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