When I was preparing for my second Craftsy heirloom techniques class, I wanted an adult garment showcasing my Transparent Reverse Applique Windows and Hem techniques. I had several children’s garments, but nothing for women. Fluffy and frilly for grown-ups is not “me,” so I wanted to make something with classic, simple lines, and just a bit of embellishment. Something that I might choose to wear.
It doesn’t get much more classic than a sheath dress, so that’s what I was looking for when I went pattern shopping. This is what I chose.
A straight, semi-fitted sheath dress, with darts front and back. I chose the sleeveless version (because I wanted to use as little as possible of the really awesome shadow-check linen that was in my stash!) This sample was for display only, and the dress form in the studio is a size 10, so that’s what I made. Besides, when you’re travelling with dozens of garment samples, smaller is better!
I wish I could wear the dress, but I haven’t been a pattern size 10, which is much smaller than a ready-to-wear size 10, since I was in about 7th grade. And this is a very fitted size 10! One thing I did notice about the pattern is that the dart points at the bust are very close together – they end only about an inch apart, so the person wearing this would have to wear a pretty pointed bra! Other than that, the pattern was well drafted and went together nicely.
Here’s a photo of the dress with backlighting.
I underlined the shadow-check linen with light pink cotton batiste. The edges of the linen were shaped with water-soluble stabilizer for the Transparent Reverse Applique Window at the neckline…
…and the Transparent Reverse Applique Hem.
Pink silk organza was pinstitched to the shaped edges. The techniques are covered in detail in Heirloom Sewing More Classic Techniques. I made a little slit in the silk organza hem for a little extra room in this very straight dress (even though no one will ever wear it!)
I think my sample turned out to be a very classy dress, showing that heirloom sewing for women doesn’t have to be frilly; a dress that many women of different ages and sizes could use as inspiration!