was the best man. This dress was perfect. Seriously. PERFECT you guys. The bodice looked great sitting down, and the skirt was SO fun for dancing. The bride and groom are big Latin ballroom dancers (as are my boyfriend and I) so I knew there would be a lot of salsa dancing at the reception. This skirt was amazingly dramatic, didn’t show my undergarments (not even with double turns or quick counter turns! WOO!), and the higher front hem kept it out of my way nicely.
Overall, this is the perfect wedding guest dress. I might even love it so much that maybe I won’t make another dress for the next wedding we go to! I even have plans to wear this for Christmas with a black turtleneck over it. It works in my head, but we’ll see how it actually looks layered.