Today I'm sharing my garments I made for Week 4 of the Fabricista Fashion Challenge sponsored by Fabric Mart. Audrey's hard work really paid off with her amazing dress and jacket last week making her the winner. We lost another really good seamstress last week, too-- Peggy is such a creative seamstress, you have to check out her blog to see all her work!
Week 4 Challenge: The LBD-- Make a little black dress for your perfect night out. Create a story for us. Are you going out with your husband on a romantic date or a fun night out with the girls? Where will you be going? What will you be doing? Your dress should be able to tell your story. You will be judged on creativity, craftsmanship, how the dress tells your story, and fit. The winner will receive a Basket of Notions.
The folks at Fabric Mart will post all contestants work on their blog Tues, Oct 8-- voting will be open Tues and Wed-- results will be up on their blog Thurs, Oct 10, 2013.
My LBD Story-- I'll be wearing my Little Black Dress on a perfect weekend away in New York City with my amazing husband. With two nights on the town I needed two dresses! We'll have minimal space in our bag we'll take on the train into the city... so I simply made a fully reversible LBD! One side is my version of the classic LBD, a feminine and form-fitting 1960s sheath dress that dips low in back-- perfect for dinner and drinks out, then off to the Whitney Museum's Biennial. On night two (after a day of fabric shopping in the Garment District, off course) I'll flip the dress over to the sassy and bold print for a night that starts with a spicy feast at an Indian restaurant and then off to a jazz club for some fantastic live music and drinks.
I've never owned a Little Black Dress and knew this was another really useful challenge for me. And to make it twice as useful I made it into a REVERSIBLE dress! For the LBD side I used a stretch black satin, some delicate black lace for the bodice overlay and a sweet & tiny vintage black velvet bow. The reverse is a crazy fun printed silky poly charmeuse. I made sure to hand sew the LBD blind hem so that you can see it peak out on the printed side without seeing any stitching. I left the hand pricked zipper exposed on this side for a trendy touch-- the LBD is more classically sewn with a lapped zipper. I used a retro 1960s sheath dress pattern from Burda Magazine 5/2013 #134 (available for download here.) I cut my standard Burda size 42, graded to a 44 for the front hip and about to a 46 for the back bum/lower hip area.
I made a muslin from some cotton fabric (it felt a lot like muslin, it was coincidentally from a Fabric Mart mystery bundle so I don't know the exact content of the material.) I made a major swayback adjustment and then was able to use the fabric from it to underline the bodice. And those pink scissors in the photo are my prized scissors from winning Week 1 of the Fabricista Fashion Challenge! I've vowed to not cut anything but fabric with them.
The skirt on the dress has the slightest a-line design, perfect for a gal like me with a full back side. And let me tell you, this black fabric was a massive pain in that rear to photograph. Every little tiny shadow made by any little twist or turn I made while standing created these dramatic dark shadows on the material. But this dress fits me so well with exactly the right ease in the hips and bum for walking and sitting.
The back of the dress is fantastic. It's a deep V-neck that is still bra friendly. With all of the princess seaming and darts on this dress I was super careful to line up the amazing pattern up just right. I insisted on a trendy exposed zipper for the printed side... I love the results.
Will this dress ever fulfill it's destiny of taking a weekend trip to NYC? Who knows... but it's only an easy train ride away from me here in Baltimore, so... maybe?! Until then, if you invite me to a wedding, to see your band in a club here in town or maybe a gallery opening, I may show up in this little number.