The Couture Dress »
InstructionsI used couture methods even though this was a knit dress, including making muslins for both the fashion fabric and the lining; basting and fitting everything; and hand-setting the lining.
Type of item: Clothing
The pattern I used was Vogue 1314. I used a loose knit polyester for the fashion fabric and swimsuit fabric for the lining.
What was your inspiration?
I really wanted a long-sleeved dress that would be comfortable and elegant, and I've been wanting to try working with knits, which always has been a bit of a challenge for me. When I saw the loose autumn-colored fabric and how it really seemed to glow with the red swimsuit fabric underneath, I knew right away I had my Thanksgiving dress.
What are you most proud of?
The stripes on the fabric were not at all obvious until the dress was made up. At that point I could either just live with the mismatches I had or do some serious readjusting. One side seam was pretty good as is, but the other one I took out all along the ruching, realigning it several times. I also had to set one sleeve about four times before I was happy with it. I'm proud of sticking with it until I had a result I was proud to wear to a holiday dinner. I'm also very pleased that I finished it Wednesday afternoon!
What advice would you give someone starting this project?
Prepare to have to readjust the ruching if you are working with any kind of pattern that needs to be matched. Trust that the investment in time for doing the muslins and basting is worth it. If I'd just used normal techniques the dress would have made up a lot faster, but it simply would not have been rig
Also, using a stiffer knit for the lining turned out to be a really good idea - if I'd used something as drapey as the fashion fabric the dress would have been limp.