07 July 2013

Opinions Please!

Last week, I started making muslins of dresses for my upcoming 20-year high school reunion scheduled for the beginning of August.  The two events that I'm considering are the after-five casual mixer and black-tie dinner.  First I'd like to get your thoughts on the mixer dress.

Since the mixer is casual, a cocktail dress is the way to go.  I've been reading reviews and studying styles for a few weeks and decided that I want to jump on the peplum bandwagon.  I made muslins of Simplicity 1650 and New Look 6124 and right now view D of the New Look pattern is winning.  Here's why:

(Dorothy Perkins black illusion peplum dress, polyester spandex, $79)

There are some small differences between the inspiration dress and pattern.  First, the dress appears to have shoulder princess seams and a lengthwise opening at the top.  Second, the peplum extends completely around the waist.  

Question #1:  Should I attempt to copy the neckline?

The neckline on the NL pattern is choke-worthy and with a full bust, it look like I have a uni-boob.  Lowering and color-blocking the neckline area might reduce that effect.  BUT...there's always a 'but'...the NL pattern doesn't have shoulder princess seams and I don't think this is going to look right without them.

If I don't end up copying the neckline, then I will try to swap out the center front for a v-neck.  I made Simplicity 2648 three years ago and think this style does a better job at flattering my upper half.

Now I could just stick a peplum on this Simplicity pattern and be done with it.  The thing is this dress is too big in many places and the back doesn't have princess seams.  I could convert the darts to princess seams, but that still doesn't resolve the fitting issue.

Questions #2:  Should I stick with white/cream center or go with another color?

I intend to make the dress out of silk cotton satin (same fabric as in the black & teal).  I really like the white/cream center, but I don't know if my local non-JoAnn's has any.  Fabric.com seems to have quite a bit, but I've heard they're having shipping problems and I don't want to wait until the last minute to finish this dress.  Plus, I don't know how slimming the white/cream will be.  Here are my other color-blocking choices:


Question #3:  Should the back be solid or color-blocked?

I'm on the fence with this one.  Instinct tells me to do a solid back; a color-blocked back might be too much.

Question #4:  Should I make this in a knit?

The inspiration dress is made of polyester spandex - probably a double knit.  I didn't think of that until this morning.  The fit will be much closer and I'll have to size down my FBA.  

That's all the questions I have for now.  I really appreciate your thoughts and comments!



  1. Hello. I think the top black and white one looks best, with colour blocking on the back too. Personally I don't like colours with black - not sure why. I think the silk cotton satin sounds divine!

  2. 1. v-neck
    2. I like the white/cream.
    3. It depends, in cream I might choose a solid black back in the event that you sit in something also with the front side peplum and interest it would be sensible to keep all design interests on the front.
    4. A knit would be comfortable.

  3. 1. v neckline does look very flattering on you. Not sure if it will go with the design lines of the middle panel of the centre design in your sketches, but should go with all other designs that have armhole princess lines.. Can you sketch a dress, color blocked with your design lines and with the V neck and see if you like it.
    2. black/white or white/black
    3. whatever you are comfortable with
    4. double knit would work well I think.

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  5. Double knit. I like the cream/black combo. Perhaps a scoop neck instead of a v neck.

  6. Since you asked .... :)
    Scoop neck, double knit, solid color!
    Good luck and have fun!

  7. 1. Yes, a rounded neckline coincides with the roundness of the peplum better than the pointiness of the V-neck.
    2. White/Cream is classic. Yes!
    3. Either way will look great.
    4. Double knit is the way to go. "Shiny" fabrics can look too formal sometimes, the matte of the knit will allow you to dress up the look with accessories, if you so choose.

    Good luck!

  8. I like the idea of a scoop neck, cream for the center/solid black back and double knit. Whatever you decide I am sure will look fabulous.

  9. I vote for view D adding the cap sleeve from view E. Scoop the neck about 1.5 to 2 inches lower. If you want a color blocked yoke cut the pattern apart just above the armhole dart so that the bottom of the yoke lines up with the edge of the princess seam. I vote for using black and cream ponte knit. If you add the peplum make it black. Leave off the side tabs and add a thin black or metal colored belt.

  10. 1. I agree with Kayotic Sewing and Kristine about the v neck, a rounder would be better.

    2. Black and white/cream.

    3. Solid.

    4. Knit. More comfortable than a woven and more flattering than a shiny woven, IMO. And less wrinkling.

  11. Looks like I missed out on this opportunity but can hardly wait to see the final results. 20 years....bet that went by quick didn't it! I hadn't even noticed this NL pattern...I should start paying more attention. I am in the process of completing S1650 myself...

  12. I nominated your blog on the Super Sweet Blogging Award http://wp.me/p2yS5n-NA! Happy sewing!


Thanks for commenting! I appreciate and read them all - even if I can not personally respond.


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