McCalls 5094–the February Dress. A little roses and lace.

Yay! It’s done! The February dress. After the never-ending string of muslins, I just did one final tweak (shaving another inch or so from the bottom of the center of the front bodice piece) and went ahead with the real-life dress. Behold!

Oh! I lied! I also made a few more tweaks – I sewed the straps with a quarter inch seam allowance instead of the normal 5/8” – this widened the strap enough to hide my bra straps. I also accidentally sewed some of the seams on the bodice with a much wider seam allowance because I wasn’t paying attention to the settings on the sewing machine, so the bodice is a bit smaller than I intended.

Since the dress is so simple, I spent a bit of extra time hand sewing. I added some trim to the top of the bodice – partially for looks, and partially to reinforce the center seam of the bodice. The center front feels a bit flimsy, and since the bodice is so very fitted, I was concerned that it might actually rip. You can see the trim in this photo as well as how very fitted the bodice actually is. You can also get a nice view of my blotchy skin and freckles!

I lined the upper bodice and the skirt with lovely pink voile. The midriff is self lined – mostly to save a bit of money on the pricey voile! I wanted the dress to be comfy in warmer weather, so I wanted to stay away from slippery linings.

Here’s a shot of the inside back. I so, so love a fully lined dress. It’s so tidy inside! I mostly serged the seams of the dress – the very top, the darts and the waistband were sewn on a regular sewing machine. I struggled a bit to get the midriff lining nicely sewn in so that it didn’t cause any ripples pulling on the outside of the dress. Lots of pins and patience helped. I bet using an iron would have helped even more!

I hemmed the skirt with a narrow hem by sewing a quarter of an inch from the raw edge, turning on the seamline (using steam), sewing close to the edge, trimming the extra fabric, turning and steaming again and sewing close to the edge again. I hemmed the lining the same way and then sewed store-bought hot pink lace hem facing to the edge.

Here’s a shot of the back of the dress. Sort of.

And here’s a shot of the dress in motion, and a bit more of the side view.

Next time I make this dress, I’ll move the zipper to the side from the center back. Since it’s so fitted, it’s REALLY hard to yank on over my head or do the zipper on my own. Since I don’t have a ladies’ maid, a back zip is super inconvenient!

Ah! Year of the Dress. How I love you. Two months in… how time flies! When is spring going to get here? When? WHEN?? The year of the dress so far…

This dress is serving double-duty… not only is it my official February dress for my year of dresses, but I also chose the fabric to work with my palette for the Colette Spring Palette challenge. Once dress, two birds? Two stones dressed in a dress? Something like that. Here’s an update on my palette challenge…
coletteinspiration board copy

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  • AM
    April 6, 2011

    Great job on the dress! Super cute, and the lining is just wonderful. You do good work!

  • Paunnet
    February 12, 2011

    This dress has so many adorable details… I'm speechless!

  • Sue
    February 12, 2011

    That dress is so beautiful, beautifully made and it looks beautiful on you.

  • Veronica Darling...
    February 12, 2011

    WOW that is absolutely amazing, and your lining is beautiful! WOW WOW WOW! I'd never be able to take photos of the insides of my dresses, it's too messy!

  • Sølvi
    February 11, 2011

    I said it over at the Colette forum, and I´ll say it here- this dress is adorabe! Love the fabric, and I love the pattern. Great work on both the inside and the outside of this one!

  • woolcat
    February 11, 2011

    That is really pretty! You are making me all inspired to sew a dress. Except I need to study first… sigh.

  • Heather
    February 10, 2011

    Oh oh, I love this! The fabric choice is super cute, and the cut of the dress looks great on you. I really want to make a dress now! Great job on the inside; it looks a pretty as the outside. :)

  • gMarie
    February 10, 2011

    This dress is stunning! While a similar shape to your parfait – the fit is very, very different. Looks fantastic. g

  • Liz
    February 10, 2011

    This is such a lovely dress. You did an amazing job!
    Also, where did you buy your pink voile? It's so pretty.

  • jaimesews
    February 10, 2011

    REALLY well done – love the fit of the bodice. Patterns are not so nice to the full busted women! Bravo!

  • angie.a
    February 10, 2011

    I love all of them, but this might be my favorite too! Beautiful job.

  • [patty the snug bug]
    February 10, 2011

    Faustine! Ah! I've already given that one away – I liked it, but didn't LOVE it and I have a friend who really liked the fabric! I'll be making that one again, with a bit more length in the upper bodice to get that underbust seam dropped a bit. And short sleeves. I have JUST the fabric!!

    Psycho S – hot tranny mess. Favorite saying. Also, I'm a fan of mixing styles and fabrics -so holly hobby fabric = marilyn monroe styling…

    T-isis – I'm not sure on cutting on the fold. Part of why I like the fit is that the close fit + the gathers allow for the center front to lie much closer to my body. I think that cutting on the fold would keep the center front farther out….. hmmm….. I'll have to do a test!

    I'm glad you all like it! I think this is def my favorite so far, but that's partially because I am an extreme sucker for this type of print! And a dress a week? THAT certainly isn't going to continue – my closet isn't big enough!

  • flyskim
    February 10, 2011

    So pretty! Love the fabric and the trim. It's so nostalgic. I'll jump on the bandwagon and declare this as my favorite, not just because it's a great dress but because it seems to suit you so well. And Tanitisis was right when she said a dress a week.

  • Jane
    February 10, 2011

    Oh I love it. definitely my favourite of the year so far. Beautiful work and you look fab in it! x

  • tanitisis
    February 10, 2011

    Isn't that a dress for every week of the year so far? Wow!

    That is gorgeous! And fitted in all the right ways, yum! Love the fabric, too. It's definitely worth the hand-sewn trim. How curved is that frightening front seam? Could you cut it on the fold next time? (if there is a next time…)

    Love it!

  • Psycho Sue- Sew Misunderstood
    February 10, 2011

    Snuggy Buggy your clothes always look PERFECT on the inside, it makes me feel like a tranny mess sewer! and may i add that you are so cutesy in this print! but whoa, the curves are smokin!

  • Stevie
    February 10, 2011

    Your so fast at producing these dresses but I think this is my favourite! I love love love the fabric and I have to say I prefer the Shaping to the Parfait which I wasn't expecting.
    Well done! x

  • Faustine
    February 10, 2011

    I most say, each dress is more stunning than the last! I think my favorite is your first january dress, but this one is lovely as well!

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