The party’s crashing us

Finally, photos are taken! I made this dress on a whim the weekend before last to wear to a cocktail party for work the following Wednesday. It had been quite some time since I made a dress, and everything was going pretty well until suddenly it wasn’t. I was up late Tuesday night scrambling to finish, but the dress was completed just in time and I’m pretty happy with it.

Image fromΒ Pattern Review

I used Simplicity 1610, which is one of the new summer patterns, and I highly recommend it! I chose the pattern because of the basic design, the sleeves, and, above all, the pockets. I’ve worked enough functions, though not quite such fancy ones, in past jobs to know that I want to have a place to stash my badge, phone, keys, and so on. The dress was very straightforward to put together, and the troubles I had weren’t the fault of the pattern at all.

I cut a 10 at the bust and graded to a 12 at the waist, which is normal for me, with no other alterations except that I sewed the back seam with a 3/8″ SA because I was afraid of it being too small. I usually construct dresses so that the side seams are the last to be sewn in order to adjust fit, but since I’ve never set in sleeves with a pivot point like this I didn’t want a bunch of dress hanging down on that step. Next time I’ll sew the regular seam allowance, as this dress is a little too big, but that actually turned out to be a good thing because I can just slip it over my head without a zipper. It’s also super comfortable, and since staff kind of blends into the background at these events, I don’t really care that there’s a bit too much ease.

So, it’s a great dress, and I’m sure I’ll wear it to functions like this all the time. That said, I’m going to try to never, ever sew anything in a satin again. The fabric didn’t look all that shiny in the store next to the other JoAnn satins, but the more I sewed it the shinier it looked and the more I noticed that it shows every little wrinkle, flaw, stitch, and even the pinked edges of the wispy acetate lining that I used as a facing. To make matters worse, even though the bolt said it was 40% cotton, this fabric pressed like 100% polyester. I felt more and more trepidation about the zipper insertion, and as suspected it was a total disaster. I ended up just trying to squeeze into it without a zipper, and thanks to that 3/8″ SA I could. Phew. Even though staff blends in, I didn’t want my dress to look so totally homemade among the attendees’ designer dresses!

I had forgotten how much fun it is to make dresses, but I also forgot how much I dislike sewing under pressure. I’m not one of those people who can whip up a garment in a few hours, and I like to take my time, go slow, and finish things nicely. There will be more of these parties and other events through the year, and I’m looking forward to making a few pretty dresses that are actually well-made!

26 thoughts on “The party’s crashing us

  1. I'm not sure I believe that you blended into the background in that dress! It's so pretty and it looks fantastic on you! I'm with you though – pretty sure I wouldn't have the patience to sew with satin!

  2. That dress looks lovely! I used to do all my sewing under pressure but I've gotten too fussy to do that anymore. And I'm no longer willing to pull all-nighters to get projects done!

  3. Very nice dress! It looks great on you — and how cool you didn't need a zipper. I'm definitely one of those people who can't sew under pressure, as I like to take my time as well. In fact, I think I'm too slow sometimes!

  4. Your dress is gorgeous! I must have a look at the pattern because I love the sleeves, the waist pleats and the pockets. You could have fooled me about the fabric being hard to work with, because I think the fabric looks great! Lynne.

  5. Yay, pockets AND a dress πŸ™‚ I really love the colour on you, and it's dressy but you could easily dress it down with a cardigan.I used to work in events and know what you mean about 'blending into the background' πŸ™‚

  6. Thanks! I kind of love it when it looks like the dress fits, but really there's an inch or two of ease at the waist. It's so comfortable, but no one knows it!

  7. Thanks πŸ™‚ I'm way too slow to keep up with all the dreams of things I'd like to make, but oh well, I just love the process of sewing something well.

  8. I planned on making the pleated belt, but with the zipper/facing issues I ran into I just didn't have time. It's a really lovely pattern!

  9. It's really perfect for working these sorts of events! The fabric is none to dear either so I don't have to worry about it when schlepping cases of wine and such.

  10. This is fabulous! Silky things like satin are super annoying to work on, aren't they… well, looks great now, and that bodice fits so well!

  11. This dress is beautiful! I'm hoping to try sewing a fitted dress soon. Right now, I'm finishing up my Colette Patterns Laurel dress which has a more boxy shape.

  12. This came out so cute! You have sold me on the pattern. The fit is really nice and it looks fairly matte in the photo. Fancy but understated.

  13. I'm really happy with both the pattern and the finished dress! It's one of those patterns that makes you start imagining future versions before the first is even finished.

  14. Well I think I found the pattern I'm going to make next, Kelly this is adorable!! I love love how yours turned out and I love that gorgeous gray satin you used. I totally know how you feel with the satin usage though. That's about how I'm feeling right now too, I just finished a dress a few weeks ago in satin and just, ugh! It shows every. freaking. little detail (and so thus in my case, mistake.) So annoying! It's too bad too because it's such a pretty type of fabric, but ya the fact that it pretty much HIGHLIGHTS mistakes is just not worth it.For the record though, I seriously do not think your dress looks homemade AT ALL and can't even see any of the flaws your talking about so take that for what it's worth. I'm definitely going to pin this for future project inspiration too, thanks for the cute idea!

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