Sunday, September 22, 2013

The First of the Five in Five Dresses

The first of the Five in Five outfits was inspired by this dress from The Avenue...



...and after a quick trip to Mood Fabrics one Friday evening to pick up a couple of yards of black ponte...along with another quick stop at Pacific Trimmings to get a zipper...this is the combo I started with to make my version of the dress and my first Five in Five piece.


Pattern ~
Dress from my TNT pattern

Fabric ~
Midweight cotton/lycra ponte from Mood
Leftover scrap of lacy pleather from Mood

Notions ~
20" black invisible zipper
black bemberg lining
ltwt. fusible knit interfacing strips
Seams great tape
Seam tape
Stitch witchery
Black cotton bias binding


Pattern Alterations ~
Naturally I started with my TNT dress pattern but I needed to make just one alteration to the dress front to achieve the high bodice look on the inspiration dress.


I measured down a few inches and made a line straight across the dress front and added a 5/8" seam allowance.  The dress bottom was cut with the dart remaining in the dress front because I like darts on my dresses. A 5/8" seam allowance was added to that piece also.  Now the inspiration dress has princess seams in the dress front.  I could have gone that way but I was inspired by the dress. I didn't want to make an exact copy of it.

Pattern Alterations

Close up of dress front on Lulu

Construction ~
The back of the inspiration dress also has a yoke and princess seams. Again, not something I was inspired by but I did want the princess seams. So I used the pattern pieces from the back of the CK Dress to get a closer fit in the back of the dress.


Now I'd originally planned to add a slotted seam and the metal zipper to the back seams. But somewhere in putting the dress back together, I was on autopilot and just added an invisible zipper. I stitched the dress front and back together and when I was pressing the seams open noticed that I did not add the metal zipper. I guess I could have unpicked the zipper but honestly it just wasn't that big of a deal. I left the invisible zipper in. I'll add the metal zipper to another dress in the future.

I added a lining to the dress because my preference is lined dresses. The inspiration dress is not lined which is common in RTW ponte dresses. Also if I hadn't lined the entire dress, I would have had to line the pleather piece so it just made sense to line the entire dress.

A few more construction points...
  • I added seam tape to the shoulder seams to insure that the pleather and ponte wouldn't stretch out.
  • The center front seam on the dress where the ponte and pleather are joined, as well as, the shoulder seams were pressed back onto the ponte side of the seam and then topstitched flat.


  • Since the pleather had quite a few holes at the neckline, I added a strip of black Seams Great to the back of it while sewing the lining to the dress. I thought it would help hold the stitches in.
  • I used a cotton black bias binding to enclose the armholes by stitching it on using a 3/8" seam.  After pressing it flat, I topstitched it down.
  • Topstitching was also added to the neckline.
  • The hem was turned up 1.25" and pressed flat.  I added a strip of stitch witchery to the hemline.  Using a twin needle, I stitched it flat.

A few pictures of the dress...


Worn with the Lacy Pleather Jacket

Back view of both pieces

Do you want to make your own?
I know I adjusted my TNT pattern to make this dress but if you wanted a pattern to start with to make your own, you could use Vogue 8786.



This pattern even has the princess seams below the front and back yokes. You can easily change the back neck slit into a zipper closure.  Wow!  Now that I'm looking at this pattern, I guess I should have just used it, right?! *LOL*

The dress goes perfectly with the pleather lacy jacket.  It wasn't my intent when I made the jacket but that's how it ended up.  At first I wasn't sure the two pieces wouldn't be too trendy for my workplace. Now though I really like them together and believe that I can wear them with no issues.


Finally even Bill Cunningham of The New York Times Style Section has observed women's return to dresses.



...as always more later!



43 comments:

  1. LOVE that dress! WANT. Your Vogue pattern suggestion is a great one!

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  2. Love that dress, I have to call Mood to get some of that leather, hope they have some left!

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  3. Love it! You truly do have a TNT dress as a jumping off point for any inspiration that you find!

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  4. This is a great dress. it seems a bit slimmer in the silhouette than you normally do - but I like it a lot! Thanks for the Vogue recommendation - that's a jumping point. g

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  5. Lovin it!!!! Looking forward to seeing the next four.

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  6. It is perfect. I love how you give little tips to help other out. I know they have helped me quite a bit in my sewing.

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  7. this looks both very professional & trendy all at once! :) i think it should go great with the jacket on a cooler. day.

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  8. So very elegant and smart looking!!
    You did one great job on this dress!!

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  9. I love how you start with a simple pattern and turn it into so,etching so fabulous and unique and cool! That lacy pleather is a great fabric!

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  10. Love this dress and perfect with the jacket.

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  11. That rocks! And thanks for posting all the sewing details, it's very useful.

    I like your styling there too, I wish I could pull off jewellery like that.

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  12. I love this dress! It looks great on you, I really like the closer fit of this.

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  13. Elegant and smart looking dress. It looks great on you and adding the pleather jacket gave it another smart look.

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  14. great dress, I love the leather insert.

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  15. Thanks so much for your nice comment on my contest entry dress. It was fun to FIT and I have learned a lot from you!
    Also appreciated actually seeing your TNT pattern in your last post-that is my next step!

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  16. cute dress and great combo with your jacket.

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  17. Love, love, love this combo! You are an inspiration to me! I have stayed away from dresses for a while but seeing all this great stuff makes me re-think my wardrobe. Thank you!

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  18. That dress/outfit is sharp! I am going to have to copy, copy, copy!!

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  19. Love the dress and it looks awesome with the jacket also. Another winner!

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  20. Oh Wow! You nail it perfectly. I am so happy that I took the time to look at your blog... I have not been on the computer in a long time. Thanks for sharing !

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  21. Great job! I really want some of that lacy pleather but do not see it on Mood's website. Perhaps I should call. You have used it so well with two garments now!

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  22. I feel like I say that every new dress you make is my favorite, but seriously, THIS one is my favorite. It's really beautiful and it looks sooo good on you - gahh, I love that lacey pleather. It looks fabulous with the jacket too. I'm glad you didn't exactly copy the original inspiration because I really love how yours turned out so much better.

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  23. This dress is fabulous Carolyn!

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  24. Lovely way to go from warm to cooler temps...something we think of as heavy, leather/pleather has become cooler looking with designs punched into the fabric...nice, nice job.

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  25. It is so pretty, and you look great in it. I love how you give such good tips too. Thanks.

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  26. It looks fabulous with the jacket! Looks very high end.

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  27. Great knockoff and another nice-looking dress!

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  28. I'm coming to NYC to raid your closet. You look great.

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  29. Goodness gracious that's GORGEOUS! I love how you interpret ready to waft, very inspiring.

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  30. Love this dress! Great use of your remnant!

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  31. Very cool, like an elegant, workI appropriate rock chic. don't even know how that is possible, but it is. You look great! :-)

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  32. Your beautiful dresses have been my inspiration so thanks for sharing this glam one. And how perfect with the new jacket. Thanks for the seam great tape idea also since I think I could use that tip on some eyelet fabric for stabilizing.

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  33. What a fantastic outfit! I love the yoke look and with the jacket it is so completely fly.

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  34. Love it!! It looks great on you, with or without the jacket. I love how you "see" fashion. It has opened my eyes!

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  35. Great dress, also it really showcases a good way of using a small but special piece of fabric.

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  36. Love love love the leather insert! Fab!

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  37. I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE this. You look cool as sh*t! Love love love love love!

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