Monday, October 18, 2010

My Little Green Dress, LGD

Simplicity 2404
For the past few years there has been a great deal of talk about the famous Little Black Dress, or LBD, of the fashion world.  Even when "grey is the new black" or "camel is the new black," every fashion guru cites the LBD as an indispensable must have.  So here I am, retired, spending time sewing, reading, taking long walks, cooking and gardening, not usually activities associated with the LBD.  I'm a "slow adopter" in marketing terms. I never rush to buy the new gadget or fashion....have to wait and see if it is really worthwhile.  I other words, I love to procrastinate.  And I have procrastinated on this sewing project for just long enough.

I was inspired to think about sewing a LBD when Threads did the wonderful Issue #130 with several great designer examples.  That was three years ago.  One year ago I helped a Florida friend fit a sleeveless sheath.  We did 2 muslins and then she made an absolutely stunning silk dupioni sheath, lined and underlined.  Wow, I helped her fit that dress and still I was LBD-less.  What's wrong with that?  So this summer I declared that I was going to get at least one fitted dress fitted to my body and sewn into something wearable.  I made two muslins, both Simplicity patterns, #2404 and # 2550.  Since 2404 was the best fitting one in the initial muslin, I made some changes and cut it out in a woven cotton sateen for my sewing retreat weekend in mid-August.  It needed help, still, since I find it so difficult to fit the back decently.  My sewing guild buddies pinned me up in minutes.  Let me tell you, that's  a huge benefit of ASG membership.  You meet the people who can inspire you and also help you do this challenging fitting stuff.  I had other projects in the works, however, and didn't pursue it again until last week.  This past Saturday was my ASG Annual Meeting in Northern Virginia.  I wanted to finish the dress that these generous friends had helped me fit.  I don't think black is a flattering color on me so I made my first wearable one out of this green rayon-poly-lyrcra from Fabric Mart.  The meeting was as fun as 40 sewing fanatics in a room can be and I was happy to have completed this project.

The dress is lined in the body with stretch silk from a wonderful sale at Michael's Fabrics years ago.  I was thrilled to have a stretch lining with the slight stretch of this woven.  It was fitted to account for the very extreme asymmetry of my body.  I have scoliosis and my right shoulder is about 1" lower than my left.  You can't tell from this pose but I'll post my custom body form one of these days to show.  Therefore a fitted woven dress or blouse is a real challenge for me, one that I was avoiding.  Jackets with structure or knit tops with their casual look don't need as much alteration.  I ended up with single pattern pieces for each side of my body....14 pattern pieces for the dress and 12 pieces for the lining since I only lined the body.  What a PITA to cut out and you understand my procrastination.
I cut full pattern pieces for the lining then stitched the interfaced facings directly to them.  I basted the lining and garment armscyes together then used 11/4" strips of Ambiance lining to do a single layer bias binding all around the armhole.
facngs to be stitched to lining
I don't love, love the finished dress since I find it wrinkles even with its lining.  But I do like the fit and style of the dress.  Now I'm ready with a fitted pattern to consider more versions of the LBD for my closet.


  1. The dress looks lovely on you.

  2. I love your LGD. Such a gorgeous color. And a perfectly flattering fit.

    I've never been involved in ASG ... so I looked it up in FLA ... nothing too near by it looks like. Do you usually have to travel far to find other members.


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