Friday, December 19, 2008

Party dress or prairie dress?

I worked on a dress last week in hopes of wearing it to a Christmas party last Saturday night, but I wasn't happy with the results. I have thoughts on how to improve it but decided against trying to incorporate them before the party. Instead I wore my Burda dress from October with a black jacket.

The un-finished party dress is Vogue 8509. I made a muslin so I could modify the princess seam fit. The muslin looked like a dress for the 5th wife of a FLDS polygamist. I had (some) confidence that the finished dress would not be so prairie-like because I was using a rayon crepe instead of crisp cotton muslin. As I sewed up the rayon, the dress looked promising as a party dress...until I sewed in the sleeves.

Too matronly

I don't want to make another sleeveless dress, so I thought about ways to improve the look. The first thing that popped into my head was to add a ribbon below the bust. I had some black petersham (the dress is a deep, deep purple) so I pinned that on.

Better with a black ribbon?

I bought some purple velvet ribbon from Britex and tried that on the dress:

Better with a purple ribbon?

I think I like the velvet ribbon the most, although I think I pulled it a little tighter than the dress actually is. The neckline is still unfinished and is supposed to be bound with bias tape. I planned to make a bias strip from the fabric and use that. I'm also thinking about lowering the neckline. Opinions on which ribbon and whether I should lower the neckline would be greatly appreciated! Also, I'd like your honest opinions about the dress. Is it still matronly? Anything else I could do to fix it?

Here's a parting shot of one of my silly kitties. Poor baby is cold. I don't know what he would do in a real cold climate.


  1. pobre gato! For my own little kitties I brought out the heating pad and placed it under their kitty bed, and even in the sewing room they were snoozing and well behaved b/c it was so warm. But ... they pull this number, too.

  2. Anonymous8:51 AM

    what if you plunge the neckline more like the burda dress?

    You are so very talented but I do see what you mean about the 5th polygamist wife after seeing the first picture - the ribbon really helps the silhouette.

    What if you add the gorgeous velvet on the hem and the bottom of the sleeves? If you plunge the neckline more, what if you add the velvet there as well?