All-white parties and cruises have become the rage in the past few years, and I have loved seeing all the outfits ladies come up with! I wanted a white dress of my own, and even joined the Pattern Review ‘Little White Dress’ contest last year:
Uhm, short much? :-) This is still a WIP, though — I bought this fabric in Bermuda, and have no intention of wadding it. I think I’ve figured out a way to lengthen it, but it won’t be dressy enough for an all-white affair. Enter my M6744–M6966 mashup!
This dress was not without its snafus–right off the bat, the fabric was too narrow to lay out the skirt front and back . So I created a godet formed by what didn’t fit, and attached that to the skirt front and back at the lower edge. It was messy and ripply. I worried that it would be super obvious when I wore the dress… then ended up cutting it off.
Sewing up the skirt once the triangles were attached went smoothly enough, except that I had 2″+ in extra height on the front skirt. I had no clue why. I figured, hey — it’s the same amount of excess on both side seams, so I’m going to cut it all off and pretend it never existed. And I did, and the skirt worked out perfectly fine.
I actually sewed the bodice first, though. I really love the racerback look! It’s convenient that women of all ages are now walking around with their bra straps showing, so I don’t aways have to wear a strapless bra to enjoy racerbacks. Woohoo! Uber-casual styling for the win. I bound the neckline and armholes with fold over elastic from Sunshine Shoppe Supply because it seemed like a great notion to step my makes up to the next level of professionalism. I love this stuff! It’s dead easy to sew, you don’t need to press it at all, you don’t need special feet or stitches, etc. Stretch it a little as you sew and you’ll be happy with the result.
Attaching the bodice and skirt went smoothly. I figured that since they’re both McCall’s patterns in the same size (XXL), the waist measurement should be the same. In hindsight, that was quite a gamble, but then I’ve always been a creative gambler. And in this case, I won the jackpot! Skirt and bodice came together perfectly. For the casing I trimmed the bodice seam allowance and stitched the skirt seam allowance upward onto the bodice. I did this because this fabric is sheer and I didn’t want a super opaque line around my waist. Also, the fabric has great drape and I didn’t want a million layers of fabric taking away from that. (Note after looking at this photo: There’s always bunching on my side, framed by the side seam, underarm, full bust, and waistline. I wonder if this is due to having a shorter torso than most patterns draft for?)
So, things were going well. Then I put on my dress…and I looked HUGE. I mean, I’m a big woman all around, but holy jeez. I took it off and talked it over with a dear friend, and her take is that white pulls no punches — it’s just your body and the color white allowing every inch of you to be visible. That made me feel better, so I decided to hem my dress. The original length was frowsy, so I cut it. And cut it. And cut it. And revisited my sketch, and cut it some more. And more. I gave up on cutting it and tried to hem it with my 1/8″ rolled hem foot (SWYFC!!!*), unsuccessfully. I picked out the stitches about four times and decided to try cutting the hem some more, so that I could leave it raw and uber drape-y.
Le sigh. I finally got it right, but what a Pyrrhic victory! On top of which, the bodice on M6744 is clearly too short in the center front, and I suspect it’s because I’m too busty for the XXL. I plan on adding 2″ to the center front, tapered to nothing at the side seams, for future versions of this dress. I don’t like the empire waist look on me; I simply don’t have the rack for it! It’s definitely a look for busty women of all sizes.
With a little bit of separation or a very special occasion, I’m sure I’ll love the heck out of this dress. It’s got amazing drape, it’s got a bit of sheen, an interesting texture, the FOE is a great detail, it’s as light as a feather, and I can totally
steal borrow Erica B’s styling tips for an all white outfit. Please tell me I’m not the only person who gets her styling tips from other people’s blogs….!
*This is a SWYFC post that was in the pipeline for ages…! Better late than never? There’s one more SWYFC post like this that has languished, I aim to post it next week.