One of the most basic and essential items of clothing a girl keeps in her closet is the little black dress. The LBD, made famous by Coco Chanel, is the type of classic that transcends trends and remains steadfast. And, if you're like me and just love wearing black, it's the perfect excuse to dress in mono.
After reviewing my dresses board, I've come to realize that I have a variety of different shift dresses pinned as inspiration. I've decided that I will use this pattern again to sew several dresses. SO. It was important to make sure that I had a good fitting end product. I made two fit muslins, primarily to adjust the shoulder width, before I cut into my silk. I narrowed the shoulders by 3/4 inch on each side. Also, to get the above-the-knee length from my inspiration photo, I removed NINE inches from the skirt length. I'm short and used to reducing skirt length; however, I think this is a new record. The envelop illustrations make this dress look as if it's slightly below the knee, but I think it's longer.
The construction of this dress is very simple. Three pattern pieces. That's it. The sleeve has three small pleats below the elbow to create shape and wearing ease. Additionally, there are fish eye darts and shoulder darts on the backside, long angled bust darts on the front, and a folded kick pleat at the center back.
I used silk pongee to line the body of the dress. My dress fabric is too sheer otherwise, as can be seen above. I attached the lining at the neckline, right sides together and turned it under. Then, I was extra lazy, and decided to do a center-pull zipper so I could press my seam allowances under and stitch them in place with the zipper sandwiched between them. This is a VERY easy way to install a zip, and it looks tidy and clean on the inside (you can see what I mean, HERE, on Instagram). I left my sleeves unlined and used French seams to stitch them in place.
I even managed to sneak a little burst of color into my LBD, lest you fear I'm regressing from my efforts to incorporate more color into my closet. Having a cobalt blue lining is a little like wearing frilly knickers. Nobody knows it's there (well, now the internet knows), but it makes you feel a little bit fancy. Speaking of blue... Denise from The Blue Gardenia is hosting a wonderfully generous giveaway on her blog. If you're looking to get in on #vintagepledge or just wanting to add to your pattern collection, pay her a visit and enter for a chance to win! I was lucky enough to win some of her patterns for participating in Vintage Pledge last year, and I can attest to how lovely they are!
There's plenty of vintage stitching happening during #vintagepledge this year! What sorts of projects are you working on? I'm finding the lure of spring difficult to resist. The rational part of my brain keeps reminding me that I've worn sweaters through May the past two years... Today, it's nice enough to have bare legs... It's a tug-of-war. It's also a kick in the pants, hopefully the one I need, to start finishing the pile of sweaters I have lingering. It would be awfully sad if I wasn't able to wear them before summer arrives, wouldn't it?