May 28, 2012

Sew: The Party Dress

Tomorrow I turn 30. I'm not sad about leaving my 20's. Not at all. I've achieved so much in my 30 years on this planet and I couldn't be happier. I've obtained a Bachelor degree plus a Masters degree, travelled the world, married a wonderful man I met at the pub, renovated the "Renovator's Delight" and become the mother to two loud and boisterous boys. I'm really looking forward to my 30's. I think it is time to slow down, smell the roses and enjoy life!

On the weekend we hosted my 30th Birthday Party at our local cafe. Friends and family gathered from near and far to spend the evening with us to celebrate my birthday. I had a fabulous night (and weekend) full of fun, wine, food, laughter and macarons.

Of course, I had to have an equally fabulous dress to wear. Allow me to introduce The Party Dress...

Project Details
Pattern: Tracy Reese Vogue 1086
Fabric: Bird Print Silk Crepe De Chine
Alterations: Lengthened by 10cm, lined skirt, raised neckline by 4cm, pinched out 5cm from centre front and took side seams in 6cm (!!)


 I fell in love with this fabric after seeing it on The Selfish Seamstress. It is a Marc Jacobs silk crepe de chine that I bought on Ebay for the bargain price of $15 per metre. I had no plans for it at the time but once it arrived I knew I wanted it for my party dress.

Back Detail

I discovered Vogue 1086 and thought the fabric to pattern match was pretty good. I am super pleased with the end result but it took some time to get there.

Back - full length
Front - full length

Now, this dress was no walk in the park. All started relatively well and I thought I would be finished in no time. How wrong was I?! As outlined on Pattern Review, this pattern has major fitting issues. The front neckline is extremely low and wide. The shoulders are very wide and the pattern sizing runs extremely large. The fact that it is completely sewn with french seams or enclosed seams makes fitting extremely challenging.

I removed 6 cm from the side seams. Yes, that's right. 6cm!! Despite going down a size from my measurements, I still ended up with an indecent sack. I raised the centre front by 4cm and then removed an inch wedge once finished as it was very wide and gaping. I also raised the armholes and took an extra 1.5cm from the edge of the armholes when binding. Plus I extended the length by 10cm.

Despite all the fitting challenges, I am super pleased with the end result. It is a beautiful dress that is comfortable to wear. The fabric compliments the pattern perfectly.

L x


  1. Lovely work. I also picked up some of this fabric :) Can't help a bargain!
    Happy 30th Birthday. IMO the 30's are better than the 20's.

  2. Happy birthday! The print is fantastic! Massive fabric envy right now.

  3. Happy birthday. You're dress looks lovely as does your enormous smile. Sounds like you have plenty to be happy about. May your 30s be even more fabulous than your 20s!

  4. Happy birthday! I love what you've dobe with the fabric, the tweaking was well worth it - your frock fits perfectly!

  5. Happy birthday. I love the fabric, your dress looks happy and chic (a wonderful combination!).

  6. Happy birthday!! I turn 30 this year too :o) Beautiful dress and it sounds like you had a great night.

  7. happy birthday! the dress is lovely!!

  8. Happy birthday! It looks gorgeous - the fit is perfect, and the fabric is a perfect choice too!

  9. Happy birthday, I wish I had just turned 30 instead of 40 (ahem 1)... Anyway, it just gets better.... Your dress is lovely and you look fabulous in it! I have a question for you if you don't mind. I also bought some of this fabric and I started making a dress yesterday - Vogue 8182 bodice and Vogue 1086 skirt - but I just realised that I've made the whole bodie with the wrong side of the fabric. Having made a dress with the exact same fabric, would you redo or keep going? I have enough fabric to make another bodice, but it was fiddly and I know I'd be the only person who knows the fabric is the wrong side. Please help! :) Cheers, Sam

    1. Keep going! There's not a huge difference but if you're worried, you could make the skirt the wrong way as well and then there won't be any difference. Personally, I don't think it's worth re-doing. You could make a simple tank with the remnant instead. Good luck!

    2. Thank you for the reply. I ended up making the skirt the right way and now I'm unpicking the bodice. I decided that I wouldn't be happy with it otherwise. Arrghh!! I can't believe I couldn't see how different the sides were at first, now it's so obvious to me! Having fun unpicking... :(


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