DIY Red Neoprene Dress!

12:00 AM

DIY Red Neoprene Dress
If someone had told me a few years ago that scuba suit fabric would be so popular in ready-to-wear fashion, I would have rolled my eyes out of my head.  Neoprene (which I had never even heard of before last year) wasn't a fabric that I would have considered for everyday wear, unless you participate in water sports.  But the fact is that neoprene does indeed make really cute garments, especially dresses.
DIY Red Neoprene Dress
Since the fabric is thick and form-fitting, neoprene dresses and skirts are flattering and may even eliminate the need for Spanx!  And since many of them are reversible like the one I picked from Mood Fabrics, it also gives you the option of color blocking and interesting fabric placements.
DIY Red Neoprene Dress
This fabric is double-faced: red nylon on one side and gray heathered cotton jersey on the other.  It cut beautifully with a new rotary cutter blade.  After doing a bit of research, I knew I would probably be better off using the largest needle I had -- which is a Schmetz 100/16 jeans/denim needle and my regular Gutermann Sew-All Polyester All Purpose Thread.  I used a 2.5mm stitch and a 3.5mm for topstitching.  This is a non-fraying fabric and the seams could have been left as is, but I prefer a finished look.  So I serged mine.
DIY Red Neoprene Dress
I frankenpatterned this look and here are the patterns I used:  for the bodice I used OOP McCall's 5753.  This is a pattern that I found in my pattern cabinet that I've had for about 5 or 6 years.  I can't believe this pattern is OOP because it should be considered a classic since it offers 3 bodices variations, 3 sleeves, a sleeveless option, straight skirt with or without pockets and instructions to create your own belt.  I feel like I rediscovered a jewel!  I'll be using this one often from now on.  For my bodice, I choose the v-neck and I added an inch to the waist.  My sleeve started out as a 3/4 length, but I shortened it to above the elbow... for my own comfort.  I cut my normal size 14.  But I found that it was still a large and I had to take it in at the side seams.
DIY Red Neoprene Dress
For the skirt, I used McCall's 6842.  I used a slightly shortened version of view B.  I graded from the 14 to the 16.  I could've just stuck with the 14 only.  I also had to take in the side seams.  This is my first time cutting this pattern, so I don't know if my sizing issues is the pattern or the fabric choice since it was designed for a woven... so proceed with caution.
DIY Red Neoprene Dress
When I sewed the bodice to the skirt, I basted my zipper so I could try it on and check whether the fit would need to be refined.  It did.  My bodice still seemed a bit too loose and there was also gaposis, so I ended up pulling it in more at the center back.  I also used an exposed zipper with the tape on the outside.
DIY Red Neoprene Dress
This fabric does NOT take heat well.  I fought with those seams with my gravity feed steam iron, a seam roll and a clapper.  They were only going to flatten so much.  I noticed on RTW garments that they looked pretty much like mine.
DIY Red Neoprene Dress
In conclusion, I'm a new convert to neoprene.  Sadly, it's a very difficult fabric to locate.  Luckily, I have another yard left!  I love discovering a great pattern in my collection that has gone unnoticed for years!  It will now be my goto bodice!  And this skirt pattern couldn't be anymore adorable!  View D will definitely become a full midi skirt for this spring and summer!

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55 comments

  1. Very pretty outfit!

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  2. It is awesome, and looks great on you.

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  3. Wow! Such a great looking frock!

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    1. Thanks Christy! It is a lot of fun!

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  4. Erica, This is a fabulous dress! Wouldn't you know the pattern doesn't exist ;) Love the red on you and the swing of the skirt. Great job!!!!!

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    1. I know! I can't believe I sat on this one for so long! Thanks GV!

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  5. Great color and lovely dress! Neoprene and scuba fabric is fantastic for making travel garments... easy to pack and not worry about wrinkling.

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    1. I read that was one of the great attributes! Thanks Kathy!

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  6. This is so pretty. I have some black neoprene that just made it's way to the top of my to sew list lol.

