After hacking away I’m back with my creation. This is a combination of two indie patterns: the short sleeved bodice from Colette’s Peony dress and the skirt that you may recall from Named’s Vanamo cocktail dress. I’ve been sewing for about four or five years now and I’ve never actually been courageous enough to try to make two different patterns fit together. I don’t know what I was so afraid of. It really wasn’t that difficult.
Before I talk construction, let me introduce you to this gorgeous fabric. It is a stretch cotton that I bought at SR Harris in Minneapolis two years ago. SR Harris is my favorite fabric store. I’ve been trying to be very diligent about only sewing from my stash right now, so I was thankful that I had this on hand and was able to use it. It came as a panel and has what I believe to be an abstract watercolor print on it.
There was no need to pattern match. I just tried to be thoughtful about pattern placement so that the whole thing would look intentional. Stretch cotton was perfect for this look since I wasn’t sure how everything would fit together. Using a fabric with some stretch can be very forgiving if you’re having fit issues.
My bodice fit perfectly the first time I cut it out. I did not make a muslin so I just crossed my fingers that I’d be able to make any fit adjustments as I went along. Unfortunately, my skirt was too small. I kept the original skirt front that I cut out and just cut out two new skirt back pieces. On my second attempt I was able to correct the fit issue. Normally I’d serge my seams during construction but because I was concerned about fit I actually basted all of my seams. I basted the bodice to the skirt and I basted the entire center back shut. I put on the entire basted dress to ensure a good fit. Once I was satisfied, I unstitched everything and re constructed with permanent stitches.
It may sound like a lot of effort but I’m really glad I did it that way. Now I have a dress with a spectacular fit and the confidence to start mixing and matching all of my patterns to create unique looks. This was the perfect challenge to push me out of my comfort zone and gain a new skill.
If you’re interested in the original Peony dress or the Vanamo cocktail dress, check out my blog at See Carmen Sew.