This is my Easter dress for 2011. I didn't get one made last year while I was pregnant and was determined to finish it this time around. (And for the record this was completed by Wednesday evening, but I was asked to help out at my church's AWANA club meeting that night, so am just getting around to taking pictures today.)
Gorgeous, right? I LOVE this design. It's simple, sophisticated and a little retro all at the same time. The pattern was a dream and all fit together perfectly. I couldn't wrap my mind around how that front tucked area worked until I actually had the fabric cut out and followed the instructions.
I knew when I first saw this pattern that I wanted it in a polka dot like the envelope dress. Only I couldn't find a polka dot in grown up colors for anything! I looked for months before finally locating a few on Denverfabrics.com. I bought this one and another in navy and white. They were both 100% cotton, but this one was a bit beefier so I went with it. The lining is a silky polyester something or another that I've had forever. It raveled like nobody's business but was thicker then normal lining fabric so was easier to work with.
Since this dress has a full lining, I decided to fit the lining first and eliminate any need to muslin. Then I could just cut the polka dotted fabric out and stitch it up without any issues. The problem was, the main fabric and lining fabric are totally different and did not behave in the same ways. I got the lining to fit like a glove and then had to totally refit the main body fabric to have it tailored to my form. I let this seam out and pulled that one in, over and over, and it is simply an answer to prayer that this thing fits and all the seams lined up. Honestly!
Here at the side is the invisible zipper. I restitched the bottom part below the waist seam several times and finally had to throw it in the dryer on hot to get the fabric to shrink back to normal.
I added the pink shoes for a little pop of color. And also to match Rachel's dress, which you shall see soon.
Oh, I just love this front bow area. SO CUTE! The fact that this is a Michael Kors design just has me brimming with pride. I don't know that many designers, but I certainly know him, and I am tempted to tell people this is one of his dresses without any further information. I won't, but I'm tempted.
Notice how the width of the top pleat is exactly the same as and lines up perfectly with the shoulder strap. This is fantastic drafting, people. This is the kind of detail that makes me happy.
Okay, here are the changes I made:
1. Took in the front bust cup seams 1/4" on the lining, and then had to really pull in the one vertical bust seams on the outer fabric. It is not at all a fitted seam and if you want a good fit you are going to have to adjust yours as well.
2. Shortened the length by 3" and eliminated the back slit. I always eliminate back vents when possible - just my personal preference.
3. Interfaced the neckline facings. Really, this is a must IMO.
4. Cut down the width of both bows by 1 1/4". They looked a tad disproportionately long to my eye.
And since I knew I'd be cold in church, I bought a white cabled cardigan at Target the other day to match. The buttons were plain and casual, so I replaced them with a bit of bling. JoAnn's is currently having a 50% off sale on buttons. I toted all my summer projects there in 3 large shopping bags and stocked up!
I love this dress. Truly. I haven't been this excited about a finished project in a really long time. It fits perfectly and I feel so pretty wearing it. It has restored my confidence and I'm back to loving this hobby once again.