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  7. I like that you frankenpatterned together two patterns to get this amazing dress!

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    1. It beats drafting! LOL! Thanks Carolyn!

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  8. This dress is gorgeous!

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  9. This is a very pretty dress and that color looks great on you.

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  10. you are a tall drink of Fun Glamour. you oughta have a cocktail named after you.

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    1. Ha! There should be! LOL! Thanks Oona!

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  11. This is a scroller, thus I scroll up to look at it again and again. Love it!

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  12. Love the dress. I had the same thoughts as you about the neoprene fabric in fashion. your dress has proven me wrong.

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    1. Like I said, I'm a convert! Thanks Kelroc!

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  13. THAT is flippin' awesome! I hadn't heard of neoprene in fashion garments, and now I want one ( I was going to buy some to make a tablet cover--who knew?). I love this dress on you...and I love the term 'frankenpattern'. Question: Does this fabric breath, or is it best suited for cooler weather?

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    1. It was about 65° when I had it on and it felt comfortable. Thanks Celeste Lux!

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  14. Oh, my goodness! Go to Spandex World for neoprene. They have the same you used but soooooooo much cheaper than Mood.

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  15. I would never have thought of trying this, but it looks great - whether I will ever find any neoprene locally is another matter.....

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    1. Shocked me too... moreso that it's such a powerful trend that's hanging around! Thanks AllisonC!

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  16. So very, very pretty!!!

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  17. WOW! You have inspired me (as always). I made a cocktail dress with a polka dot neoprene fabric and was reluctant to show it off because of what it normally is used for. Now I can go strut my stuff too. Your dress is gorgeous by the way!

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    1. Strut your stuff honey! I want to see it! Thanks Naan!

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  18. Beautiful dress!

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  19. What a fun dress! I've had my eye on this fabric too. Thanks for the info on how it sews.

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    1. It really is a fun dress! Thanks Amanda!

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  20. I like the style of this dress & I never would of thought to try this fabric....thanks for all your details!
    DeniseAngela

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  21. I love your new neoprene dress! You look great.

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  22. Beautiful! Now I've always had the impression that neoprene would be hot. Since I am not a water girl my notion of this fabric could be all wrong. Is this something us southern ladies can wear after the weather turns?

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    1. Unless I'm attending an outdoor event, I never give the temperature any thought. Everywhere I go, the AC is blowing at 68° and I'm longing for something warm. I would put this in the same category as leather. And I've been known to wear leather pieces in the dead of summer. Thanks Shawnta!

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  23. Wow! You of course look great in red or whatever color you choose. I was so glad to read your review as I purchased some neoprene (scuba) fabric from EmmaOneSock. I have not decided what I am going to make, mostly because I was not sure how this fabric was going to sew, feel, act, etc. I am very happy to read what worked in the way of needles, threads and pressing.

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    1. Awesome you were able to find some Linda! Thanks!

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  24. Wow, unless you know how neoprene behaves and have worn it before, I don't think someone could even tell by looking at your dress that it is made of neoprene. I can tell because I've swum (swam?) in it. No matter how thin, it kind of has a mind of its own as I see you discovered when handling the zipper and the seams. Did you try to glue or heat seal any seams? That's usually what's done with a wetsuit. Sometimes, they even cut down the seams. I was so excited to see your lovely dress in neoprene that I included you on my recent blog post about researching neoprene. I look forward to your next neoprene piece! Inquiring minds... how is it to wear in the summer heat? All I can think is... "I'm melting!"
    http://www.calmundertension.com/blog.html.

    Cheers,
    ~GG~

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    1. Hi GG,

      Thanks for the tip on the zipper. I'll try that the next time I use neoprene. Which I'm hoping will be soon because I want a white neoprene pencil skirt! I haven't worn this dress in months. Actually, I've lost over 20 lbs since I made it. And I plan to alter it so that it fits. And I'll share my thoughts on wearing it hot weather in a couple of weeks! Thanks!

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