You guys, I made a dress! For me! And I’m going to blog about it! Shocker! I completed this dress mid-July, but it has taken me a few weeks to find the time to do the write-up. This dress was a bit spur of the moment – I made a joke to my sister that we should do “Broadway Bounding” for our friend’s Musical themed bridal shower that we were planning. (For those unfamiliar with the “Disney Bounding” that I was riffing on, I encourage you to check out the DisneyBound tumblr.) What started as a joke had me rifling through my stash the next day, coming up with a fairly basic pattern and some cool lace I picked up at the Michael Levine Loft in LA, throwing together a quick muslin, grabbing a few necessities from Jo-Ann Fabrics, and throwing together a dress just in time for the party.
My inspiration for this dress was the Broadway musical Wicked – the story of the Wizard of Oz told from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West. It was the hot musical when I was in college, and I’ve been lucky enough to see it a few times. I’m much more of an Elphaba girl than a Glinda girl, so I had to do something with the character’s iconic green and black color scheme. After a week of crazy fast sewing I came up with this:
Here are some in-progress photos:
Here are a few pictures from the bridal shower:
Here is my official Pattern Review:
Pattern Description: Lined dress with flared skirt, invisible zipper, cup sizing, and hem and sleeve options.
Pattern Sizing: Vogue sizes 6-14 and 14-22. I used a 14 D-cup for the bodice, and graded the skirt up slightly in the hips, just to maintain proportions.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, these instructions would be very clear for new sewers. It even has instructions for how to sew with sequined fabrics and lace fabrics that may not be included in more advanced patterns. I followed the instructions for most of the bodice construction, but I did not follow the instructions for inserting the invisible zipper, so my construction order on the back and for the lining was a bit different.
Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it? Yes I think so!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Likes: Only 4 pattern pieces! Also love the shape of the dress. Cup sizing makes the need for pattern alterations pretty minimal too. Dislikes: I wasn’t a fan of the instructions for the invisible zipper because I cannot understand why you would put the zip in after sewing the bottom part of the back skirt seam, but that’s just me being disappointed with my results any time I’ve ever tried that technique.
Fabric used: Black lace from the Michael Levine Loft. The Loft is essentially a bunch of boxes full of fabric ends and damaged pieces, so I was lucky that I had just barely enough to cut this design out. I underlined it with lime green textured cotton from Jo-Ann, and lined it with Bemberg rayon because I’m fancy like that. Also because I knew I’d be running around in this dress in the summer SoCal heat and polyester sounded like a terrible idea.
Pattern alterations or design changes you made: I did a slight dart rotation so that they would point towards my bust on the front, and also added 1/4″ in length to the front (but not the back because this pattern fit my swayback perfectly, which I have to say is very unusual for me). I also graded out the skirt a bit to maintain proportions. I used a hem length that was somewhere between the shorter A style and the longer B/C hem. I made a symmetric hem because I didn’t think I would have enough lace to try the asymmetric version. I also changed the order of construction on the back seam – I completely sewed the lining and the shell separately, then inserted the invisible zipper to the outside fabrics, and finally sewed up the back seam. I also used the machine to attach the lining to the zipper tape on the inside because I’m too lazy to do it by hand. This also removed the need to sew the bodice lining in by hand as well.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes! I think this is a great pattern – perfect for use on patterned or difficult fabrics because it is so simple. The cup sizing made fitting a breeze, and the end result was perfect for the bridal shower I was helping my sister throw for our friend. I think this dress would be great for new sewers because it is simple, or a fun way for more experienced sewers to play with more complicated fabrics.
Conclusion: Love this dress! It turned out much better than I expected, especially given how short an amount of time I had to sew it. I’m also really happy with my construction. Other than the hemming of the lining (which I should really re-do), I think this may be the most technically precise item I’ve sewn, so I’m really happy with that. Overall I love how this dress turned out and I can’t wait to find another reason to wear it!