I was already dreaming of going on an adventure when this pattern popped into my hands. I fell in love with what looks to be a very young Liz Taylor on the cover. Famous 1950s designer, Pauline Trigere, makes a gorgeous dress and I knew I had found the perfect way to fill some spare time. This pattern truly has all the bells and whistles when it comes to design.
I wasn’t aware of the magnitude of this project. The amount of stitching in this dress is incredible, way more than the cover implies.
With three yards of wide width embossed rose velvet I got started. The pattern called for almost 5 yards. I am very short and was able to make the pieces work with much less fabric. I accomplished this by taking 10 inches off of the dress skirt panels and 2 inches out of each torso piece. That was one full yard of savings.
The back of the dress has a weighted cowl neckline. I have done a few on my own although I have never weighed them down. I really hope my dear sweet husband doesn’t miss whatever this little thing is. It didn’t look so important.
The front of the dress had an off the shoulder neckline. I really love this neckline. It is great for gals with a small bust. It also had a keyhole neckline that I was not so crazy about so I put a bow over it.
For a clean and tidy look I binded the waistline.
A few things you may already know about velvet and why it can be tricky. You should never top stitch it. It pushes the pile of the fabric around and can make it look wonky and puckered. You need to keep your fabric with the nap when cutting out the pattern layout. Velvet is a piled fabric and will appear different colors when light reflects off of the pieces that not all going the same direction.
Another tip, you have to have a good fit on your garment or you will see very noticeable pooling of the fabric. Pooling is lines that show up in a garment when something is too tight. It makes waves and wrinkles of what looks like gaping fabric.
See how the sides have lines going across? That is pooling in the fabric because it is tight there. On this shirt that I made I added ruching to the sides to give it that pulling look on purpose because the shirts length was too long.
I put in hours of hand stitching on this dress because you can have no topstitching on velvet. I hand under-stitched all of the facings, linings and hems.
Since the front of the skirts hem was on the straight of grain and the back of the shirt was a half circle skirt, I used the help of stitch witchery to give me a clean hemline. Then I simply hand stitched for a few hours.
I’m glad I stuck with this dress and did the work. It was so beautiful and fueled many more velvet hand made garments to come.
Behind the scenes~
With everything going on my classes, photoshoots and all new alterations have been postponed. I care about keeping people safe and feel that these measures are more important than my business. Please remember to be kind, everyone is dealing with this in their own way.
Thank you for reading,
Dream it! Sew it!