I’m running out of time. Our celebrations begin Dec 2 and I need my Xmas dress done while I still have time to sew. It irks me that I started this by sourcing fabric back in September. I figured 3 months was plenty of time. Now I’m nearly at the drop-dead date, without a drop-dead dress. I considered a statement I wrote yesterday ” I’ve aged as most of my family members but they can still pull off se%y looks.” That’s true. So I asked myself, what were those sexy looks? I can distinctly remember dark colors (black, navy blue) as well as Christmas Red and Green. But I also remember close-fitting garments or at least curve-skimming; fabulous jewelry and 6″ heels. OK, I’m not doing the heels. I can’t walk from parking lot to table in those kinds of heels. I’ve purged my shoe wardrobe. I’ve got pretty shoes but low heels. No more than 1.5″. That will have to do unless someone physically carries me everywhere. As for jewelry, I had planned to wear my show stopping rubies. They are enough to make a statement but not so big as to be wearing me instead of the other way around. At this point, shoes and jewelry are what they are. But I might have time for another dress, IF… if I shop the stash and if I don’t have to fit a pattern. I don’t have time for 2-3 muslins. I don’t have time to shop for the perfect fabric.
So I think back to my fitted patterns. It just so happen at the time I was wearing the final version of Loes Hinse Rochelle (1011)
As a top (that’s me on the left) it is amazing comfortable while still being fitted. So I added another IF…if I can find in my stash an ITY suitable for a cocktail dress and lengthen the Rochelle to dress length.
Searching through the stash took an hour. I really wanted more color. I’m afraid that the dark blue is part of what made the last dress look dowdy. Also afraid dark colors might have the same effect on any winter, cocktail dress. Winter because I want sleeves, long sleeves. I will be wearing heels but probably will be wearing tights instead of skin-colored hose. Guys, it’s December in South Dakota. It’s cold even before the wind chill factor is applied. I lengthened the pattern first. Having finished matelaise dress, I knew that dress length should be 36″. I added enough to make the pattern 39″ long which would give me a deep 3″ hem or room to adjust length if necessary. I found several fabrics. My favorites were short. Ah crap! That’s a result of no longer buying a flat 4 yards. I buy by intended purpose. 2 yards for pants. 2 yards for blouses. 1.5 yards for T-shirts. 1 yard for sleeveless. But I prewash and some of these 2 yard cuts end up being 1.75 yards and even less. I’d rather prewash and be short now than finish a garment and never able to wear it because the first cleaning shrunk it beyond use. So yes it was annoying to pull out a beautiful fabric and then put it away. I settled on one with a back up. My selection is a black ITY with a glitter design. The design looks like a pheasant or chicken cock to me. Hopefully everyone else will focus on the glitter.
I cut my fabric, taped my necklines and serged shoulders before checking neckline depth. I marked the neckline by slipped the mostly open and undone garment over my head and settled on my shoulders. Then I cut a 2″ binding and did a classic ‘up and over. binding. For those of you not familiar with my term, the binding is stitched to the neckline and wrapped up and over the to the wrong side. It is then top stitched from the front. I placed the binding so that the wrong side would be against my skin. That meant a little less glitter on the public side but much comfort on the inside. I cut 3/4 length sleeves. That’s what looked good previously. I don’t have the time or fabric to fool around. I cut what has worked. I serged the sleeves to the armscyes and basted the side seams before trying it on. Not sharing pictures, but the only thing I changed was hem depth. I used a 2.5″ hem.
Did the Rochelle make a nice dress?:
Yes. This looks perfectly nice. Will it make a good cocktail dress? While the matelaise neckline kept diving, the ITY is fairly stable. I would not have minded this being an inch deeper. However, I’d rather have it at this depth than the other. The Rubies will be beautiful snuggled into this neckline. Of course you’ll have to imagine me in black heels and tights and I promise to wear a smile.
It’s good and definitely enough for this year. Next year, I’ll start in September but I want to work with an even more fitted garment..
Much lightened photos just to share more style lines