I woke up this morning ready to tackle the Hot Patterns Wong-Singh-Jones Kimono Wrap Dress, other projects in the queue be damned (I know, I think I have adult ADD). I thought about it all day yesterday and couldn’t wait to get started! You see, this dress has been on my to-do list forever. I had it in my head that I wanted to use two solids or a solid and a print but just haven’t found two fabrics that were perfect so I decided to just go ahead and make it in a print for now. I’m sure even the Hot Patterns Team is sick and tired of my endless versions of the Cosmopolitan Dress!
As I headed to the sewing room this morning I poked my head into the exercise room (where my cutting table used to be) and saw this:
A dress version of Jalie 2793 that I cut out months ago. For some reason I just lost interest in it after it was all cut out. I think I was dreading sewing with the stretch Illusion I was using for the contrast. That stuff is never fun to sew, sort of like handling vermicelli (the worm or the spaghetti). The fabric is a gorgeous rayon/lycra from Textile Studios which made me feel a little guilty. Okay, a lot guilty. So, I grabbed the sad little pile of fabric and continued on my way to the sewing room.
I often look at top and dress patterns interchangeably. A top can become a dress and a dress can become a top. Since this top was already flared at the hip I simply chalked the extra length directly onto the fabric. If you are working with a fitted top it’s easiest to pull out a favorite dress pattern and marry the two at the waist.
I thought it would be pretty to use black stretch Illusion for the neckline, the modesty panel and the sleeve bands. Awhile back I used it for the bands on this Jalie 2449 top and really liked the effect. And, yes, I sewed all of those little paillettes on individually, by hand. Tedious but worth it.
Sewing with the Illusion didn’t turn out to be so bad. Rather than serging, I used a very narrow zigzag to stitch all of the enclosed seams. I originally wanted to zigzag over black elastic thread to stabilize the neckline but I didn’t have any and, as it turned out, I really didn’t need it anyway. I then carefully trimmed the seam allowances down to 1/8″ with my rotary cutter. In retrospect, I could have used my perling machine. Oh well, I just didn’t think of it!
This left me with a nice neat seam. To make it a little easier to handle I machine basted the outer edges together after turning and pressing. The fabric can be wiggly and I didn’t want anything slipping out of place during serging. Yikes, I really need to recover my pressing board.
I debated whether or not the modesty panel was necessary. I decided to go ahead with it because I knew the weight of the fabric would pull the neckline down a bit. During fitting, I was really glad I did! As you can see, this would be pretty risque without the panel.
Here’s a better photo on the mannequin – I take the worst mirror pictures of anyone in the online sewing community.
I love the way the Illusion looks on the sleeves!
Here’s the completed dress. It needs shortening and hemming but I’m going to let it hang out for a day before I finish up. Doesn’t it always feel so good to complete a UFO and hang a new garment in one’s closet?