Over the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of excitement around the Dressmaker’s Ball, an event that’s being hosted by Crafty Sew & So in Leicester on 12 May. Over at the Simple Sew blog team this excitement has culminated in a month of party dresses made from Simple Sew patterns.
When it was time for me to pick a pattern, I knew I wanted something that could be turned quite easily from a day to day staple into something that shouted red carpet (although not literally, of course!) and I think I found it.
A sleeveless full length dress with a cross front bodice and centre front yoke.
Is it blue?
What’s the pattern?
The Simple Sew Lucille dress with a hack to make it into a full length maxi dress and an additional hack to make it suitable for stretch fabrics (the original pattern is for wovens).
The fabric is the most silky smooth velvet that I found on Sew Essential’s website (and as a side note, they were super fast at getting it out to me!).
Working with velvet was a challenge, but after reading some tutorials (including this super helpful one from the Colette blog) it was actually really easy. I made the pieces full width, cut through a single layer of fabric at a time and used tissue paper to stop the fabric slipping. It worked really well and made me feel pretty triumphant that I’d had success with a fabric usually considered tricky. I was also pleased with the hack to make the pattern ready for wovens; it took hardly any effort but made for a much easier life (goodbye inserting a zip with velvet!).
The main issue was definitely at the toile stage. I had to do two toiles to get the bodice to fit and four toiles to draft a skirt that was full length, fitted across the waist and hips but not so tight I couldn’t move. It got pretty frustrating the more toiles I made, and, in the end, I went with a very simple gathered skirt, however I think the end effect was closest to what I wanted out of all of the options I tried.
All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how the dress turned out, now I just need to get my ticket and get to the ball!
Pickle is party ready too in her black tuxedo!
Disclaimer: whilst the Lucille pattern was provided by Simple Sew Patterns and the fabric generously provided by Sew Essentials, I received no form of payment for this blog post and the views expressed are my own.