Finally!!! I can now share my dream dress, essentially. For Valentine’s Day, I participated in the Sew, What do I Wear? blog tour again! If you have a fancy date night coming up (Valentine’s or otherwise), here’s some inspiration!
For this dress, I mashed the Patterns for Pirates Sunshine Dress crossover bodice with the Made for Mermaids Mama Joy pleated skirt and long sleeves. I also used the technique outlined in the Pirate Pencil Skirt for the skirt slit.
It truly turned out much, much better than I even imagined. I made the crossover bodice front and entire skirt with black stretch velvet, then the sleeves and back bodice with black stretch lace. I was worried all of the lace would feel loose or too fragile, but this particular lace actually held up really well and I’m not concerned about that anymore.
I used a serger with wooly nylon thread in the lower loopers for construction. When joining the lace pieces with each other (as in when attaching the sleeves to the back bodice) I went over the seams again with the a narrow stitch length with the knife off. This seemed to secure the pieces pretty well, despite the small holes in the fishnet-y part of the lace.
To mash the Sunshine bodice with the Mama Joy sleeves, I traced the Mama Joy armsyce on to the Sunshine bodice pieces. (This concept is outlined here on the P4P blog) I debated for a while about lengthening the bodice pieces to match the length of the Mama Joy bodice, but I didn’t do this since I was concerned about the weight of the skirt pulling down the bodice too much, and I didn’t want to make it any longer than necessary. Based on previous dresses I’d made, I knew that the Sunshine crossover bodice hit me in pretty much the smallest place on my waist so I didn’t want to risk pulling it any lower.
This turned out to be the right choice (I wouldn’t want it as long as the Mama Joy bodice was) but in hindsight I may have wanted to add about 1″, so that the pleats start a little lower on my hips. All in all though, I am pleased with how it all fits and didn’t see a real need to dis-assemble and change it.
If you’re on the fence or intimidated about mashing patterns, let this be encouragement to try it! This was actually my first time really combining things so drastically. It helped that I’d made the Sunshine crossover as a maxi before, so I somewhat knew what I was getting into. But actually I hadn’t ever done pleats before; now that I think about it this dress was a whole lot of firsts!
I also already wore it once (I’m sure there will be more times, I love it so much!). Earlier this month, Brian and I attended a dance/gala fundraiser event that his medical school was putting on at the Palmer House in Chicago. It was crazy fancy and I loved seeing so many gorgeous dresses, most of which were some serious ball gowns and all of which were floor length. It was definitely classy.
But about actual Valentine’s Day…I’ll unfortunately be on a work trip in Poland so I probably won’t be wearing this dress. As much as I’d love to. I’ll probably be rocking my usual combo of Pumpkin Spice Dolman with leggings….it gets the job done.
And with that I’ll leave you with a few more pictures, because Brian did an awesome job taking these and I just really like them.
Now, go check out the rest of the talented ladies’ posts on this fabulous tour to get even more Valentine’s inspiration!