I’ve had this pretty gold material for a few months, waiting for the perfect opportunity to turn it into something awesome. Maybe I liked it too much, because it was a little hard to even run my scissors through it. Glad I did though, because I turned it into this elegant little number:


Pattern

I’ve been eyeing this pattern since last year! It’s a midi-length, short sleeved, scoop neck dress with ruching at the sides and back, which also has a cute opening. It took forever to get to it because I was waiting for just the right fabric to come along. And once I got it (For like, $3 or $4 per yd from Michael Levine – seriously though, the prices are nuts!), then I waited for just the right weather to make this.

Ugh, the life lessons here are too much. Am I right?

Here’s the weird thing though: after all that time, as soon as I got my hands on the pattern, I had hesitations (you know, that thing there you build so much hype that suddenly you worry it might let you down). I worried that it wouldn’t look good and that I’d waste my wonderful gold stretch knit that I’d gotten all the way from LA (you know, that OTHER thing where you sabotage yourself before you even start).

And I maaaay have gotten in my head, because there was definitely a point where I wanted to throw this dress out. I was having a hard time getting the fit correct and frankly, it was looking all kinds of frumpy. I remember thinking, “see? You knew this would happen! Now you’ve gone and ruined this fabric.” Talk about manifestation.

Ugh, the life lessons here are too much. Am I right?

Anyways, I decided to get my act together and take a day away from it. Sure enough, I came back with the idea to take another body con dress I have and base the measurements on it. Turns out, all I needed to do was get the torso sized and the rest would come together juuuust right. Phew!


Construction

Fitting aside, this is a wildly easy make. For real though, the return on investment (ie. time) is great, so if you’re looking for a quick and fabulous make, this is a good solution.

I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern, but here are some tips to keep in your back pocket for this one:

  • The pattern calls for gathers at the sides and back that are to be constructed with cotton tape, in the way that you would baste stitch and then gather the material together. Really though, just do yourself a favour and just use elastic instead. It’s one stitch, incredibly easy and much faster to execute. You can also re-do it a few times very easily in order to get the right amount of gathers and in the right placement.
  • The gathers/elastic end about 2” above the bottom/hip notch. This is personal preference, but for me, I felt making the gathers go any lower brought too much attention to my hip and lower stomach area and just looked unflattering.
  • The gathers will look frumpy if the torso isn’t fitted well to begin with. Before you even get to this step, be sure to get the upper body nice and snug, because the gathers will add some extra material, size, weight, attention to that area.
  • Because the material has a lot of stretch to it, I cut the neckband and back band about 2.5” shorter than the recommended amount.
  • The armcye is pretty steep. I removed about an inch or so off the highest point.
  • To keep the length, I only hemmed the bottom and sleeves by 5/8”
  • I did not add any seam allowance to the neckband or back opening. While it was intentional for the back, it was a total mistake for the neckline, so it’s wider and deeper than it should be. But it works, and I’m happy with it!

Final Thoughts

Now that I’ve got my measurements correct, I adore this dress and am super impressed with how nice this pattern turned out for me because this dress turned out much fancier than I ever thought it would. I think what makes it extra special is the fabric selection, which is always an important part of any make, but I’m interested in trying this out in a more casual material to see if this will turn out just as well.

Now, if only I had somewhere to wear this to…

xo!
Sharadha

Photos by: Padmanie M.


3 Comments

  1. Gorgeous! I love the juxtaposition of casual (pattern) and dressy (fabric). I often have a moment during a make where I think “oh crap, this is going to be frumpy, isn’t it?”. It’s such a relief when you make some changes and come out the other side with a win!

  2. Wow, what a stunner! The drape in that fabric is a showstopper, and your meticulous attention to fit is obvious. Good tips, especially about the elastic thread!

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