Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Red Velvet Holiday Dress

Well, it certainly has been a while.

Finally my studies are over for the semester and I can relax - and naturally do some sewing!

I had thought about making a holiday dress for myself for the 24th of December when we go visit family, but I didn't have anything in particular in mind.

I usually try to make clothes I can wear for more than one occasion, but when I scored about 3 yards of red stretch velvet for 1.5 euros at a thrift store, I decided to go all out and make a holiday dress that is wearable for only that one day of the year.

The fabric was a rich red, with star imprints. The imprint on the fabric is really hard to photograph and it's very subtle even in real life, but still I think it adds to the overall holiday-ness of this dress.

I used a pattern that was very loosely based off of The Garden Party Dress pattern by Honig Design. I started off with the pattern but then I altered the sleeves to a bishop sleeve style, then I needed to adjust the fit of the bodice so I ended up making darts that ran over the shoulders and then I also wanted to change the neckline. I didn't use the pattern for the skirt at all, but instead made a gathered skirt. Oh, and the original pattern is made for non-stretchy fabrics and since my fabric had stretch, I skipped the zipper. So in the end, it's like 10% of the original pattern and 90% of my own mess, but I thought I should mention the pattern (it's free!) in case if fits your body better than it did mine. :)

Here are my pieces all piled up:

I used two full-width rectangles for the skirt (and added pockets, of course!):

As I was making this project, I learned that velvet makes a huge mess. Red velvet stuff everywhere (I think it's called "pile"?) Well anyway, velvet pile everywhere. I also learned that velvet is a pain to photograph. The color looks different in every photo I took...

I gathered the waistline by hand and then serged the waistband on.

I assembled the bodice and sleeves (the sleeves have cuffs and are gathered to fit), then noticed the bodice didn't fit me at all - the shoulders were too wide, which made the sleeves look funny when I put the bodice on.

I didn't want to take the sleeves off to make the shoulders narrower (because laaaaazyyyy), so I played around a bit with some darts that ran from the original darts over the shoulders to the other side of the bodice. And with these weird shoulder darts I managed to make the bodice fit better. I also made the neckline wider and deeper and made a facing for it.


Lastly, I attached the bodice to the skirt and hemmed the skirt by hand.

Hem, hem, hem your skirt, gently with a needle; merrily, merrily--


And the dress was done!

Seriously, the color of the velvet seems to change in every. damn. photo.
It was so annoying to take photos of. :D

Here are some photos of the dress worn:

"Oh, what a nice dress you have there." "Thanks, you too!" :D



I am fairly pleased with how this dress turned out. It's festive and it has sleeves (necessary because it's kind of cold) and pockets (necessary because pockets), and overall I like the style of it.

How do you like this over-the-top Xmas dress? :)

Satu / Sew Scoundrel