Thursday, February 12, 2015

Faux Suede Wrap Dress



This project began with a fabric. I had this stretchy faux suede, really lovely,  velvety, and with a lot of drape, and It seemed a natural for a wrap dress. I did consider making a shirtdress, because I love shirtdresses, and because : Halston...


But my fabric was very different from his. 70s faux suede was much stiffer and with no stretch, and I just didn't think it would work. I did use a 70s pattern for my wrap dress though, this Edith Head for Vogue number:


I love 70s styles and I think pattern enveloppes were often really beautiful at the time. Since I have collected a few, and have been meaning to sew more from them, I've decided to join the Vintage Pattern Pledge over at A Stitching Odyssey. I won't promise to sew a predetermined number of vintage patterns, because it seems too arbitrary. I don't like to plan too much with my sewing and would rather just go with the flow. But taking the pledge will help keep on my mind that sewing these beauties up is better than just keeping them in a drawer, untouched. So here goes...

I pledge to sew some of my favorite vintage patterns this year, specifically patterns from the 70s.



So, back to my dress. The cool thing about this fabric is you can leave the edges raw. No need to finish the seam allowances and instead of turning the hem up, I cut it with a rotary cutter... veeery carefully. And I think now that the best way to explore the qualities of this fabric would be in a style with all raw edges and no darts. Because of its softness, it really isn't great for sewing neat darts. Mine all have dimples at the end, as you can see here. Plus this fabric doesn't like the iron, so it is better to keep the seams to a minimum. I do hope to find more of this fabric and I think I will make something very different with it next time!



So, going forward toward spring, I'm sewing a mid-season coat right now, and I know I'll need to sew some more dresses. I'm thinking a lot about finding the best styles for my shape, because in all honesty, no matter how alluring wrap styles can be, a thick belt around my waist is not the most flattering option for me. Instead, I think I ought to focus on either empire styles like this one I made last year, Green Twist Dress, or dresses that belt at the hips rather than the waist. It's hard because the vast majority of pretty dress patterns on the market seem to have a defined waist.
If you're in the same predicament, I'd love to hear which dress styles you're happiest with and if you've found great patterns to sew them with!



22 comments:

  1. So luxe, its velevety awesomeness just oozes through the screen! Great job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Hillary! The fabric really is gorgeous :)

      Delete
  2. This dress is lovely. It looks so current, even though you used a 70s pattern

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Katherine! Some 70s classics definitely are classics today.

      Delete
  3. I love the drape of that fabric - so luscious! The colour definitely suits the 70's era but the styling looks very modern x

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think this is really nice. To me the nuances of the fabric give it that flare as well. Especially suede. So I wouldn't be to concerned about darts. Nor stitching for that matter. But that's me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I really don't think anyone who sees me in the dress will care about the darts.

      Delete
  5. Really cute and looks so comfortable and easy to wear!

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a trip down memory lane! Real suede was the thing for so long, my Mom had so many knit suits with suede or leather details. Then came faux suede. hmm. Would be acceptable? Well, it was so pricey that it was embraced as the latest thing since Revlon Red nail polish. LOL. I love the newer version for its softness, but find it limiting, as you did, because it doesn't behave. I used it in a long long coat with no darts, front, back, sleeves.

    I love your dress, the color is beautiful on you. And understand your waist decision - I find belts and so on at my waist to be less and less of a draw. More into relaxed styles now that I'm not in a suit every day! Looking forward to your spring makes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Coco! How interesting! I agree that a simple coat would be wonderful in this fabric.

      Delete
  7. It's a lovely colour on you, and I like the silhouette on you, but you've got to be comfortable with it of course. Such lush fabric. It's beautiful Sara!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sarah! Bodies change.... I used to wear wrap dresses a lot, but I think there are better styles for me now.

      Delete
  8. The drape of that fabric is beautiful and both the fabric and the wrap itself are iconic 70s… there must be a solution to the seams/pressing problem! The color is perfect on you and the way that v lies flat - that is skill! A shirt dress would be amazig in this fabric though :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sasha! The V lying flat is thanks to the pattern being well drafted. They have you ease the neckline onto the facings, just a little, but it does the trick :)

      Delete
  9. This is lovely, relaxed but sophisticated. So glad you're joining us in the Vintage Pledge too, I love your blog

    ReplyDelete
  10. This looks so chic on you, and very cool in the faux suede. A gorgeous colour too. I love faux suede and leather too, and wish I could find either of them here more often.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think it is lovely on you, waist ties and all. I have the same pattern and am debating what to do with it - but I will definitely shorten the belt. Last time I made a wrap dress, I adjusted the belt so as not to wrap round but just to tie at the side, with a hook on the other side (inside the dress). Saves some bulk - and extra fabric that creates heat in the summer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Francesca! I might alter the belt some day so it's not so heavy. Come fall maybe, since I won't be wearing this dress during summer.

      Delete