This dress had been in my queue for a bit and I finally got the motivation to make it in time for the opera this weekend. Nashville is showing Turandot at TPAC tonight. I had purchased a nice classic black stretch sateen from Mood Fabrics in August and LOVE it! It has very little sheen to it which was great for my purposes. I just wanted a sexy basic black dress. I used the longer length with the slender straps which I also added 1/2″ of width to them to better cover my bra straps. The pattern can be purchased from By Hand London.
It took me a few tries to get the bust portion right. Per my initial measurements I went with a size 12 with a 1.5″ FBA (full bust adjustment) but this turned out to be much too large for me around the rib cade so I went down to a size 10. The circumference was much better but the 1.5″ adjustment I made wasn’t quite enough so I added another 1/2″ for a total of 2″ and it was perfect. As most of us who sew know, most patterns are made for a B cup. As I am closer to a G (DDDD) that was a 4″ difference in full bust, so per the usual FBA guidelines I divided this number by 2 as there are two sides getting the adjustment which gives the total 4″ needed. By Hand London has a great sew-a-long with a tutorial on how to do the FBA here and other tutorials on each step for all 3 versions.
As I mentioned before, I also added 1/2″ of width to the straps which gave them the perfect coverage for my bra straps. I did this by cutting the strap piece in half and adding 1/2″ more pattern to the middle.
Now as I hadn’t adjusted the skirt pieces to grad from the size 12 I had cut out to the new size 10 top I had some wrinkle issues. I resolved most of them but next time I will just cut out a straight size 10 as I ended up grading everything down. I also may have traced out one of the skirt pieces wrong as I noticed none of the notches matched up with the other pieces. All in all it was pretty easy to put together and came together quickly for me.
The trickiest parts were making sure I got the points nice and crisp in the front and back where the skirt attaches to the top and fitting the top portion. look at that nice crisp top of a triangle under the bust!
And I finished all the insides with an overcast stitch to prevent unraveling. I did deviate from the instructions with attaching the lining on the inside. Instead of hand stitching it down I machine stitched in the ditch. I find this so much easier and quicker.
And it still looks pretty good! My dress form and I do not share the same bust size yet, that is another project of many in my queue. Craftsy is having a great offer this month of unlimited viewing of all of their craft videos for only $9.99 for the month of October! Had to be purchased by the 5th though. One of the videos is how to modify your dress form so hope to do that soon. That class is called Customize Your Dress Form, currently $24.99.
And my lovely invisible zipper! They get better and easier every time. I use my invisible zipper foot which helps a ton and make sure I iron the coils flat before I put it in. Plus I use Colette’s way of inserting zippers that makes life easier and the lining stay put better. More on that through her tutorial.
And of course a few of me before going to the opera!
And a final front view!