Special Occasion Dress

Happy belated birthday, Monthly Stitch! I’m a day late, but hey it’s fashionable to be a little late, right? Anyhow, here’s my contribution! I didn’t make it for a special occasion, honestly, but the first time I wore it, a stranger in an elevator asked me if I was going somewhere special! So, heck yeah, I’m going to the TMS birthday party!

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Special Occasion Dress, New Look 6723 in Vlisco cotton

I’ve used this pattern many times. It’s an old standby fit and flair. Sometimes (like in this case) I add fullness to the skirt. Sometimes I change the neckline. And I always add pockets. But I’ve never had that comment before. So it must be the fabric. And it’s not a silk or satin, voile or velvet – just cotton. But it’s Vlisco cotton!

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I made it a bit loose, with a good two inches of ease in the waist. So it’s a good choice for going out to lunch!

Vlisco is a Dutch company founded by Pieter Fentener van Vlissingen. (Good marketing move to shorten the name!) He was inspired by the rich vibrant colors of Africa and the beautiful tribal motifs he saw in the batik prints there.

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I lined the bodice in poppy red China silk, leaving the skirt unlined. The fabric, as you can see, is printed through on both sides, so you can’t even see the hem! I used the silk for pockets too, because it doesn’t add bulk, and because I got the fabric for half price!

The designs are unusual – big, bold, colorful prints that make you really scratch your head when you start to place pattern pieces. This one was relatively easy, since with all the crazy dotty zigzags nothing had to match up. Still, I laid it all out in one layer so I didn’t end up with anything weird. It was fun, playing with the zigs and zags but I had to be careful with the bodice pieces because there’s only one way stretch.

Do you save your prettiest dresses, skirts and scarves for special occasions? I remember the exact moment when I stopped doing that. I was shopping in Chicago with my brand new husband (20+ years ago!), looking at a lovely silk blouse. I said, “but where would I wear it?” And bless his heart, he said, “Just wear it!” It’s true. Great clothes don’t do anything for us just hanging in our closets. And they make us – and strangers in elevators – smile when we wear them! Read more at my blog!


Oh they had the best fan blowing in this shop!

14 thoughts on “Special Occasion Dress

  1. Lovely dress. I’,m sure i will purchase something from Vlisco soon having lurked their website for couple of months. the fabrics look happy and I agree, you shouldn’t save clothes that make you happy when you wear them


  2. That’s a very becoming dress and the fabric is to die for! You’re attention to detail is impressive too. I can’t agree with you more about wearing our good clothes. That’s great advise your husband gave you.

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  3. It’s so lovely. And I agree with you – why save things for a ‘special day’? Just by wearing something you feel amazing in will automatically make the day special. That’s the beauty of sewing your own clothese – never having to settle for mediocrity!


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