Skip to main content

Made by a Fabricista: A Dress for the Holidays


Every December I want to sew up at least one dress I can wear to holiday escapades and even wear in those official annual family photos with the official fancy photographer.  I assumed it was going to be red this year but this decadent green cashmere/viscose knit (sold out now) grabbed my eyeballs immediately while shopping Fabric Mart's site. It's a drapey, super soft knit that moves like a dream.  The inspiration for my dress was drawn from two gorgeous dresses, one from Pucci and another from Issa (the blue version of this dress was made wildy famous by the Duchess of Cambridge as her engagement dress.)


Viscose is simply another term for rayon, and I've sewn up innumerable rayon knits before, but this one made me very nervous since it was labeled "dry clean" AND it's a cashmere knit-- this is the unicorn of fabrics and it's not easy to purchase yardage otherwise.  But still I decided to pre-treat my fabric at home after doing a swatch test!  I cut out two identical 6x6" swatches, gently soaked one in cool water with a couple drops of mild detergent for 20 minutes, then laid it flat to dry.  To no surprise it shrunk some, but the quality of the material was unaltered!  I also tested out the swatches to confirm this fabric presses best at a very low dry wool setting with a press cloth.  As for the actual sewing, this stuff went right through my machine and serger no problems at all.  None.  I used a walking foot on my sewing machine and ball point needles on both.



I used Vogue 8921, View B for my pattern. I cut my standard size of 16 but did not need to grade the skirt up by two sizes like I'd normally do to fit my figure-- the skirt is quite full with all of the pleating detail.  I also didn't need to lengthen the bodice, skirt or sleeves like I normally would being 5'8" (two inches taller then what Vogue drafts for.)  I made a swayback adjustment on the back waist seam on my paper pattern before cutting.  I stabilized my shoulder seams with Pellon Easy Knit Tape.  



This fabric is a little more sheer than I wanted for a dress so I had to underline it.  I cut a second set of all the pattern pieces (excluding the sleeves) basted them together and then treated the joined materials as a one piece of fabric.  I had *just* enough to underline the skirt but went to my stash and found a grey rayon for the bodice that has a similar hand and weight as my main fabric.  You can see all the innards of it in the pic above, I just threw it on inside out on my dress form.  I used my serger, but I basted the front center bodice seam with my regular sewing machine instead to prevent the bulk of a serged seam.  I also excluded the unnecessary zipper in back.


The material has this very, very slight sheen to it reflecting its intense shade of green in such a lovely way-- I hoped my amateur photography skills had captured that and would show up on a screen. I can't lie, this dress is as comfortable as pajamas, it's true.  I would run and skip if I weren't wearing heels, but I'm much too lady-like for that.


~Kathy from KathySews

What are you sewing for the holidays?

Comments

  1. I bought this fabric too! It is beautiful, but I've been nervous about ruining it so thanks for doing all the pre-wash work for me! Your dress is lovely and will serve you well through the holidays.
    Laurie

    ReplyDelete
  2. I LOVE this on you and have had dreams myself of making Kate Middleton's famous blue Issa dress, so this definitely has inspired me.

    Great work, Kathy!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome!! This design looks pretty cool. Initially I used to buy fabric blocks for my these designs but these days I use whole fabric and cut the blocks as needed. I also customize the whole fabric accordingly in terms of cutting & designing. We can save a lot of time and money quilting if we do things properly and with a fixed plan. Thanks a lot for sharing such an informative piece with us. I would like to share one more link which is about quilting and sewing tips at http://www.warpandweft.ca/blog/ .

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made By A Fabricista: Luxe Viscose Rayon Wrap Dress

I've always loved long flowy dresses that skim the floor, no matter what the season is. However, particularly around the Springtime! It's been a while since I've created one but since Spring is right around the corner I'm getting the itch to add them to my wardrobe.  For this months Fabricista feature, I sharing a selection from Fabric Mart's gorgeous viscose rayon collection.  I fell in love with this beautiful viscose rayon fabric which, if you know viscose, you know it  is the perfect fabric for a flowy floor length piece. It's lightweight, yet still opaque, fluid and soft to the touch.  Also, I think viscose is just heavy enough that it's not annoyingly slippery and hard to handle as satin and silks.  Needless to say I was taken by this bold vibrant print! If you know some of my previous pieces I've made, bold and vibrant is my jam! I chose to create a rendition of my Early Spring KnowMe Pattern ME 2020. It's a wrap woven wrap dress with cargo po

Week 4: Jeansmaking- What They Made

This is it, the final round! And we certainly did not go easy on our three remaining contestants this time. This round they had to make their own pair of well fitting jeans. I think they all did an absolutely outstanding job! Take a look what these ladies accomplished & be sure to vote for your favorite! (Link at bottom of post.) And, don't forget to show us your me-made jeans on Facebook or Instagram. Details at the bottom of this post. Danesha from  Classyfied Life So first I must say that this entire challenge has been just that...a challenge! Two weeks ago there was hurricane Irma and I was blessed enough to not lose power and then I went out into the aftermath to capture some photos of my submission. Then two weeks ago I had a big trip planned so I had to do EVERYTHING  in two days . Then the BIGGEST challenge of all...THIS week! I got the challenge and I was super excited to have an extra few days and then before I could even get started I ended up in the eme

Made By A Fabricista: Let’s Make a Leather Bag

Hi Guys! I’m trying something a little different today.  We are going to make a leather bag.  I was looking around the Fabric Mart website for fabric for my next project and I came across Sue’s Pick.  The fabric choice for that day was this gorgeous black leather fabric. The best part was that the leather was only $20 a piece.  When I received it at home, I couldn’t believe how soft the leather was. I was in love. First, we are going to make the pattern and then we’ll sew it up.  You are going to need a ruler, pencil, and scissors to draft the pattern. Purse Pattern Main Pattern Piece – Cut 2 1. Make a 14 x 16 rectangle.   2. At the bottom of this pattern piece, you will cut a 2 x 2 square on each side. 3. At the top of this pattern piece, measure in 1” on each side and then measure from that point down to the corner of the cut-out square at the bottom. Cut that piece off. Pocket Piece – Cut 1 4. Make a 7 x 10 square. 5. Go in ½” at the top and go down 3” on each side. Cut th