Thursday, January 3, 2013

Make It: Festive Frock

It seems every year in the days leading up to Christmas, even though I already have several outfit possibilities in my closet, I get the urge to create a new, festive frock for the occasion. Stress of presents, baking, packing, traveling be damned. Time to saddle up the sewing machine!

Originally, I had visions of making a peplum top as peplum is all the rage these days. Vogue Pattern 8815 and a yard and a half of red ponte knit, I was off. Or was I? As I sat down to cut out my pattern last week I noticed something amiss. I had purchased the wrong size pattern. Since I don’t fall anywhere between the sizes of 16 and 22 and not wanting to spend any more pre-Christmas time at Joann’s, I moved onto Plan B.

Rifling through my pattern stash, I happened upon a Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 2443 that I purchased a few years ago and had never sewed. The dress called for 1 7/8 yards but after spending a good chunk of time with some fancy layout skills, I deemed my scant yard and a half sufficient and set to work.

I had never sewed with ponte before and I quite enjoyed it. I opted not to use a stretch stitch and I hope I won’t regret that decision down the line. In dresses, I normally wear a 10, sometimes an 8 in this style, so I cut a 12 to be on the safe side. The top is fitted but the skirt is forgiving. For the next 4 hours, I cut and stitched to my heart’s content. Pandora Christmas tunes droning on in the background.

The pattern instructions were written at an intermediate level, I’d say. There were a few sections that I had to read over and over, out loud, not quite understanding but forging ahead all the same. In the end, the trickiest part was the neckline. The curves were difficult, as I knew they would be, and gave me some trouble. You’re stitching through several layers here. Outer fabric, facing and fusible interfacing. They don’t lay as flat as I’d like but I think it’s still wearable, especially when covered by a cardigan.

What do you think?

 The fit is quite snug but not uncomfortable. I think perhaps I could have skipped the zipper even. Ponte doesn’t stretch quite as much as jersey but it has enough give that I think I could slip it on overhead sans zipping.

I really like the racer back detail for a twist and the empire waist and gathered skirt is very flattering.

Ignore that puckering -- I promise it lays flat

I bet you can’t guess my favorite feature.

Why, it’s the pockets, of course! The perfect place for a camera or your phone on Christmas day to ensure all the best shots. I also love that I’ll be able to wear it through several seasons. I see it with a blazer, tights and boots over the next few months. Then, lose the sweater and I’ve got a great spring and summer dress.
Would I use this pattern again? Yes, definitely! I’d like to take another stab at that neckline, possibly hand basting first to perfect the appropriate curve. Next time I’d also try it without the zipper and save myself quite a bit of time.
FYI – this Cynthia Rowley style is available for purchase in several retail locations. I saw it for LOTS ($330, what?!) And for as little as $35. I paid $1.00 for the pattern, $12.00 for the fabric, $2.00 for the zipper and $2.00 for the thread. $17 in total. Quite a savings!

**Linking up this week to Tatertots & Jello**

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You made your own Christmas dress. I am absolutely humbled. That is so cool and it's so flattering and pretty. Great job.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Good luck with your snowflake wreath. You'll be glad to have it next year :-)



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