Sequin Mesh Strapless Gown

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.

black sequin gown from Vogue 2237

black sequin gown from Vogue 2237

I love simplicity of this style and the slight train on the back of this gown:

Back of gown

Back of 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.

V2237 Badgley Mischka gown and bolero

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:

draped and muslin V2237

sequin fabric draped and muslin pinned to 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!

IMG_1857

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.

V2237 lining and label

V2237b

black sequin gown from Vogue 2237

V2237d

Back of gown

Very good actually!

V2237a

 

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!

V2237 and hat

Off to the event! Bye!

 

 

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Denim Sheath Dress

Denim dress Vogue 8995

This dress was completed just in time to wear to the Pattern Review weekend retreat in Los Angeles back in April 2015. Here is a photo of me and Deepika Prakesh (who is amazing and hysterical!), the founder of PatternReview.com, at the group dinner that weekend.

With Deepika at PatternReview weekend in LA

With Deepika at PatternReview weekend in LA

I met so many wonderful sewers and connected with them in a special way. Here is my new buddy Kristin that I also met on this weekend retreat:

With Kristen G.

With Kristen G. at PatternReview weekend in LA

I used Vogue 8995 pattern to make this fitted sheath dress with interesting seams:

V8995

 

I’m always looking out to expand my creativity with commercial patterns. I really consider this denim dress sort of another muslin version, a draft, to see if I like the dress and want to “move forward” with it, creating other dresses from this as standard. So fun! And good sewing practice too!

I really enjoyed making this dress. It took some time and planning, as I originally wanted to add metal studs to the shoulder yoke part of this dress, but then decided that would make it too limiting. I may go back and add the studs though and give it a bit of an edgy look. I did use a metal-look plastic exposed zipper for this dress to give it a little back interest. The dress looks actually kind of flat and the seams are not apparent in this dark fabric. perhaps some top stitching would have been a good idea for this to really help the cool seam lines “pop”. Next time….

Seam detail of denim sheath dress

Seam detail of denim sheath dress

I made up a muslin and asked my good friend and fashion designer Rachael to help fit it for me. She was great! I definitely will be using her fitting help again in the future!

The dress is made up of a dark wash stretch denim and a stretch silk lining. I serged the fabric edges of each cut out piece of the pattern for both the outer shell of the dress as well as the lining. I use my awesome Baby Lock Imagine serger to overlock and stitch seams as often as I can. It’s a beautiful machine!

I will like to make up this pattern again, but making changes to the neckline, carving it out a bit so that it is not quite so high. Also, I will taper the skirt to more of a pencil skirt.

The opportunity came up to have a photo shoot done at The Nines Hotel, a really lovely, luxury hotel in Portland, Oregon, and I grabbed it! An acquaintance of mine, Gina, has a photography business Afar Photography and wants to expand her portfolio, so asked me if I would like to have some of the clothes that I have made in the shoot. Heck YEA!!!!

Here are some of the great shots she got of me in this dress:

At The Nines Hotel in denim dress

At The Nines Hotel in denim dress

Denim dress on bench

Denim close up against wall

Back exposed zip of denim dress

Exposed zip of denim dress

Of course, I have a little bit of fashion inspiration for this sewing project:

LBD sheath influenced by Audrey Hepburn

LBD sheath influenced by Audrey Hepburn

Red fitted sheath dress

Red fitted sheath dress

Versace sheath dress

Versace sheath dress

I love my new dress and thank my friends for helping me make this a great one!

Denim dress in doorway

Denim dress in doorway