The timing is perfect for starting your own version of this chic, classic dress. I plan to use each new Friday episode as a timer of sorts. So for me episode 601 marks the beginning as I move toward the finish line for making my own Little Black Dress.
In episode 601 Angela Wolf shows a few different dress styles and gives you tips for sewing successful darts. If you read Angela's blog you know she is the consumate couture expert. Pay attention to the dart lesson. If you decide to join my journey towards making your own dress you will likely have darts to sew. In fact, in my opinion most dartless patterns are iffy at best, unless the darts have been transferred to another point on the garment. Unless your body is flat on all sides YOU NEED DARTS!
The next expert instructor is pattern maker Peggy Sagers. She delves into the classic sheath dress and the many possible modifications for changing up this basic style.The garments she has on display and her ideas for accessorizing fit in perfectly with the rest of this blog post. Watching her made me want to grab a garment pattern and start sewing!!!
Gearing up for the start of my dress I thought I would begin with some inspirational illustrations courtesy of landsend.com. Previously I mentioned that an ad in my inbox showed the versatility of owning one of these black beauties. I wholeheartedly agree that the LBD is a very versatile piece. Begin with this basic and you will reach for it again and again, especially if you add a few accessory items to make it work for a wide variety of occasions.
In the following sketches you'll see that Land's End started with a plain black ponte knit dress, and then took it from casual to couture and day into night just by mixing in a few accessories and adding some basic garment pieces. The illustrations you see here are used with permission from the good folks at landsend.com. The comments are my own.
Feeling inspired? I know I am! For me, photographs of finished garments really help me feel motivated to start sewing. I guess that's why I prefer patterns with real models on the front of the envelope in addition to, or in place of rough artist's sketches. I also like to post the pattern envelope right in front of my sewing machine as I work on constructing the garment. Are you ready for the drum roll as I reveal my pattern selection? After much deliberation I have decided on Simplicity 2146.
Second, I have seen this dress made up by one of my local students. She created a red and black color block dress and added some elegant embroidery to the bodice. I was impressed by the outcome.
Last but not least, as a Project Runway pattern, this dress offers an included croquis kit with lots of styling options. I think I’ll go with the short sleeve version for starters. Of course my first task will be to perfect the fit with a trial garment, otherwise known as a “muslin.” If all works well I think this dress pattern will see much more than just one use. If you watched episode 601 you heard Angela Wolf say one of her favorite things to do was to find dress pattern with a perfect fit and make it multiple times in different fabrics.
By the way, if you like this pattern pick too, you may want to snatch it while it is current. “Buy it when you see it and you’ll have it when you need it.” I hate to be disappointed when I delay shopping and then come to find that section of the pattern drawer empty due to the pattern being discontinued.
Next up, cutting apart the pattern tissue (actually this is one of my favorite tasks), and preparing to make a test dress. I’m heading to hunt through my stash for an appropriate test piece and I’ll report my progress soon. In the meantime let me know if you have decided to join in the fun of making your own Little Black Dress!