how do i look? 😉
nothing like Holly Golightly, i know, but i can’t help thinking of that movie when i wear this newly made dress.
it may also remind me a bit of a dress for funerals, because of the black colour, but let’s keep this happy, shall we?
anyway, about a year ago my husband and i got an invitation for a family lunch with a dress code ’tumma puku’ aka dark suit. i panicked because i have none, not a single dark coloured dress… at least nothing suitable for a party. luckily for me, it turned out that that dark colour applied only for the men’s suits, and the ladies can wear any coloured dress as we liked, phew!
but it got me thinking of the one thing missing from my wardrobe: a little black dress (LBD). something so common in ladies’ closets is such a strange concept for me. 😅
so when i found a lovely tencel twill fabric in black, i thought that would be the perfect material to make myself an LBD. tencel is the closest i could find here to cupro, so it will do just great. i got about 2,2m of it, which shrank to about 2,05m after wash.
while i was pondering about what dress model i should use (this was some time in July), i read news that my fave Finnish pattern company, Named, was about to launch their first book… filled with patterns!
when the book, Breaking the Pattern, was finally out for sale in early November, i ordered mine right away. but of course it took 3 weeks to arrive even though it was well before Christmas rush!
well, it was worth the wait. right away, i found the perfect pattern from the book. but by that time my back was hurting so much that i couldn’t copy the pattern pieces (that’s why my previous sewing projects had been without patterns or using old patterns that didn’t need to be copied anymore), so i again had to wait for the right moment.
and now, finally, FINALLY, is the moment!
so the dress pattern is called Solina, and originally has sleeves, collar, and long hemline with slit on the mid front. since my mission was to create an LBD, i decided to make mine sleeveless, collarless, and short, so it would really be timeless.
the actual pattern also calls for bows made out of the same fabric as the dress. i used grosgrain ribbon instead, because years ago, i have seen dresses in & Other Stories so similar as this dress and they used grosgrain ribbons. and yes, it’s a great shortcut! i got 1m of the ribbon, so half a meter goes to each side.
i must say that i hadn’t sewn invisible zippers for years now. like, 5 years or even longer. at first i was going to go for a metalic zipper for this project too, but… you know, timeless dresses and metalic zippers don’t really match. so i braved myself to sew an invisible zipper for this one. i don’t think i did that bad.
everything was pretty much smooth sailing… until i tried on the dress for the first time. i honestly believed that i have long grown into a size 38-40, so i used the equivalent of European size 38 for this dress (size 3 in the book). turned out that the dress was wayyyyy too big for me. so i had to take in many centimeters from under the armholes up to the waistline.
this was the first time i learned how to attach an all-in-one facing, for which thankfully the book gave step-by-step instructions.
in case you want to do your dress like mine, here’s the chronology of things to sew (also as a reminder for myself in case i want to make another one, cause i had to switch back and forth from the Solina dress to the Solina jumpsuit instructions):
- finish edges + facing edges
- sew backside darts
- sew bow ties to front pieces + frontside pleats
- sew center front
- sew shoulder seams + facing shoulder seams
- all-in-one facing (follow jumpsuit instructions)
- sew zipper (follow dress instructions)
- sew side seams
- sew hemline
this was also the first time i sew blind stitches with my new sewing machine. i guess it’s pretty simple, i just wish i had remembered to cut the seam allowances narrower as the hem goes downwards, so i didn’t have to fold too much excess allowances on the seams. ah well, what is a sewing project without a few mistakes here and there?
and there you have it, LBD ala Named! 💕
i don’t regret my fabric choice, though i must say that taking pictures of this dress was a pain because of the colour and the fact that i have such dry skin in the winter. if you see the close up pics up there and wonder why there are so many white dots, they’re just my shedded skin.
still, i am super pleased with the result! now who wants to invite me to a tumma puku party? 😁