Have yourself a merry little red dress
Today is the day! It has arrived and you are all so welcome. Thank you for joining me in this big reveal. I find that I tend to overhype things, so to casually err on the side of the anticlimactic, I’m just going to show you the dress.
Phwahaa! Please, I have a genetically transmitted flair for drama, the dress will be the LAST thing I reveal, although you could just scroll down – but don’t even try to be cheeky.
I joke, here it is:
When I see red, I think sexy, elegant and even eloquent. And my dress had to encompass all three. Tight-fitting for the sexy, a beautiful cape for the elegant and shocking red for the eloquent. And I think the combination of all three worked so well to bring about a dress that I am truly proud of.
I wore this dress to my work’s Christmas party and I was definitely so excited to flaunt it to the world. It’s a very Christmassy dress and worked amazingly well for the event.
The cape was the best part of the dress, it cascaded so well, especially when viewed from behind. I still can’t get over it. This picture of the back will forever be my favourite, I looked like such a badass walking into the lift being tailed by the “paparazzi” 😛
I adore this dress! But I hated making it. It wasn’t fun. At all.
I have a healthy amount of faith in my abilities and so I chose to challenge myself and use a type of fabric that I’d never used before – knit.
Knit. Knit. Knit. How I hate thee knit. Working with a stretch fabric like neoprene was a dream, but this scuba knit just hated me! And I’m not even going to lie, it was my fault. My machine just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to sew such a fabric. I hadn’t made the right preparations and for that, my dress suffered. I eventually did buy stretch needles and my God did they make a difference. You never realise how a combination of the right needle, machine tension and thread can make such a huge difference!
The fabric was everything I was looking for. It’s exactly what I had in my head when I was planning the dress. The right feel, the right weight, the right drapeabilty. It was perfect. The amount of stretch was also perfect. This scuba knit was THE ONE and unlike the elusive neoprene, it was actually so easy to come by.
I love the colour. I chose true red, because why not. There was potential for the colour to be too jarring but I love how it looks on me, absolutely stunning. I think if there’s a colour that complements my skin so well, it’s red.
The dress was of course self-drafted. I’ve never worked with a non-Elewa pattern and so I like to use that to my advantage and create something ridiculously unique. The pattern was very easy to draft. It only took me two hours to get the basic dress shape and the cape. I did do my research beforehand though because I was drafting a dartless block for a stretchy fabric.
I multiplied all my horizontal measurements by 0.9 to account for the stretch of the dress, that way it would form around my curves effortlessly, but those of you who want to stay on the safe side, 0.95 would be fine too, lest you make it too tight.
I finished the hem of the main body of the dress badly. It was terrible. I tried to actually use a twin needle to allow for stretch and it just wasn’t working for me. I do have an overlocker that I do not know how to use but that’s a story for another post. The hem wasn’t great and now I have ripped stitches from where the fabric has stretched. I’m so annoyed because I actually don’t know what to do about it.
I’m usually quite good at apply facing to woven fabrics, but stretch is just such a foreign entity that I wonder if it should even be classified as a fabric. I think anger-inducer is the right combination of words for it. I now know that I shouldn’t have faced with the same fabric that the dress is made from. The fabric is pretty thick as it is, and facing with it really added bulk around the neckline. I literally had to stitch it down underneath the cape to prevent it from coming back up, and even with that, the back facing still didn’t lie flat.
The cape was incidentally left unfinished because I was fortunate enough to be using a fabric that didn’t fray. The armhole, however, was finished using red bias tape. A bad move for stretch fabric once again.
To be honest, I didn’t make very good decisions with this dress and that probably came down to my lack of knowledge in knits. Anyway, as I like to say; you live and you learn.
I’m so glad I took part in the project. Many thanks to Renata from RunningNStyle for starting it. I find that projects like these really push me out of my comfort zone and I end up creating something that I would never have expected to be possible with my inexperienced hands.
The pictures always take my breath away and not because I’m in it – it’s the whole setting in general; the misty night sky, the illuminated Christmas tree in the background, the fiery dress; they all make for an amazing picture.
Quick appreciation to my boyfriend who took these amazing pictures. They wouldn’t have been possible without him!
The reveal on YouTube
As always, I would LOVE to know what you think so definitely leave a comment below. Perhaps you even have suggestions on working with knit! Let me knoooow! I definitely need them!