This is the perfect dress for the official first day of fall! It's super comfortable and a "wardrobe basic". It's essentially a sweatshirt dress. This is my Mood Sewing Network item for the month. I usually try to align my Mood project with an event that I'm attending.
The fabric is a Heather Gray Polyester Blend (poly/rayon/lycra) Ponte Knit from Mood Fabrics.com that is probably one of the softest, yet at the same time - luxurious knits I've ever used. I'm not just saying this because I'm a Mood blogger, but as far as ponte knits go, they have pretty much the best quality that I've ever encountered. This knit reminds of a cashmere blend knit that's used in high-end loungewear.
What I love most about this fabric is that it's not super stretchy, but it has enough for fabric recovery so there is no bagging after periods of sitting. And the blending of the poly/rayon gives the knit a polished look without wrinkling. And that's perfect for my lifestyle. I attend a lot of events where I'm sitting. And when I stand to mix and mingle, I don't want to be looking like a hot wrinkled mess. You could travel in this dress and still arrive crisp and fabulous!
My pattern is Vogue 1460, from Badgley Mischka. I cut the size 14, because this dress is really fitted. Make sure you check the finished pattern sizing. I added an inch to the bodice length and 2 inches to the skirt. I like for skirts and dresses to be 27" from the natural waist to the hem. That's pretty much my standard length on almost every sheath style dress I make.
The bodice is the only part of this dress that is lined. The armholes of the lining are finished with a 5/8" hem. At first, I wondered why a lining was needed? I wanted this to be sewn quickly and briefly considered if I could get away with omitting the lining. I'm glad I did what I was supposed to do. This dress has a pleated/draped bateau neckline. Notice the inside. The lining stabilizes and keeps it perfectly in place. When I wore it, it didn't feel fussy. So make sure to use your lining if you make this. It's there for a reason! My lining fabric is a black tricot from my stash. I'm not even sure where I purchased it.
Here is the lining in the back and the zipper. Since this is a knit and the tricot is very thin, I just treated both fabrics as one, like an underlining.
Another thing that I've seen before and rolled my eyes at the instructions is that they would have you use seam binding to reinforce the skirt seams at the slit. I just fuse interfacing to the slit area making sure I go a little beyond the foldline and back tack really well. The sleeves and the hem are both finished with a 1" hem.
Styling tip: When I initially put this dress on, I loved the simplicity of the design, but I thought - "basic". And considering my venue: A Fall Fashion Presentation at Saks Fifth Avenue during the evening, I wanted to be anything but! This dress needed a little zhooshing up. And that's what accessories are for! I added a cream, black and gray BCBG belt (it's old) and my newly favorite magenta suede pumps. And I grabbed my black tote because it was already packed! With this neckline, I liked my hair up. I decided to go with big dangling chandelier earrings and no necklace -- because of the statement belt. It can also be worn with anything from a pair of Converse sneakers to flat riding boots with a denim jacket.
We all need basics in our wardrobes. Everything doesn't have to be bright colored or bold printed. That's how you create wardrobe orphans that you get sick of wearing, people get sick of seeing you wear and you end up with a closet full of nothing to wear. A basic dress like this is like a clean slate every time you pull it out because of the range of possibilites as far as styling goes.