It’s that time again – blog tours! I’m here today with Sewing By Ti‘s August tour, My Favorite Things. For this one, I decided to feature my favorite thing to sew: dresses! They’re probably also my favorite things to wear too…as you may have noticed. This particular dress is a new pattern to me, a modified Women’s Starlight City Dress by Lil Luxe Collection (owned by a fellow Chicagoan!).
You may be wondering…what’s up with the mask? I actually made this dress to wear for my friend Samantha’s bachelorette party, and we all wore these masks for fun. So I decided to wear it for some of these pictures too, because when else do you have an excuse to wear masquerade masks?!?
Anyway, as I said earlier this is the Starlight City Dress. I choose to make it in cotton lycra, because I wanted something with some volume, no-fuss to work with and breathable to wear. Now, I did make some modifications to the pattern, which I will detail below. But…isn’t the back stunning? This is essentially the reason I bought the pattern and the only thing I did not modify to some extent. I love the twisty element, it’s pretty unique and fun. Plus, I was able to wear a regular bra, which is a plus. It’s fully lined as well; I really like this. Not only does it make things easier, but it also lends some structure to the bodice. I like this in a dress.
Now on to my modifications…
As you can see here, I also used a sheer mesh to add some intrigue to both the front of the bodice and the waistband. For the front, I eyeballed the shape I wanted, taking into account the addition ~1/2″ growth from seam allowance. Then I cut through both layers (lining and self) and folded the edges under. I placed the mesh underneath, pinned like my life depended on it, and topstitched with my twin needle. Not 100% the cleanest way to do this…I thought about it for a while due to the fact that the bodice is lined, but effective and overall decently simple.
For the waistband, I originally assembled as the pattern dictates, the front and back pieces of the waistband consisting of pieces of folded over so that it was two layers. Then I realized that the front piece wasn’t sheer enough with two layers of mesh, so I carefully cut one out. This actually worked well and I like this look of one layer (pictured here) much better.
The pattern says to use the entire waistband to encase elastic in the front and back. Since I had the sheer in the front, that wouldn’t work. I decided to add it to the back as outlined in the instructions, but then added a smaller piece to the inside edge of the bodice for added stability. I also wrapped the front elastic with fabric so that it wouldn’t bother me (I’m pretty sensitive to those kinds of things). I knew that with half of my back exposed and a mesh waistband, I would need as much help as I could get in keeping the dress on! This worked excellently, feels very sturdy, and I will even grace you with a picture of the inside of the dress to more easily illustrate my solution. Please forgive me for taking the easy way out and not enclosing my side seams in the lining…I was sewing this at the literal 11th hour, as per usual. 😉
Last modification I made was certainly the easiest. I swapped out the gathered or bodycon skirt option for a circle skirt. Flirtier, shorter, and lets me eat more donuts. 😉 Which we definitely did, since we were in Portland. Voodoo Donuts anyone?! You really can’t blame me for considering this! But anyway…I did hem the circle skirt, so I get a gold star for that one at least.
A note on fit. The pattern is awesome and includes bodices for tall, regular, and petite. However, the main difference in these is where the waistline hits. If you’re like me and tall yet short waisted, this doesn’t quite solve the issue. Since I didn’t have time to make a muslin I gambled a bit and made the regular length because I know I definitely don’t need extra length at the waist. I did also add a little bit to the armsyce as per my usual adjustment (more on that later, I’m still learning), so that also added a bit of length to the bodice as a whole. You can see that there’s a little bit of extra length there above my waist, which is pushing the waistband slightly below my waist. I noticed this as I was making the bodice, but it’s hard for me to tell exactly how things will lay before I put the skirt on. And since you saw you lovely the waistband situation is on the inside, I decided I wanted to keep it that way and put down the seam ripper. So, it is a little bit long in the waist. Nothing to make or break things though, so I went with it. And I’m ok with it too, I’ll certainly still wear this dress and it absolutely fits better than most ready to wear items I could buy off the rack. The joys of sewing!
Lastly, I’ll leave you with this gem from the bachelorette party.
And there you have it! My Favorite Things: dresses (and straying from the beaten pattern path). It’s the same way with cooking, I simply can’t ever follow the recipe exactly…these things are more guidelines than actual rules, right? Tell me you knew that quote before you clicked the link?!
Remember to check out my fellow blog tourists below – lots of great stuff here!