Last month, I participated in a social media challenge where I basically had to sew a little red dress! It is called #thelittlereddressproject and as you can figure out from the title, you have to sew a dress that is red. It was the second year that it run and I really wanted to take part! So, here is my entry!
The pattern I chose
This time I decided to combine two patterns for my little red dress! A Colette Moneta and a Sew Over It Betty dress. I took Moneta’s bodice pieces and Betty’s full skirt to create a dress that I’ve seen on Pinterest. The two patterns went together beautifully! The only change I made was to add 1 extra cm to the width of the Moneta bodice, to match the waist measurement of Betty’s skirt.
My fabric was a stretch velvet in a gorgeous wine red color! It is such a beautiful fabric, very very soft and drapey! The only thing is that it was a pain to sew! I made the whole dress with my overlocker and it was fine, no problems at all! But, when I got to hemming the sleeves and the skirt, my sewing machine kept eating the fabric and punching holes. I tried a walking foot, I changed the needle, I adjusted the tension, nothing worked! Luckily, this fabric doesn’t fray and looks fine with the raw edges. So, I did a favor to myself and left the edges as they were!
The construction, the fit and alterations
The Moneta dress is a VERY easy make! My bodice had only 5 pieces: the front and back bodice, 2 sleeves and a neckband. At this point I should clarify that the Moneta pattern doesn’t have a neckband, you turn the edge to the inside and topstitch it. But I prefer the look of a neckband, plus in retrospect, I wouldn’t be able to do it without a neckband due to the behavior of this fabric! I drafted it myself by measuring the neckline and making it 80% smaller.
I made the bodice part exactly as the pattern instructed and then inserted the neckband as usual. For the skirt part, I simply stitched the two seams. Because I was using a stretchy fabric, I didn’t need to insert a back zipper, like the Betty dress has, so I cut both my skirt pieces on the fold. Attaching the skirt to the bodice was very easy! Everything went well!
After I did that, I tried the dress on and I realized that the waist seam was hitting me below my natural waist. And then I remembered that I had the same issue with my first Moneta dress. I find that having the waist seam exactly on my natural waist is more flattering on me, so I unpicked the stitches, chopped of a couple of cm and re-inserted the skirt.
Another alteration I made was that I shortened the skirt by A LOT! I did that before cutting my pattern pieces to save fabric, but I also did that after sewing the dress. The reason was that this skirt, being a circle skirt and cut on the bias, dropped quite a lot and I had to level it! If you don’t know what that means, let me explain. When you make something that is cut on the bias of the fabric, you have to let it hang for a couple of days because it tends to drop, to hang unevenly due to gravity. So, you shouldn’t hem it before you do that because you’ll end up with a wonky hem!
My little red dress was a lovely project and I really enjoyed making it! I actually intended to wear it on Christmas Eve but I didn’t, so it’s still waiting for me in my closet. Hacking two patterns was interesting and I learned a few things, I’ll definitely try this hack again!
If you want to see it on me, make sure you watch my video, where I’m talking in detail about its construction.