Friday, August 5, 2011

B5491 • Fireworks Dress

"Baby, you're a firework…"
According to the trends, 1970s fashions are still in full swing this summer. I thought I'd do my own Studio 54-inspired Halston dress to wear to my 20-year high school reunion last weekend. I have to say, I felt fantastic in our hot weather (85ºF!) had a great time with new and old friends, and didn't drink TOO much. Perfection!

B5491 Pattern Description: Loose-fitting, flared dresses A, B, below mid-knee or evening length, have lined, gathered v-neck bodice, neck band, front draped midriff and back zipper.

Pattern Sizing: 6-20. I cut a size 12 back bodice, 14 front bodice and 14 skirt. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It really did!

Were the instructions easy to follow? They were clear and concise. Although I went "off book" with my sewing order and construction order, they'd be great direx for a beginning sewist.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the sexy front and back cutouts and the strap that holds the top of the dress up. Shoulderblades and cleavage and legs? (Oh my!) That's the makings of a great dress, in my opinion. I also liked the built-in bra cups. I usually wear a longline strapless bra, and it was just too hot for that nonsense. I didn't like that the central empire waist section had a tie in the back. To remedy this,  I cut double for those pieces and added them to the dress, also sewing the tucks by hand. It wasn't difficult at all.

Fabric Used: Swimsuit lycra fashion fabric (after all, I could have ended up in the pool like those fun 1980s movies!) and tricot for full lining.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I did a 1/2" FBA and skipped adding the unnecessary back zipper. I also lined the bodice as directed as well as added a full skirt lining. I didn't want to hem the skirt, so I cut the tricot 2" shorter than the fashion fabric, sewed the hems with right sides together, turned wrong sides to insides and then serged the whole thing together. Sandra Betzina showed this method, and I really like it. The dress had great movement with the full lining, so I'd recommend this method if you're using sheer fabrics.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Unless I made this in a solid colour next summer, I think one is enough for me. I'd highly recommend it, tho. Maggie Chin drafts an excellent pattern, and it came together so easily.

Conclusion: This is a great dress! I felt gorgeous and confident wearing it.

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