The Sewing Place

Little Black (almost) Dress


Little Black (almost) Dress
« on: May 22, 2017, 11:35:31 AM »
So I am going to a hen do next Saturday and it was dropped on us last week that we are required to wear a black dress for the evening...

Of course I decided that none of the six RTW black dresses I own was suitable, so I had to make one.

Being a rebel, I decided to make a culottes playsuit out of a piece of black silk dupion from my stash. I dyed a piece of white cotton lawn blue for the underlining (I later found a packet of hot pink dye, which would have been better, but it's too late now).

It has a sheer yoke of white dress net on the front, finished with bias binding. There are straps and an exposed zip on the back.

The cutting out was the tightest fit I've ever worked with, as the silk was quite narrow and the culottes are very full. I cut the underlining first on the fold, and then used those pieces to cut the silk in one layer.

The fabric was super fray-y so I just cut the fabric roughy and then trimmed down each piece as I got to it.

With my tight timeframe, I took a lot of shortcuts, whilst still trying to keep to couture techniques where I could. So I attached the fabric and underlining by machine, and I used a nice fusible cotton interfacing from my stash, instead of silk organza. I planned to just pink the seams, but unfortunately it was so fray-y that I had to bind them all. I did use purchased bias binding, though.

I hemmed the culottes with bias binding, and hand sititched it up. Half way through the massive circle, I wished I'd done a blind hem on the machine, but it's almost finished now and I'm very happy with it.

I also added an extra layer to the front bodice which I sewed a RTW bra into. The bra wings extend out beyond the fabric so that I can fasten it separately and it does the job of a waist stay, taking the weight off the fragile net yoke. Boyfriend pointed out that the bra wings are a horrible colour, so I have ordered some blue fabric paint to sort that out! I also accidently sewed the bra to the wrong side, so the darts are visible. And I didn't bother changing thread so there are lots of ugly black stitching lines on the inside of the bodice. I may handstitch in a bodice lining at a later date to sort this out, but I don't have time before Saturday, and realistically I probably won't bother... I may add some dress shields before the weekend if I get time.

I will finish the hem and get a photo up this evening.


Re: Little Black (almost) Dress
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2017, 11:38:13 AM »
Looking forward to seeing the finished item :flower:
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.


Re: Little Black (almost) Dress
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2017, 21:09:23 PM »
Sounds great - can't wait to see it!
If life gives you lemons, add to gin and tonic !


Re: Little Black (almost) Dress
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2017, 11:48:16 AM »
Right finally got round to uploading photos. I was modelling it on the night, hence the tacky hen do badge!! Hopefully it doesn't distract too much!

The back is a more accurate representation of the skirt/culottes - I think the wind was blowing it sideways in the front one!

I also realised there is a MASSIVE design flaw... I sewed my bra in, but it fastens separately to act as a stay and take weight off the delicate yoke, which means I had to undo it every time I went to the loo!! It helped me to stay sober, because I didn't want to drink too much!!  0_0 0_0 0_0