What do you mean, you haven’t heard of The Little Red Dress Project??
This was a fantastic challenge masterminded by the lovely Renata over at Runningnstyle. The challenge was to create a red dress for the holiday season (as opposed to the ubiquitous Little Black Dress) with a few guidelines to make the challenge interested.
It was a challenge that took the online sewing community by storm! I made a playlist of all the ‘reveal’ vlogs I could find – go and have a look!
Meanwhile on Instagram the hashtag #littlereddressproject will find you a bunch of awesome frocks to be envious of too!
Now, back in late September when the tag was announced, I immediately started mentally searching the stash for something red I could whip up. I remembered I had a piece of red stretch fabric, that had been in my stash for over five years. Yes, you read that right. Over five years. Moving on, nothing to see here…. anyhoo! I dug it out and fondly remembered it was called ‘moss velour’ – a heavy stretch velour with a low, velvety pile. Straightaway I knew I wanted to make something drapey, possibly with a coocoon shape. I set about trawling pattern sites and Pinterest for ideas, and although I came up with a shortlist, nothing was exactly what I wanted.
I eventually settled on Butterick 6241, which I hoped with a few adjustments would create the look I wanted.
As you can see I skipped the centre front zipper and the funnel collar. I also redrafted a short sleeve rather than the flutter sleeve. The biggest adaptation however was the shape of the dress skirt. As you can see on the pattern envelope it’s quite flared and swishy, but I didn’t want that. I did a spot of internet research and then did this to all the pattern pieces:
Yep, just pinned out a whole heap of volume at the hem. I did check that the hem edge of the pocket piece and the hem edge of the side front were the same, as those two pieces needed to match up to create the pocket. But basically I just pinned it onto the fabric and cut!
I did make a muslin, using some viscose jersey from my ‘local’ fabric shop in Marrickville. Loved it! I reckon I’ll wear this in cooler weather with tights & boots. (Of course, I haven’t finished the hems yet, I was so keen to get on with the real thing!)
I even remembered to pay attention to the direction of the nap when I was cutting the red fabric! The neckline I finished using a basic t-shirt binding, which sticks up a little bit so I’ve obviously stretched it while sewing or something. Not too worried though!
It’s a pattern that goes together pretty fast, although it definitely would have taken longer if I’d kept the zipper. I was actually able to finish this in one night, thanks to my serger, which I used for everything but the hems & pocket edges which I did with a twin needle.
The fabric is quite heavy so I don’t think I’ll be wearing it this Christmas – it’s seriously steamy here in Sydney!! So maybe Christmas in July….. All in all though I’m pretty happy with this dress, I really like the way the shape turned out. I’d probably do the sleeves differently if I made it again, the ‘t-shirt sleeve’ effect is a bit boring for a dress with so much other shape going on.
There is a video over on the vlog where I talk a little bit about the making of this dress – feel free to pop over and watch!
Meanwhile I’m off to start on my new year’s summer projects, there’s quite a list so I’d better get a wiggle on! Happy New Year!