The One with the First Ever Draped Dress – Part 2

Welcome back! or to those of you who skipped part 1 – Haiii!

So, the Valentino copy drafting had gone well,, unfortunately, after all that success I did hit a bump in the road, with the fabric of all things!

I’d discussed with Mary my different options for fabric types and had landed on a crepe back satin or viscose satin as I wanted it to be more party style than the inspiration picture.

I drew out a few different colour combos on my body croquis’ to see what kinds of pairings I liked.This is honestly one of my favourite sewing “tools”. Again, something I learned from Brooks Ann Camper. I printed a picture of myself, traced the outline and then took a picture of that tracing and uploaded it into procreate on my ipad. I have a pencil for my ipad that I use to draw my possible garments.

I decided to go with a dark teal or blue on the bottom,  then an aqua or something bright on the top. Mostly because I knew which shoes I wanted to wear with the dress and those colours would work well.

I was dreading choosing those kinds of fabrics online, as I don’t have much experience with them and as we all know, colour is hard to judge online. Luckily Joe and I had planned a post vaccination trip to New York which meant I would be able to visit Mood and pick my fabrics in person! EEK

The first time I went to Mood I was so overwhelmed I came away with nothing, this time I came armed with a plan and thought I’d be fine – I was wrong. I looked through all the suitable satins and just didn’t love anything. Eventually I showed a member of staff the inspiration  photo and he suggested we try suiting as we would be able to get nice crisp lines.

The lightweight wool suitings were lovely but not many colour options. We actually ended up leaving and coming back the next day. I found a beautiful grey /silver wool suiting with a slubby texture, so then chose a really light blue shirting fabric for the “top”. After waiting in the cutting line for 15 mins it turned out the suiting had only one yard on the bolt – I needed two! ARGH!

Not wanting to come away empty handed but also being stressed out by this point, I ended up buying the light blue and picked another grey suiting.

I wasn’t excited about any of it if I’m being honest but hoped it was just because the buying experience was stressful. We got home from New York and immediately cut/sewed the dress.  I tried it on with the collar only pinned on so I could get a feel before going any further…

The weight and colour of the fabric I’d used for the top was all wrong.

It looked like something you’d wear working in a bank, not to a wedding in Los Angeles!

Joe told me l tooled like a nun – HA!

I was GUTTED and wasn’t sure what to do. I I’d spent a lot of time and money on this dress already and needed to decide if I was going to remake the entire thing with new fabrics or just try to find a fabric that would work with the grey and just remake the top.

To help me figure it out I dress some more colour options and got some ideas from friends. Both Mary @thedailysew and Jenn @msjennmakes suggested a bright green which I liked.

That weekend I visited a friend in Baltimore and she was kind enough to take me to a few stores. In the last one we found this bright green cotton sateen that was a nice weight and seemed to go well with the grey (I remembered to bring a swatch!)

Once home  I unpicked, recut and re-sewed the new top and collar.

I tried it on and liked it better but realized my body had changed a little since making my dress form and the suiting had more stretch to it than the muslin fabric so I had to take it in a fair bit on the sides.

So despite my best efforts, this found me hand finishing this dress the night before we were due to leave -talk about stressed!

classic inside out, jeans around the ankles try on shot:

In all honesty I still wasn’t sure if I even liked the dress with all the last minute stress…I even brought a backup dress with me!

Don’t worry though, the day of the wedding arrived, I put it on with may hair done, my fave shoes and new accessories and oh man! I just loved it so much!

It survived a really fun wedding full of dancing too so that’s a big win for me!


For the back I used an invisible zip and two hooks with thread eyes:

 And for final pic: the comparison!

What do you think? As is typical for a sewist I do see a few issues but I’m going to try and not focus on those as honestly, I’m super proud and still can’t believe I pulled it of honestly…big thanks again to Mary @thedailysew who definitely was the catalyst for this one.

For me,  the best part about this whole experience is how excited I am to try more draping! I already have a dress in mind and fabric on its way! Ha! May was even kind enough to buy me a draping book for my birthday so stay tuned!

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