Skip to main content

Made by a Fabricista: All That Glitters (Holiday Edition)

Hey all!  Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Now that the turkey and pumpkin pie have been consumed, it's time for Christmas cookies, latkes and holiday parties of all sorts!

But, what to wear?  Maybe something from the Sequins & Sparkles section!


That's where I found this Betsy & Adam sequinned stretch velvet, which is unfortunately now sold out, but you can find similarly adorned gorgeous textile goodies here.

This is Butterick 6415.  I'd originally planned for a knit dress with this fabric, but it turned out that this stretch velvet knit wasn't quite as stretchy as originally indicated.  I wasn't too surprised, since it's completely sequin encrusted; how COULD it stretch more than 10-20%?


And so onto this Plan B: this Butterick, which is intended for woven fabrics.  The plus of using a highly stable knit fabric with a woven pattern is you have just a little more give and fitting doesn't have to be quite as precise.

Lets take another look at this gorgeous sequinned border "print" fabric.


And a close up of some of the spectacular motifs.


The first issue I faced with this project was a ton of crocking with the fabric.  Crocking is when there's so much excess dye in a fabric that it transfers onto other surfaces...like my hand here.  It's like bleeding but without the water factor.  The yardage took a soak in my tub with a very gentle detergent and vinegar for the good part of a day, which seemed to resolve the problem.


The first design decision with this dress was how to use this gorgeous array of sequins in a pleasing manner.  I decided I wanted some swirls on the front bodice panel (this is a princess bodice dress, so there are center front, side front and back panels), but they needed to be somewhere that didn't create an unfortunately lady-high-beam effect.


To make it match up I laid the center front I'd already cut back on the yardage, matching it up with the pattern perfectly (upper left).   With the curve of the side panel it's not possible for every part of the panel to match up to the center front, so I had to decide what was important, and I decided the large swoop coming down from the swirls was it (pointing to in upper right), then found where the 5/8" seam allowance would hit (lower left) and placed the line I'd drawn on my side front pattern piece in that location (lower right).  It still felt like a bit of a crapshoot, I'm pretty pleased with how the matching of this turned out.


I decided to cut the top edge of the skirt at the edge of the border, so there wouldn't be any sequins to remove from the upper seam allowance (AKA the join to the bodice).

So, once it was all cut, how did I attack this project?  With this tray of medieval looking torture devices...also, here's a before and after sequin removal!


I spent an entire weekend more or less ignoring my poor kids (shout out to my husband here) while I removed the sequins from the bodice seam allowances.  I used a double pronged approach:  completely ripping the threads out on the outer half of the seam allowance, but then cutting the sequins and removing them with tweezers, once I got closer to the stitch line.  All told I'd say it was a 12 or more hour endeavor.



But the craziest part was finding these things every-dang-where.  They were on the couch, on the carpet, in the mac and cheese water, and I know for a fact that the toddler grabbed and ate some directly from my tray, but we never did see the resulting sparkle poo.  Sorry girl!



The best/worst part of the sequins was running out of time to remove the them from the skirt seam allowance.  I decided to just plow through them with my machine and was able to do so without any issues.  Not one broken needle.  So perhaps I didn't need to go through the pain of taking them out of the bodice (but I also feel like it's nicer to have less bulk in the more fitted portion of the dress).


For the yoke I used a black stretch mesh and point d'esprit from my stash that I purchased at Fabric Mart many moons ago.  You can find similar fabrics here.


I ended up fully lining the dress in a stretch poly lining fabric, also in my stash from Fabric Mart.  It was a really great choice to allow the dress itself to stretch slightly along with it, for both comfort and fit.


This pattern only has you line the bodice, so I had to decide how to line the skirt, taking the pleating into account.  I basted the skirt and skirt lining wrong sides together, except for about 4" or so on either side of the center back, pleated the skirt as directed, and then sewed it all onto the bodice (starting and stopping on either side of the loose lining).  Then I hand-picked the zipper and hand sewed all of the lining down to it.


