One Pattern, Two Very Different Dresses! (Simplicity 8413)

For a while I’ve been looking for a easy project to introduce me to the wide and scary world of commercial patterns. I thought this was a good choice; it doesn’t include anything super fiddly, and isn’t too fitted.

In the end I actually found several ways to make it even easier. When I toiled it, I found that I could fit it over my head without needing to insert an invisible zip (one of my least favourite things in the world!) and for both dresses I used shop bought bias binding instead of making my own.

For the first dress (which I like to call my ‘VFD dress’) I used an eye print cotton lawn from Fabric Godmother. I instantly fell in love with this fabric, and purely by accident one of the closed eyes ended up in the middle of the dress, which I was very happy about! Although cotton lawn is very thin, I’ve still been wearing this dress a lot during the cold weather, with a jumper underneath. I deviated from the pattern a bit by using french seams, as the fabric is quite see-through and this makes it look neater.

Now onto dress no.2… I wasn’t originally planning on making a second dress from the pattern, but my aunt and I were going to the ballet and decided to dress up. A few days earlier I’d come across a gorgeous photo of Winona Ryder in the 90s wearing a velvet slip dress, so I decided to make one for myself!

I’d never worked with velvet before -to be honest I was scared to- but I actually found it really nice to sew with. The only problem I had was when it came to folding the raw edge of the bias binding underneath itself and sewing it to the back neckline of the dress. Because the velvet was quite thick already, it was really hard to sew through so many layers of fabric. It ended up looking quite messy, but I think the dark colour hides it quite well.

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