I saw this ad in the September Issue of Vogue a couple of weeks ago.
and I knew right away that I wanted to make it. The interesting thing about this dress is that I can purchase it. Macy's sells it in a plus size version - up to a size 24 for only $99. However, at the time I saw the ad, I did not realize this and I got it into my head that I would make my own version during my Sewcation.
So for weeks I've been walking around working out the construction sequence. I went over it and over it until I finally believed I would be able to construct this dress. Then during the NYC PR Shopping Day, I found the red & black doubleknit at Metro Textiles. The nude doubleknit was purchased from fabric.com and it's one of the Sophia knits.
Last night was the day of reckoning. Would my plan work? Could I actually do the pattern alterations needed to get the dress I wanted? Would it look okay, once it was made? Of course, I started with my TNT dress pattern. I traced two new front pieces and then taped them together at the center front, making sure to include the darts.
If you look at the dress pictured above or even on Macy's site, can you see any darts? I sure couldn't. I don't know about you, but me...I have a bust...quite a large bust. Not as big as some others but you definitely know that I have one if you saw me walking down the street. So darts had to be incorporated into the finished dress.
The dress fronts were taped together then I needed to make some decisions about where I was going to make the sections of black, red & nude pieces. I tried to stick to the same proportions as the dress pictured in the ad, but the dart placement definitely affected how I cut the segments of the dress. I wish I had remembered to take a picture of the original dress pattern before I cut it apart. Of course I didn't in the excitement of realizing that what I had imagined would actually come to be.
However, I did get a picture of the pattern pieces cut apart with the 5/8" seam allowances added to them and the pieces placed together to form an entire dress front:
After that, it was just a matter of cutting the separate sections out of the fabric. If you noticed, I marked each piece what color it should be and I laid them on the fabric based upon how it would fit on the dress. So no piece was just laid straight up and down or on grain on the fabric. Each piece was laid on the fabric as it would be on the dress.
Now you know I'm anal about thead colors. Can you imagine me serge finishing and stitching this dress together? Yeah, you know it. I had three spools of thread (red, beige & black) along with the three matching bobbins. Then each piece was serge finished using the color of the piece. So yes, I changed the serger thread three times!
I was unable to find a back view of this dress. So I went with an all black back...maybe I should have taken a trip to Macy's to actually view the dress, but I didn't have time in the weeks proceeding my vacation.
So without this information, I decided that I wanted all of the WOW factor to be in the front. I'm also adding short sleeves to the dress because it's an early fall dress and I want to be able to wear it alone and/or with a cardigan or jacket.
Here is where the dress stands now.
I'm thrilled that the front view works! I'm thrilled that what I imagined came to fruition...and after I finish up the back and assemble the dress, go through hair and make-up and one of the photographers come home, I will share finished pics and any additional construction information with you!
...as always, more later!