Thursday, March 10, 2016

A New Dress, and I'm Still Here

My gosh, I hadn't realized how much I had been neglecting my blog. There were messages waiting in moderation for MONTHS and I did not know. I will do my best to answer them now but many are probably no longer relevant. Still, I apologize for my silence.
I had a pretty long dry spell with regards to sewing since last summer. We put our house on the market, which necessitated reducing the amount of stuff in my sewing room to make the room look larger. So my lovely work table had to go. Fortunately, it has found a new home with a sewing friend, who has promised to love it as I did, and create many beautiful things with it.
The sewing drought lasted until well into January, when I went to the Virginia ASG sewing retreat in Winchester, VA. Last year at the retreat I got pretty sick and didn't really accomplish much. This year, fortunately, was much different. I had three solid days of productive sewing, and created three new garments (plus one wadder).

The Dress
I've been wanting a nice dress to wear in the warmer months; one with a fitted bodice and wide skirt. But I didn't want a lot of bulk at the waist. Even a traditional flared gored skirt can have big folds of fabric at the hip, which really isn't my best look.
One day I was wandering through a store (I think it was Altar'd State) and saw a skirt with a very interesting godet. Rather than having the peak of the godet coming to a point, it was a soft, rounded top! In looking at the construction, I realized that the godet itself was merely a half-circle of fabric sewed into a shaped opening in the body of the skirt.
With that in mind, I fired up my trusty copy of PatternMaster Boutique and started drafting my own version. And here's what I came up with for the skirt.
The skirt is cut from two identical pieces for the front and back; the seams are at the sides. The rest of the pattern is a midriff-waisted bodice with shoulder princess seams.
I made the dress up out of a piece of rayon that was in my stash; it was a good thing it was a large piece because this dress eats up fabric!! All told, I used about eight yards. Each of the six gores takes almost a full yard!
So here's the dress!
Just standing there, it's not immediately obvious how wide the skirt is. So here's another view.
I'm holding up two of the sides, and there's still lots of fabric left. With the six half-circle godets, the hemline sweep of the dress is three full circles! So needless to say, it is a very twirly skirt!

It's hard to get a good picture of the sweep, even from above!
The dress is incredibly comfortable; there's no closure, and the neck and armholes have a one-piece facing. I'm already planning on making a few more of these, and will be bringing them on our trip to Holland next month.

More to Come
I will do posts about the other two garments I made in the next few days, and I pinky-swear that I won't do another vanishing act. See you soon!


  1. Love, love, love this dress!

  2. Love this! I will definitely try this!

  3. Great pictures showing the awesome skirt. I share your pain with a sewing hiatus...sold one house and bought another that needed lots of work. I don't think I've ever before taken 11 months to start sewing a garment after cutting it out! Phyllis Carlyle

  4. Great job! This looks so comfortable!

  5. Welmoed, when it comes time for the Smithson Ball I know which dress I would love to see. This design is beautiful on you and perfect for a ball. All you need is another pretty fabric and perhaps a sleeve or two. I just love the way this dress looks on you.


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