Thursday, September 19, 2013

Little Black Dress

Last week I worked on my first Little Black Dress. Not only is this the first one I've MADE, it's the first one I've OWNED, which seems weird! I met my husband in college shortly before my 21st birthday, so I didn't have many of those hey-let's-go-out-and-look-for-dudes nights that exist in so many single ladies' lives. At least, that's how I imagine it without any facts or data to support me.

For the dress, I used the same self-drafted pattern that I used here on my Little Red Dress. This is a great example of how fabric choice can completely change up a pattern. A while back I ordered some black cotton/modal/spandex knit, expecting a light to mid-weight jersey. When it got here, it was fairly substantial and had amazing 4-way stretch. SO SO yummy. But of course, I only had a yard. Luckily, since there was 4-way stretch, I was able to cut on the lengthwise grain (perpendicular to the selvedge instead of parallel) and made this dress from 1 yard.

The Little Red Dress had almost no stretch to it. I cut the Little Black Dress using the same pattern, but it quickly became clear that I would need to cut this down a lot to get the same body-hugging look. I think I took off nearly 2 inches from EACH side seam. This was the first time I had worked with a garment that required negative ease (i.e. the dress is smaller than my actual body). There was a LOT of trial and error, fitting and pinning and sewing and resewing.

This dress isn't as low-cut as the red version. Instead of sewing a seam behind the neck, I tied the "straps" into a knot. PLEASE don't look too closely at the's not my best work. I serged the back opening but it removed a lot of stretch, and I couldn't get it over my head without popping stitches. So, I had to cut all that off, and the back opening is raw and unfinished.

There was a cool ruffled selvedge and I originally cut with that as the hem, but my husband didn't like it and suggested I hem it (he was right, it looks better without it). I decided to just cut off the ruffled part and the hem is raw as well. I guess maybe if I had a coverstitch machine I could hem it properly, but to be honest this 4-way stretch fabric kind of stumped me! Thank goodness black covers all sewing sins.

The dress served its purpose at the bachelorette party, and now I have a passable LBD for all those fancy parties I attend (ha). Go ahead, invite me to cocktails, I dare you!

It's everyone's favorite day, Thrifty Thursday! Head over to Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop for today's sale pattern, the Classic Ringer Tee, $4 today only!

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