It's a rare occasion I sew up a dress in one colour. It makes me realise that my tastes have shifted a little this year. It was actually a deliberate move. At the start of this year I got sick of the fact that I felt like day to day I had nothing to wear, but some how managed to have a full to the brim wardrobe. I certainly will never run out of dresses to wear when heading out to a nice lunch or night out. But where I come unstuck is when I'm going casual, which to be honest, is a lot of the time. And when I need to dress up a lot. So I vowed to make clothes in solid colours that I can mix and match more and will have a longer life span because I won't get sick of the print. I will always work primarily with print, but sometimes a gal just has to have more neutral outfits in the selection. Enter in the little black dress. For this Autumn racing carnival I decided to play it down and go black and let the hat speak for itself.
I've always been a bit of a fan of the dropped waist for dresses and skirts, and I've been quite happy to see more pattern companies offering this style of late. Maybe it's a 1980's fashion comeback. As soon as I saw this pattern I knew I wanted to make it, and that I wanted to use a solid colour fabric that had some interesting texture. The pattern is McCalls 7502 and it's by Phoebe Couture. I've never heard of Phoebe Couture beforeI'll happily be corrected! Anywhoo. I noticed this is the second dress pattern from Phoebe Couture I've made and I've made these dresses for the same occasion - the races.
Unfortunately I couldn't find the exact fabric I had imagined in my head in the time I had to get it. When I don't have time to shop online for fabric I pretty much have 3 options of places to get fabric from when I am shopping bricks & mortar - Spotlight, The Fabric Store and Tessuti. Maybe The Remnant Warehouse if I'm lucky. I guess I could have gone further afield in my city, but I'm not prepared to face Sydney Saturday traffic anymore unless I really have to. So I ended up buying a black lurexy jacquardy fabric from The Fabric Store. I'm sure thats the offical name of it. It wasn't waay off what I wanted and in hindsight, given this dress required some gathering, it's probably best it wasn't as thick as I'd hoped to originally buy.
I cut this dress out in my usual size 12 and added about 1.5 inches to the length giving me the opportunity to play with the length once I'd put it together. I find myself saying this alot, but this time it's true again - I didn't really make any alterations when fitting. I had to take it in at the sides just near the armholes but otherwise the fit worked out pretty well. I will say, I don't have the greatest relationship with V-neck bodices. I find that more often than not I end up stretching them out, more on one side than both. I always stay stitch and sometimes stabilise with stay tape or interfacing, but I still manage to stretch the neckline if it's a v-neck. Argh! This time was no different and one side of the v-neck just doesn't sit as flush as I would have liked. The other side of the v-neck is totally boss and I nailed it. Can I blame the fabric? :)
The biggest issue I have with this make is the back. I couldn't for the life of me stop the fabric from ruching from the centre invisible zipper. I thought it might be because the fabric could have stretched during zipper insertion, but the fabric didn't really have much give in that department for it to happen. I also thought it might be because I didn't cut the fabric quite exactly on the grain. I had hoped that some serious ironing may help but it hasn't. It could also just be that there is excess fabric on the back and it needs a sway back adjustment. I do have a sway back but funnily enough I've never needed to do any adjustment as a result of it before. Maybe the mix of a sway back and the dropped waist is what caused it. I'll be more aware of this in the future!
I have mixed feelings about this one. Because I am a perfectionist (albeit, not one it comes to clothing innards) I don't love it. I'm hoping to get to wear it out at some stage. I ended up parking it for the races and bought an emerald green dress I saw online that I 'had to have' to wear instead. Perhaps I'll wear it out in the evening so the darkness will hide the imperfections!
I just had to share a close up of my earrings. About 12 months ago I discovered a costume jewellery company called BaubleBar based out of the US of A and I became obsessed. In Australia we have a couple of similar jewellery stores, Colette & Lovisa, but I get a little bored of them and the quality isn't always there. So I ordered from BaubleBar to try them out and never looked back. I try and limit by spend, especially due to the currency rates, but I don't hold back at sale time! Check them out if you haven't heard of them.