McCall’s 5269, aka “The Laura Bennett Dress” is done! The dress got that name because I saw the fabric and immediately thought of the Project Runway Season 3 runner up. I can only hope she would like it!
A few notes on the pattern itself, and the construction.
The pattern is a relatively straightforward lined, princess seamed dress. I made some changes to it that look significant, but are not very difficult. I changed the sleeves from very short and puffed to long and straight. To do that, I morphed the armscye to match the one from the Vogue 8280 Roland Mouret knock off, and I used the long sleeve from that pattern.
I used a non-standard fabric for the dress: a sequined, embroidered nylon net that I bought from Kashi at Metro Textiles in New York back in October. Because of the sheerness, I decided to underline the fabric with a stretch silk charmeuse, also from Kashi. You can read about the design decisions I made about construction options in this post from December. I underlined the dress completely, and lined the bodice with the stretch charmeuse as well. I finished the seams on the unlined portion of the dress by whipstitching the raw edges to the underlining fabric using a single strand of silk thread:
This gives a smooth finish inside, encasing the net as well as the charmeuse. An added benefit is that it adds no bulk to the seam.
To finish the dress off, I used a narrow overlock stitch on the charmeuse’s hem. I then did a 5/8″ narrow hem on the net underneath the fringe. This took a lot of time, and I hand basted and pressed the hem before sewing. I debated whether to cut the hem of the net at the hem of the charmeuse, but there are sequins embroidered under the fringe, and like the idea of showing a little twinkle when I walk.It took a lot of patience to keep the fringe out of the way of the hem. But I got zen about the whole experience and kept saying, “You’ll look fabulous, you’ll look fabulous” and eventually the hem was done.
The dress will have its debut at a dinner in New York later this month, after which I’ll hopefully post a picture of me in the dress. Until then, here’s a peek: