A Place For Everything, and Everything In Its Place

I think you'll agree with me on this one. Attempt #2 for the proverbial "last dance" is clearly the winner. And because the pictures don't do this one justice I will be sure to post some Thursday following the event.

Let's review the garment, shall we? The styling of this dress is about as simple as they come: 7 panel, princess-seamed dress with strapless neckline. In short, a column gown. I used this pattern from Simplicity for most of the construction but added an empire waist seam to gain better control of the bust line fit.
The fabric du jour is a somewhat loose weave linen/cotton/mystery mix from Vogue's "summer assortment" section. The tag said "assorted fibers" which is always fun when trying to gauge how it will perform in the wash and on the body. I pretreated it by washing and drying because my hope was to keep this casual enough for vacations, and thus, standard laundering. So far, so good.
Below you'll see a close-up of the pattern and one dress piece turned right-side down in order to match it up correctly for the opposite side. Whenever doing a garment in a complex pattern like this I strongly recommend cutting one piece at a time; do not try to fold the fabric over in hopes of saving time! Even here you can probably detect how much shifting is going on because of the looser weave. All in all I'm digging the degree of matched seams on this baby, particularly given the number of seams and the intricacy of the fabric print. The side back seams were where I decided to let things slide when I realized something had to give, somewhere.

The inside is lined with some of my extra china silk leftover from the wedding dress. In an atypical move I completely closed off the interior of the dress; the bottom of the lining is enclosed by the fashion fabric hem instead of just falling separately. Sometimes this can spell disaster if you don't let the two fabrics fall naturally and manage to keep them even as you pin the hem. Fortunately I kept disaster at bay this time around!

And now for the magic in this thing. I am almost certain that if I am ever photographed wearing a strapless dress, there is a least one picture of me from that event where my thumbs are in my armpits and I'm hoisting the thing up in a desperate attempt to keep everything in its place. It sucks and does not produce pretty pictures. Enough was enough! This dress has a 3/8" band of elastic all around the top of it, added almost as an afterthought, but it may now be a staple of my sewing toolbox. Ralph Lauren has his pony, Tory Burch has her funky Ts, and yours truly has her elastic neckline. Not nearly as glamorous but then again, neither is having your thumbs in your armpits.

The picture makes it a little tough to see, I realize, but all you need to know is I used the seam allowance from the top seam to then make a casing for the elastic. Voila!

We're going to return to our past regularly scheduled program of Wedding (whatever) Wednesdays this week, and perhaps a few more after that. I've got some tiny little things to finish up here and there on my dress, the flower girl's dress, and some day-of decor. Stay tuned.


  1. Just a gorgeous dress! I hope you have a great time wearing it.

  2. Beautiful.. I just love the fabric...


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