Dresses are one of those things that are so fun to make and so easy to wear. One stop in the closet, grab a dress and off you go, right? I love seeing all the dresses people make in a variety of fabric. With that being said, my casual and work lifestyle isn't one that requires many dresses, so I don't make them often. Now there is an exception, this summer I have needed dresses for several weddings, evenings out and some work dinners. My wardrobe was in a sad state for dresses and I have been busy correcting this oversight.
For a formal wedding in July, I did not have time to make a dress, so shopping was required. I went with a high-low hem column dress, belted with mule heels. I loved that look on me and my husband even commented he could tell I liked the look. I said really, why? Hubby said you are just walking differently and smiling differently! That got me thinking about what I would make for a dress and looking through patterns, I went with Butterick 6169. It had that column look, a high-low hem and a belt, yes a match for the requirements for my feel-good dress. I loved this blue abstract rayon jersey and wanted to use it for the Butterick pattern. Cennetta made a fabulous maxi-dress earlier in the month with this fabric
I did have to make some changes, the fabric is printed, so the wrong side wouldn't work for the high-low hem. I think for this look the wrong side has to look as pretty as the right side. Also, I didn't have enough fabric to make the self-fabric belt, which is very cute on the pattern envelope. If I did have enough fabric, I would not have made the belt, I think the fabric would have too much print with the dress. This fabric is the perfect weight for summer but with the darker hues lends itself well for transitional wear. This rayon was a dream to sew. I only constructed the front and side fronts on my sewing machine. This was to get the pockets set correctly and the rest of the dress was sewn with my serger. The pockets are fun on this dress, as mentioned above, they are in the front-side front seam. A fun feature but I really think I would like them better on the side seams. Especially with the belt, as the pockets pull funny in the front seam. On a walk with daughter, Erin, I mentioned this. She said, Mom that is an easy fix just take them out. I had to laugh, this daughter doesn't sew one bit but she was absolutely right. I can remove them, but want to wear the dress a couple of times before I made that decision.
I did cut the yokes on more of a bias, to add a different look on the yokes. One thing I do like to do with my yokes, is the burrito method for finishing (no hand sewing required). I feel like this pattern is cut on the slim side per the finished measurements. I cut a 14 at the bust, tapering to a 12 at the hips, adding 1" to the bodice. My back neck is lower than the envelope drawing, so note that difference.
The necessity of having to purchase a RTW dress was a good thing. Two of my daughters went with me and brought so many options to the dressing room. Styles and silhouettes I would never had chosen by myself. I saw different styles in a new light and as a result of that trip, I have purchased different dress patterns that I know I like the look on me. In the same respect, avoided some designs because it is a bad look for me! For instance, this dress without a belt is a bad look for me, see the side-be-side comparison. Isn't the belt so much better for me?
I am feeling so much better about my dress choices now, it seriously won't be, " I have nothing to wear!" Especially after the all my recent dress makes.