I’ve got a fancy event to go to in a few weeks, and found myself in dire need of a new fancy dress. Yes, of course I’ve got fancy dresses…but who could pass up the opportunity to MAKE a fancy dress? I couldn’t, that’s for sure!
A few weeks ago I had made my first Boundless Dress from Patterns for Pirates. I did the lined tank empire bodice option (no bands!) and maxi length. It was my first go at the dress and it turned out pretty well. The material was one of my thicker solids, so the drape leaves something to be desired. It was also my first go at the burrito roll method for the lined bodice, and I think it went well. It’s not perfect by any means, but it is wearable. The upside was that it gave me the idea to modify the pattern to be more what I wanted out of it.
The scoop is the same for the front and the back. The front is at a decent spot, but for someone who mostly wears big-backed (read: smoothing) bras, the back was a little low for my liking. I actually haven’t even hemmed this yet, because I am a bad sewist and let it linger and now the weather has changed and a tank dress isn’t exactly what I desire right now.
The rest is pretty good, though I could’ve gone down a size in the bodice. But in general I liked the shape, and the skirt was easy (two giant rectangles, coming up). Which leads me to…
This one I made entirely with the intention of it being a wearable muslin for my fancy dress. It’s solid black DBP from a Pretty Posh Prints preorder a while ago. I’ve been hoarding the solid DBPs I got in that preorder and figured a nice little black dress would be a good choice for it.
First decision on the modification was to do sleeves. I am in love with elbow length sleeves. I think they just look good on me. Dunno why, I just do, so that’s why you see them so much. 😛
Second decision, as you can probably tell, was to completely change the neckline. Completely. #sorrynotsorry. I got it in my head that I’d be able to mod the bodice into a boatneck, and once the thought was placed I could not shake it. Queue early morning googling of “how to adjust a neckline” and “how to make a boatneck” because it stuck so hard that I had to look it up right away. Turns out the results aren’t super helpful but juuuuust helpful enough.
I grabbed a RTW boatneck shirt from my closet and headed down to my sewing cave (basement). I traced the bodice out as originally designed and held the shirt’s neckline up to it. I completely and utterly guesstimated where it should go, since it didn’t line up in the slightest. Made the shoulder piece narrower and used a french curve to make it pretty. I did the same on the back, just a lot higher.
On the left you can see the original neckline and my new boatneck for the front. For the back piece, I traced the rest of the bodice and left off the neckline to do my own. Remember: I was guessing. I had no idea if this would remotely work!
The good news is that it did work (obviously, you saw it above)! The lined bodice really saved the day, because I didn’t have to think about how I was going to finish the neck. Sewed the bodice pieces together as instructed in the pattern and crossed my fingers. And whaddya know, it worked really really well. Like, exactly what I wanted sort of well. Turns out I feel the same way about boatnecks that I do elbow length sleeves. 😉
With such a great success on this muslin, I was SO excited to start the final one. So. Excited.
Final Fancy Dress:
Look how well it turned out!
I did not make any modifications from the muslin except to go full-length maxi with a bit more fullness. The whole bodice is my guesstimated-correctly original modification. Which makes me so proud. It’s nice to have epic sewing wins every once in a while, keeps me going.
I don’t really have much to say on this except that the fabric from Sly Fox Fabrics is completely and totally aptly named: Gorgeous. It is indeed SO gorgeous. It’s exactly what I wanted, in every way. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
Mega thanks to my Slack peeps for answering my questions during its construction, such as, “Do I have a flower nipple?” and “Do these leaves point directly at my buttcrack?” You know, the important questions 😀 Thank you for looking at my terrible mirror selfies and assuaging my worries.
First – XXL, tank, empire, lined, maxi (44″ long)
Second – XL, sleeved, empire, lined, boatneck, knee length (27″ long)
Final – XL, sleeved, empire, lined, boatneck, maxi (44″ long, plus ~2″ width on each piece)