I finished this dress in the nick of time to wear out to the Portland Fashion and Style Awards held at the Portland Art Museum last night.
I love simplicity of this style and the slight train on the back of this gown:
Credit must be given to Vogue Patterns for putting out this designer pattern number 2237 from Badgley Micshka. This was a wonderful pattern to sew as it went together fairly simply and was a good learning experience.
I traced off the pattern on to Swedish tracing paper and made adjustments to the length of the bodice and the skirt. After measuring the pattern and comparing them to my body measurements, accounting for an additional 3″ high heel, I found that I needed to add 2″ to the bodice and 5″ to the skirt portion of the pattern.
I then cut out and sewed up a muslin of the gown as well as the corset for fitting. My lovely friend helped me pin this dress and make notes on the muslin where to take in and let out.
I found this lovely sequin mesh polyester material at Fabric Depot in Portland, Oregon and thought it had the perfect drape and sparkle for this project.
I got a flesh colored Ambiance lining that matched the color of my skin to line the dress so that it appeared to be see-thru when wearing:
The sequin mesh material was perfect to sew with as it is very soft and the sequins are as well. I was able to sew it without having to remove the sequins from the seam allowances with saved a bundle of time.
I love the scalloped and fringe-like selvedge of the material and was hoping to trim it off and incorporate it into the dress either at the hem or the top edge, but I ran out of time to do this. I suppose I can go back and add it at another time, or use it for another project. It is just too pretty to toss out!
Here is the muslin and sequin fabric draped on my dress forms:
The pattern design includes a corset-like under structure that holds up the strapless gown that is sewn into the lining. I added 3 additional boning channels to this at the front and under the bust for added support.
I used a heavier weight muslin for the structure part of the corset and the same lining as the gown to line it. Turned out really great!
I did have to make several fitting adjustments to the outer part of the dress as at first the muslin needed to be let out, but then in the sequin material, which does have a lot more “give” than muslin, I had to take it back in. I had to make fitting adjustments a couple of times actually, in order to get the nice tight fit that a strapless gown requires in order to stay up. Thanks to my part time job doing bridal and special occasion gown fittings and alterations at David’s Bridal, I have learned a great deal about fitting gowns and this knowledge came in quite handy!
After many hours of fitting and sewing this dress (and leaving off some steps as time was up!), I really love the outcome of the gown and was excited to wear it to the big event! I may go back and make adjustments to the “peaks” of the bodice so that they are a little pointier and less rounded at the top, and the lining drove me nuts all night as it was coming up over the edge of the dress and showing! At least the lining is flesh colored and it was not as noticeable, but I still was not happy with that.
After looking at photos, maybe the bodice was a little too tight as my boobs looked kind of squished. I guess I didn’t realize that I can fake a pretty good cleavage in this kind of dress! Cool!
I was rushing to finish in time (as usual) and sewing on the hook and eye at the back when I was supposed to be on my way to my friend’s house to get ready, but we made it in perfect timing, so it was all good in the end.
Very good actually!
And here I am wearing a little hat designed by ElizaBeth Rohloff. She was nominated at the Portland Fashion and Style Awards for Best Accessory Designer, but sadly didn’t win (this time!). It was fun to wear!
Off to the event! Bye!