See, yesterday it was a magnificent 64 degrees here and so I was sporting my green polka dot trench. This got me thinking that I never did a review for another green garment: my emerald green gown from the Charity Auction Ball held during my first year of grad school. Given how much blog love I bestowed on last year's CAB frock I thought it only fair to finally discuss its predecessor. Let's get to it then.
I had it in my head that I wanted an emerald green dress. Back in '08 we were fresh off of the movie Atonement. Despite not seeing the movie (I read the book and wasn't enchanted enough to go to the big screen) Keira Knightly's green dress was all over the place.
We're both pale, brunette ladies with Irish/Scottish/English/Welsh/pale-people-country roots. This may have been bold but I thought, hey she looks good so maybe I should try it out? I adored the color and recognized the cut of the dress in some vintage Vogue patterns, V2241 and V2859. With a little manipulation these two could be married and Ms. Knightly's dress could be had.
"Neue Mode 23128, evening dress with thin straps." What you probably can't see from the envelope picture are the godets in the skirt. Score! This design feature took awhile to find, thus why I ended up with a pattern from a lesser known company.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Fundamentally I was drawn to the a-line skirt and the princess seams. They are my bread and butter of formal gown construction and I know how to nip and tuck in order to get the best fit. The pattern has an empire waist seam that I eliminated because I wanted to put something around the natural waist. Two waist seams is too many in my book.
In this shot you can see the bodice seams are continuous from skirt to top. You can also see the small 7/8" black satin ribbon I adhered using "steam-a-seam" after the dress was assembled. This was way easier than trying to stitch it into place across 7 different dress panels. The waist band was finished off with a small rhinestone buckle to give the illusion of a belt.
Admittedly, this came about with a lot of trial and error rather than one perfect design vision, but whatevs. That's usually how things work in my world.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Conclusion?
No, I won't sew it again because I like to shake things up with each formal dress. Yes, I would recommend the pattern to others, as the instructions are clear and there was little need for alterations to get a flattering fit. And as for the conclusion, when a friend says, "That dress looks very Kate Spade," after you made it for $20, you know you've done well. :)
1) I realize I have a drink in my hand in every picture save the group shot. I swear I'm not an alcoholic and neither are any of the other fine people shown.
2) Matt has an upcoming bachelor party and I have an upcoming bachelorette party. Parties like that mean wedding season, wedding season means dresses, dresses mean new fabric, and new fabric means new patterns to seek out! So in the hopper I have 1 short dress and 1 formal dress. Care to share your current favorite patterns to get the thought train rolling?