Made It Monday: Sequin Dress

Sequin dress

I’ve never thought of myself as a “sequin girl”. My aesthetic is more girly-girl-froufrou, so thinking of sewing with sequins didn’t happen… often. However, I was browsing around some online fabric stores and found some 8mm sequin fabric that I kind of fell in love with. It was a bit outside my price range for what I’d pay for a fabric I had never worked with, so I only toyed with the idea of it. Soon after, while discussing the possibility of sewing with the sequin fabric, a gal in one of the sewing Facebook groups I’m in offered me 2-yards of pink sequin fabric. I pored over my stash of patterns and wasn’t happy with any of them: I didn’t want to deal with darts, needed something that accommodated for stretchy fabric, and had minimal amount of seams.

Here’s the thing about sewing with sequin fabrics (the right way): it takes a lot of time. If you’re willing to invest the time into it, you’ll end up with a beautiful, couture garment. When you sew with sequins, expect to have shreds of sequins all over your sewing space after cutting out your pattern pieces. Then, you’ll need to trim away the sequins from the seam allowances: trimming sequins caught in seams, whether serged or straight stitched, it about as fun as… something that’s not so fun. Really, it’s worth it to take the time to clean up your seams and then take care of the few stray sequins that got caught in your seams. And, of course that means you’ll need to follow it up with filling in the voids in the fabric with the sequins you cleared away. Totally worth the time.

Preparing fabric for sewing

One thing I did that this pattern didn’t call for was lining. I tried the dress on after I sewed up the four seams (two shoulders, two sides), and the inside was so scratchy! So I found some pink tricot to match the dress and used that for lining.

Now, there’s a really awesome trick for lining a sleeveless dress that I used when I made the Downton Abbey dress, unfortunately, it requires that your side seams be open. Mine weren’t. So I went the hand-sewing route. And actually, I found an article in a past edition of Threads that showed how to add a lining to a garment. I sewed the necklines together, understitched, discovered that the neckline was still rolling out despite the understitching, thus I had to hand-tack it down. Then I hand-sewed both of the armholes and finished by filling in the sequins voids around the neckline and armholes.

Even though this dress took a lot more extra effort than needed with its pattern counterpart, I’m still very happy with how it turned out. It’ll be the perfect outfit to wear in Vegas when we go in September.

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Cowl’d Maxi Dress

Cowl'd Maxi Dress

A while ago, I mentioned that I was going to stop sewing for myself until I managed to reach certain weight loss goals. Recently, I finally met my first one! Hooray! I ended up deciding against the Simplicity pattern I originally chosen to go with the chevron  jersey I picked up from Pacific Fabrics back in March during their Sew Expo sale. It was kind of a silly choice, because it would require a lot of pattern matching to make it look good, so I choose a simple McCall’s dress (McCall’s 6612).

I originally bought the pattern to make a pink sequin cocktail dress, but this pattern also included a maxi dress with a cowl. I’m not sure what season it’s for, but this jersey is pretty lightweight, that even with the cowl, I’m pretty sure it passes for summer wear. The only pattern matching I had to do was matching at the side seams. I got pretty close, so that’s all I cared about.

It’s a super simple dress: three pieces! It took me less than four hours to make, from cutting out to finishing the hem. Granted, having a serger made it go a LOT faster. I single stitched the hem on the armhole and twin needle stitched the hem on the skirt; that almost made me wish I had a cover stitch machine.

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On to my review!

Pattern Description

Jersey maxi dress with cowl. Pattern envelope describes it as close fitting, which I would say is pretty accurate.

Pattern Sizing

I made a size 14, but graded out to a size 16 in the hips. Easier to take in than to let out! I feel like I have just enough room to move around in, while the design still retains a good shape.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Very much so!

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Honestly, I didn’t really follow the instructions, except for sewing and attaching the cowl. But those were pretty easy to follow.  Otherwise, only checked to make sure that I was hemming the suggested amount.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Super easy. This style was only three pieces, other styles are equally simple in the amount of pieces to use.

Fabric Used

Lightweight jersey with a chevron print.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made

None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Maybe not this style again, but I’m currently making a cocktail dress from another style from the same pattern. The shirt with the rouched sides also looks appealing, so we’ll see!

Conclusion

If you need a pattern for a quick and easy knit dress, this is it!

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