Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sand Dollar Gala Dress

The Gala was great!  The dress turned out well and I was really happy with the style and some of the design elements.

I used an African Wax Print (I don't remember where I got it), but I've had it for a while.  I have a whole collection of African Prints but this is only the second item that I've made for my self with them, and I love it.  The second fabric that I used was a brocade that I bought from FabricMart while they were going through their A-Z sale.  I really like this fabric as well, it's decently lightweight for a brocade and I'm glad that I have enough for another project.  I was pleasantly surprised when I realized the two fabrics had similar patterns, hence the name "The Sand Dollar Dress"

Please excuse the lack of seam matching. But the fabric matching makes up for it!

As stated in my last post, I used Simplicity's Project Runway S0571 in a size 14.  I'm learning that I don't like the ease that's built into these patterns and I'm going to start tracing a size down for the bodice. I probably could have fixed this with my muslin but I still need to work on using my muslins for fitting.  I've noticed that I tend to use them more so to get through the sewing instructions and understand what they want me to do than for actual fitting and adjustments. 

The best design element of this is the ingenious way they did the sleeves.  To help keep it off the shoulder and keep it in it's place, there's a covered elastic band inside of the sleeve.  I made mine a little loose, so I'll have to take it in, but the theory is great and I can't wait to see how it works on other creations. 

This was my first time color blocking. The pattern already had princess seams on the front bodice but it only contained darts on the back bodice. In order to continue with the blocking on the back of the dress, I had to change the darts to princess seams.  I can't find the tutorial I used (it really took me too long to write this post), but it was pretty simple and worked well.  I also blocked the sleeves, as you can see, so that the black fabric line continued into the sleeve for continuity.  The blocking of the skirt was simple, I just cut a line straight down from the center of the pleats.  Since the two fabrics had different weights, they hung a lil differently, but the end result was still good, imho. 

All in all, it was a good night and a good make. I paired it with a tulle skirt, a wide elastic belt, bronze pumps and chunky pearls and I received lots of unsolicited compliments (the best kind).  Thanks for reading and hopefully you'll see me on here sooner than later!

All photos of me in the dress were taken by J.Lamothe Photography.  And of course had to add a pic of the ladies.


  1. Wow, your dress is stunning! I love the print and how you used the colour blocking and the fit looks perfect!