Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Starry, starry took a light year to make this

This dress took me ages to make up; a cosmic eon perhaps? I began it back in March as my "Make a Garment a Month" project choice but stalled when I came across some difficulties, namely the neckline. But I got back on track, recut and resewed the neckline, and after that it finished up magically quickly! Well, except for the hem. It was straightforward but there was a lot of it. I used Gertie's technique for hemming a circle skirt since I had a deep hem that I wasn't sure what to do with -- it worked wonderfully.

Here is the first look at my finished Starry Night dress:

Late at night, after finishing the hem!
All done in the daylight, and ready to go!
You can see the back neckline doesn't meet
exactly -- but it looks worse than it really is because
 of the way I'm standing

I used Simplicity 1699 for this one, and complicated things for myself by deciding to pipe the neckline and sleeves, and add a skirt lining and pockets. The skirt went together with great ease -- everything perfect, I love my dark blue lining and the pockets went in like a dream. The bodice fitting went well, only a few minor tweaks and adjustments to the princess lines. But for some reason I didn't think to check how the neckline laid before adding piping, and when I tried it on after sewing bodice & skirt together, yikes. Choke hold!

But it's turned out well enough after all my troubles, and I really, really like it. It hangs nicely, it fits well, and I am just so relieved that it is finished! :) I even did my first ever lapped zipper on this dress and it looks quite tidy. I'm not totally convinced by the sleeves -- the piping was difficult to attach neatly around the little V of the sleeve edge -- you can see it's a little wavery. I may still unpick and redo some of that in future. Maybe.

Here are a few more close-ups:
Here's the Anna Wintour look...
Anna Again... you can notice the little
"V" in the sleeve edges here

Closeup of the print, though it's much
darker, richer blue in person

From the side I think you can really see how well
this pattern fits overall. If I make it again without fancy extra
stuff I think it will be a really quick make. The skirt really falls
beautifully. It's comfy too!

I am really, really happy that I finished this one, only a month after I'd intended to...but it's worth it, since (as Dorothy Dot Dot predicted) I love it now! It's very comfortable to wear and really flatters the bits you would like to be a little camouflaged ;)

I'm also glad I could use this fabric -- I know I've owned it for over 15 years, as I'd originally bought it to make a "Space Odyssey 2001" quilt, back when I was actually doing some quilting...Well, I will get more enjoyment out of it now!

I also realized that this dress is finished just in time for the Sew Dolly Clackett contest. This is a contest hosted by Sarah of Rhinestones and Telephones, in celebration of the style of Roisin aka Dolly Clackett -- Roisin is getting married this spring and what better way to celebrate than to hold a contest in which sewists everywhere take inspiration from her notable style? Check out the amazing Flickr group for some wild dresses! Since I just squeaked in to this one, I quickly signed up and popped my dress into the fray as well.


  1. The fabric is gorgeous and really suits you. Love it :)

  2. Very cute dress! And you are giving me hope that I may eventually sew some of my ever-growing stash of fabrics (I have to confess some of them are older than 15 years!).

    1. Maybe I should continue going through the "old" stash and see what I can find... :) It's amazing how quickly time passes - it's hard to believe some of it is that old!

  3. Great use of old quilting stash - it's made a gorgeous dress. You pushed your sewing boundaries here - the dress looks great. I also find that when you are moving around, little imperfections like necks not being quite even, are not noticeable - and you also see this on RTW things as well. Well done :)

    1. Thanks, Sarah Liz -- I did find as I wore it around that it felt quite comfortable to wear -- and big surprise, NOBODY except one other sewist I know even looked closely at the piping or neckline ;) It was great to find such a fun use for this fabric -- I kept it around so long because I liked it so much.

  4. Lovely dress and nicely done!! The fabric is so cute :)

    1. Thanks, Hana. I am really glad that I finished it :)


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