Sunday, May 25, 2014

Red Maxi Dress


I loved my first version of Simplicity 2362 that I began plotting another one as I was making it. I found this great deep red rayon voile from Lincraft and an off white rayon voile for the lining and bought 3 metres of each. The first version was great but the weight of the fabric and the way I constructed it made it a little more bedsheet-ish than I had originally planned. So this time around I was determined to find the drape-iest fabric I could to do this pattern justice.

I completely ignored the construction notes inside the envelope because I wanted to line the whole thing. I also wanted to underline the bust pleats because this fabric is so airy. I started by basting the outer fabric and the underlining fabric for all the bust pieces and sewed them together as one fabric. Then I took each of the three skirt panels for the main fabric and sewed them together with french seams and did the same for the lining pieces. I hemmed the lining fabric at this point because I had planned for it only to drop as far as the ruffle. I basted these two fabrics together, marked out my pleats and treated them as one fabric from here on. So I guess the skirt part is kind of underlined as well? 
Once that was all done I sewed the bust lining pieces to the dress turned it over, notched and topstitched it down. The photo below shows you the interior before I ironed the lining seam allowance and handstitched it down. 


You can probably tell from the way I constructed it that this fabric was difficult to work with. It's so light and slides around all the time so it actually saved me a lot of time and heartache basting and taking everything slowly. I did notice in the making of this that the slower I took this the more relaxed I was. In fact I had to unpick things a couple of times and I was so zen I didn't get cranky or swear. Not even once.


I attached the ruffle with a french seam as well to keep it all enclosed and this was probably the hardest part of sewing this dress. Trying to keep all those ruffles going through the machine evenly even though it was trying to play slip and slide with me. Oh and it turns out my maths skills are a little sketchy. This ruffle was meant to be ankle length but fell just shy of it once I tried it on. Let's call that a design feature shall we?

All the work was worth it in the end for how this dress drapes though. It turned out exactly how it looked in my head. I may not get much wear out of it seeing as the days are getting cooler but I made it up now anyway because it will be perfect for lounging about in on my honeymoon.


What you can't see from these photos is that I made the straps cross over in the back. Here's a picture of the straps and all the pleats. It's such a pretty pattern. I'm pretty sure this isn't my last version.


20 comments:

  1. What a beautiful dress and you did an amazing job of lining it too! It will be perfect for honeymoon lounging ; )

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    1. Yeah it was a bit of an effort but worth it in the end.
      This dress was made for drinking cocktails in!

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  2. Oh oh this is gorgeous. I definitely need to up the drape for my next version. Did you use a zip?

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    1. I'm so glad someone else has made and loved this pattern!
      Yep I did a lapped zipper - really should get a shot of the back next time.
      This would be a great pattern for you to revisit soon seeing as it's warming up on your side of the world!
      I wore this dress around a little today and even with underlining and lining the bust pieces are still quite flimsy - maybe interface on your drapey version.

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  3. Geez looks like an intense process but the end result is obviously so worth it. Great color on you!

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    1. Thanks, it was surprisingly fun though!

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  4. So very pretty! Loving the color too!

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    1. Thanks, I'm not normally a red dress kinda girl but this red just struck me.

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  5. Gorgeous! I love every little thing with this dress. Lovely job!

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  6. You look amazing and that colour is divine on you, going to be a great lounging about dress for the honeymoon.

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    1. Thanks lady! It's definitely cocktail worthy this dress.

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  7. Such an elegant dress. The lining looks wonderful

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    1. Elegant you say? I'll take that compliment!

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  8. It's just as gorgeous as the first, Jodie :) That fabric might have been difficult to sew with but it drapes beautifully!

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    1. Thanks, it was definitely worth it for the drape. I'm feeling a lot more confident these days to try my hand at trickier fabrics.

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  9. Beautiful dress and a stunning colour on you. All your care with this dress will be very valuable for your wedding dress.

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    1. Yeah that's what I was thinking as I was making it. If I can handle this kind of fabric and take things slowly and baste everything I think I'll be pretty right sewing the Wedding Dress. Exciting times.

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