All this month the Simple Sew Bloggers will be making party dresses to celebrate The Dressmaker’s Ball coming soon on 12th May…
When I started thinking about which Simple Sew pattern would be the best one for the Dressmakers’ Ball, I knew it needed to be something that shouted red carpet (although not literally, of course!).
With its cross front bodice and gentle pleats, the Lucille seemed like the obvious option, with one difference; a full length skirt for added wow factor.
I then set out to find a suitably luxurious fabric to go with my idea and found the most silky smooth velvet on Sew Essentials website (and as a side note, they were super fast at getting it out to me!).
The only complication this caused is that the gorgeous velvet is a two-way stretch velvet, whilst Lucille is originally designed for wovens. Well fear not, because it doesn’t take much to make this pattern velvet ready!
The first thing is that when you’re working with velvet, you should cut everything as single pieces rather than on the fold, and, where possible you should also try to reduce the amount of manipulation you make to the fabric (such as darts) to prevent it stretching it out.
In this case, it meant that I redrew the front yoke as a single piece. I then set about making some changes to the back bodice.
Due to the stretch in the fabric, I didn’t want to include a zip, so I redrew the back bodice as a single piece, taking out the seam allowance for the zip from the middle. I also closed up the darts as I was confident that the stretch in the fabric would cover it.
For the skirt, I wanted something relatively slinky but with enough wiggle room for dancing. I tried a couple of different things, but in the end went with a simple drafted gathered skirt. I took my hip measurement, added on a few inches for ease, and then divided it by two. This became the width for a rectangle that was my waist to floor measurement, plus some extra for hemming and heels. I cut two out, sewed them together and then used a piece of elastic the same width as my bodice to gather the skirt up.
I toiled everything up before cutting into my velvet, mainly because I didn’t want to ruin my gorgeous fabric. I cut the velvet out on tissue paper to prevent it slipping and warping as it was cut, and I also didn’t cut a lining as the fabric has a lovely finish to it that meant it didn’t need it.
I’m really pleased with how the final dress turned out, it’s got a great swooshiness to it that’ll be perfect for partying!
Rhiannon blogs at http://www.morebluefabric.co.uk/
Dressmakers Ball info:
Friday 12th May 2017 at The City Rooms, Leicester.