We’ve had one heck of a beautiful spring this year. The snow has been long gone for weeks and there have been numerous picnic-worthy afternoons. So my bright idea was to make something heavy and dark! Ha. I’ve had this beautiful metallic fabric staring at me since November and it needed to be dealt with.
During the holidays, I was mildly obsessed with finding shiny, sparkly, metallic fabrics to suit the season and pretty much grabbed any that I saw. I wanted to make this dress around New Years, but with the whirlwind of holiday sewing, then making my dresses for my 60s shoot, it got a little delayed. I felt bad about leaving it behind until next holiday, so I quickly made it up before diving into more flowy, flowery things.
I bought the fabric because of it’s unique texture and metallic finish, but at first wasn’t sure what to do with it. Then at a local fashion event a friend wore this amazing metallic shift dress. What are friends for, if not to copy their cutest clothes? Since I had such success with my cat print Laurel, I knew this would be a great pattern to use and let the fabric shine (har har).
The fabric has a chunky knit-like appearance, which included open spacing. To avoid any wardrobe malfunctions it needed to be fully lined, except the sleeves. Luckily View A of the pattern was meant for sheer fabric and a lining, so there was zero guesswork putting it together. Colette recommends attaching the outer and lining pieces together first, and sewing the dress as though they are one. You don’t get the separate overlay effect, but you also don’t see the darts and seams through the sheer fabric (though you’d probably not notice with this fabric anyway). It saved a lot of time (and hassle trying to attach separate layers) and I am rarely picky about what the insides of my projects look like, so it’s likely I will use this method in the future.
I didn’t want to line the dress in black because I felt like it made the dress too dark. I wanted to keep the warmer essence of the gold and hoped to line it with something in that tonal range. I didn’t have anything in my regular stash (that wasn’t super itchy or bulky) in the right colours, so instead used an old bed sheet from my muslin pile. I am trying to actively avoid buying more fabric when I already have so much, and what better way than to upcycle! The cotton was the right brown and already super soft. It was the perfect choice for this type of project.
I was lucky enough to find a gold zipper in the perfectly matching shade as the fabric, and knew a bold exposed zipper would be the perfect complement to the overall feel of this dress. I had to do a bit of mental math to make sure I accommodated for the width of the zipper since the pattern calls for an invisible zip (approx 0.3 mm on each side), but it went in super smoothly and it’s my favourite detail on this garment.
Sizewise I cut a 4 in the waist and hips but made sure to grade down to a 0 at the bust to avoid the excess fabric problem I had last time. People have talked about the armscye being a bit small in this pattern, and while I noticed it a bit in the kitty dress, I didn’t make a note of it and definitely noticed it on this one. Most likely attributing it to the thicker fabric + the lining. You can see the fabric pulling from the arms around the neckline in some of the photos. It’s not uncomfortable, but noteworthy for future projects.
I also opted to just stitch down the bias finish on the neckline instead of hand-sewing it with an invisible stitch. It was more a choice made because of time (I want to make more springy thinnngggss) but seeing the images, I like that it gives an extra bit of dimension and moves the light on the fabric. I know some people like the clean finish, (and sometimes the fabric demands it), but for something like this I didn’t feel it affected the outcome.
For these photos I was lucky enough to work with my friend Myles. After a beautiful and sunny past few weeks, our scheduled day turned out to be a chilly, gloomy, rainy day. I’d like to think it worked out in favour of the moodier, cooler weather design and fabric of the dress and that the cold weather was worth it. So yay for happenstance.
Even though mentally I felt like I grumbled through this project (like, why aren’t you a flirty warm weather garment, you silly thing?!) I am stoked on this dress. It’s gratifying to know it emerged complete from the seemingly endless queue of projects. In all likelihood, it won’t get worn much until next fall/winter when it seems to better suit the mood, but you never know when the right event might just come along.
And speaking of spring things, whose gearing up for Me Made May?! I am definitely going to partake again this year, loving how much it reconnected me with my handmade wardrobe last year. This year though, I don’t think I will have the time to properly document my outfit daily.
Taking interesting photos every single day is exhausting and totally drained me creatively last time, so though I will be wearing a Me Made everyday, I will only really post when the inspiration strikes. I’m so looking forward to following along with everyone else, that’s the best part!