Between the interlining for the bodice, the full lining, and the hand finishing on the mesh, there was a significant amount of hand sewing.  There would've been a little less of it if I hadn't accidentally finished on of my mesh sleeves inside out wrong TWO TIMES.  Whew.  Even after almost 2 and a half decades of sewing I still make these silly blunders, and I'm sure I always will.


With all of the sequins, the dress is just a tad heavy for the lace yoke, is definitely part of the pulling issue you see. But, part of that is also fitting, as this whole dress turned out just a little bit too big for me; definitely a function of using a knit fabric for a woven dress pattern.  I used a pretty straight 14 C cup here, with the bust point lowered 1/2".  If I were to do it over again I'd probably do a 12 C or D cup in this same fabric, and would've shortened the bodice 1/2" (a usual for me, but it's been so long since I've made a Big 4 pattern that I forgot!).




That all said, I feel like this is a pretty successful make overall!  A plain black crepe for the skirt would have been much lighter, but there's just nothing like a whole lot of sparkle for the holidays, right?







What are you planning to sew and wear for your holiday parties this year?

Jess

Comments

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: A Wardrobe Staple for Spring - A Denim Coat

Hello Sewing Friends! It’s Sharon with Sharon Sews with my latest Fabricista make – a denim coat  for spring.  Denim is a wardrobe staple for many of us, and even more so this year with denim on denim looks coming back in style.  The denim I used is a medium weight cotton/lycra blend with about a 20% stretch selvage to selvage.  Fabric Mart always does an amazing job photographing and describing their fabrics, yet I still gasped in delight when I opened the package containing my denim.  It was even better than I had anticipated. This fabric would have worked well for a traditional denim jacket – one with button front closure, chest pockets with flaps, and a collar.   However, I have wanted to sew this open front coat with kimono inspired sleeves and big patch pockets since February 2021.  I saw it in that month’s  BurdaStyle Magazine, bookmarked the page, and promptly forgot about the coat.  It’s coat #105 if you’re interested in sewing one for yourself. Fortunately, I went on an organ

Made by a Fabricista: Revving up your style in the Dana Marie Moto Jacket

Hey friends - I am so excited to have been invited to participate as a Fabric Mart Fabricista this month!  This year is the year I challenge my sewing skills.   I have wanted a moto jacket for some time.  Not just any moto jacket but one that has a classic and timeless style. I saw the Dana Marie Moto Jacket pattern on the Fabric Mart website and knew that was the one.  The fabric I used was a beautiful porcelain white/black/silver 100% polyester plaid weave boucle suiting.    Remember when I said I wanted to challenge my sewing skills?  😉 This fabric was beautiful but fragile to work with.  It was a great mental challenge that had me problem solving before sewing to avoid any potential problems.  I first traced out the pattern onto tissue paper to determine the fit.   I used scrap cotton fabric to sew up a “practice run” of the jacket.    I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the jacket comes together.   I sewed up the muslin in one evening.  It was time to cut into the beautifu

Made By A Fabricista: My Version of the Infamous DVF Wrap Dress

Just in case you are not aware, the iconic Diane Fustenberg wrap dress has turned 50 this year.  In celebration, Vogue has re-released the DVF Wrap Dress pattern, which now comes in extended sizes.  This dress is so classic and fits many different body types.  I got a hold of this pattern and decided this would be my birthday dress this year. This pattern is categorized as a Very Easy Vogue pattern, and I would have to agree with that. Wrap dresses are usually relatively simple to put together since there aren’t that many pattern pieces to sew together. I made View A in a size 22 and the only modification I made was to shorten the hem by 6 inches.  I will say that since I used a Ponte Knit , I could have gone down to a size 20.  I didn’t read the fabric suggestions before picking my fabric.  I’ve always remembered seeing the DVF Wrap dress in knits. After reviewing the fabric suggestions, they do say that you can use soft fabrics, like a Challis or a Chambray. As I mentioned, I’ve alwa