Summer Couture Dress

Project Description

What are you most proud of? I love my lining! The hand stitching process came out so well. The lining lays very flat and gives the dress a great finished look. I also like the whole underpinning concept. That is totally new to me, it makes such a great base to make your hems and the seams are much more controlled. I also love the cones in the skirt. What advice would you give someone starting this project? 1. Buy more material then the pattern states. That is my biggest regret. I wanted the skirt much longer with a more retro look, oh well! I was not able to match up any of the print and only had a few fabric scraps left. I am 5'8' I wish I had had at least 1/2-1 yard more. I placed the piping around the waist to give it a little more finished couture look?? 2. Dont stress yourself over getting this dress done for any deadline. It takes time! 3. I have a dress form and my husband has had several improv fitting lessons but its just hard. The dress is much more tight then the muslin. I lowered the bodice and lengthed the shoulders. That is all good and the waist fits but the arm holes are to tight. I also wish I had put in the dead darts Susan explained. It falls off my shoulders. I will work on all that with round two. I will need a break but I am already excited about my next try. 4. I read that some of you are watching the whole video before you start. That would be a great idea but if you are like me you have to do to learn. I am glad I did not spend a lot of money on material for this first round. The cheaper fabric made me way less up tight about mistakes, fitting and missing a step or two.

What you will need

  • The Fashion Fabric is cotton
  • I use cotton a lot and wanted to increase my chance of success. Lining was on the red dot sale table? Light
  • not slippery with a little sheen
  • worked great. Underpinning is a very light muslin
  • worked good but the dress is a bit heavy.

Q&A with Janet Berry

sflynnie asked:
Gorgeous! Great job-- What sort of dress form do you use? No sewing buddies close, alas!
Janet Berry answered:
It is just a standard dress form I got at Hancock's fabric store. I had a hard time useing it but then I reduced the size, put a bra on the form and wrapped it up with some soft strips of fleece fabric and it sorks pretty well.
saxostamper asked:
I just noticed the other photos, it looks beautiful on. I am doing Diana's make it course, I am only a beginner so I know you would have worked real hard on this.
Janet Berry answered:
Thanks to everyone for all the nice comments. Yes I did work hard and long on this dress but loved every minute of it. Hope you enjoy Diana's make it course. You could do a lot of fun things with her skirt pattern.
Jackie G. asked:
I love the dress! It is so YOU! You picked an amazing print and it translated well into the garment. The piping was a great idea! I am considering piping in that area as well, and am also considering making the center section smaller by making the bodice longer and the waist band area shorter. You have inspired me to get back on track with my garment! Thanks again for posting.
Janet Berry answered:
Thank you and I can't wait to see your finished project. If it's not to late and do the piping put your zipper on the side like Susan talks about. Just one of my many on my wish I had done different list.
Scheri Manson asked:
I think this dress is a summer dream. Thank you for your write up. Yes I found the armholes to be small & bodice was short, Lucky we caught and made the changes. I am still working like mad hope to be finished by the end of next week.. Good luck on your next project. Will you be doing Couture?
Janet Berry answered:
What a nice comment, thank you! I am going to do another couture dress and at least use that muslin pattern one more time. However .... I took a little break and made a fun little easy dress out of a knit and ditched all the rules. If you like Retro it is McCalls M6462. Not a Retro pattern but sure looks like it on, way cute and easy. Hang in there with your project!
Casual Aunt Dolly asked:
Oh My Goodness....Stunning. Love the Binding and the Beautiful are as Lovely as the Garden, Fantastic Sewing...Wonderful Work....Just Sugary Sweet for Summer.
Janet Berry answered:
Thank you for those great comments. : ) Nice way to start the day!

Skill Level