Some time ago we got a shipment of little black dresses. Classic, shift dresses with a short sleeve and a high neck. My boss loved them. She got this vision of all employees wearing those black dresses on Saturdays, with different tights. Gorgeous! There was only one problem: I hated the fabric (polyester with a polyester lining, and our store gets HOT!) and the fit was way off on me. "Altering the dress would take me as long as just making a new black dress!" I said. "And hey, it kind of makes sense for me to wear something handmade, right? I'll even use trims from the shop!". My boss just sighed since I was like the third person that day to complain about the dresses, and then she told me to do what I wanted. Yay!
On to the facts! I wanted something comfortable but still slightly fancy, and my greedy eyes fell upon the Clover dress by Papercut. I had a black bamboo viscose (ouh!) in my stash that would be perfect, and I even decided to get fancy with some lace!
This viscose was an absolute dream to work with. It's fluid but still has some 'grip' so it's not slippery, and it loves to be pressed and steamed! I decided to not make a muslin since the fit seemed very forgiving (and I remembered the Rigel bomber fitting really well straight out of the package).
|Casually defending my territory
This is a very simple dress pattern but there are a few simple and clever ways to keep it from becoming a sack. The front and back are two pieces with a centered seam and some shaping. It's a pullover dress but it's slightly shaped at the waist and extends into a flared skirt, limiting the amount of fabric you have bunched up around the waist. It even looks pretty good without a belt! I also love the soft lines created by the raglan sleeves. One of my favourite things is the underarm curve, actually!
I found this lace trim that was exactly the right width and decided to use it as my contrast fabric. to make the sewing easier I basted the pieces to bits of Soluvlies, sewed everything as instructed and washed it off. It worked like a charm, but the neckline is pretty deep, so I'm thinking of backing the lace with black fabric... The effect wouldn't be as dramatic, but I wouldn't have to choose between flashing my bra or wearing an extra shirt...
The original instructions have you braid a beld with embroidery floss and make your own tassels. I was too lazy and cheap to buy embroidery floss, so I just went for a long tube of self fabric and added some premade tassels. I really should have pressed that.
In the morning I wore this with a heavier coat, but later in the day things warmed up enough to pair the dress with this blazer! It's a classic thing I got handed down from my mother some time ago, and I recently added some embroidery to the lapels. Instant updating, even if the stitching is a bit wonky!
I wore this to work today and got loads of compliments. Paired with being comfortable this makes for a winner! They also go with my new boots-that-go-with-everything-anyway: