Starting the New Year with a New Dress

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Happy New Year! I hope all of you had a great time celebrating the arrival of 2013. In our little corner of the world, we had a crazy-good time : we hosted a cocktail party at our house. Everybody made kitsch finger-foods, we drank a lot of punch and had a blast! We are still cleaning up, but the mess was really worth it. Our guests also dressed-up for the occasion, and everyone looked fab! I find that getting gussied-up always makes a party a little bit more special. While all my friends were decked-out in their shiniest RTW clothing, I hosted our shindig wearing my latest creation. And let me tell you, guys, I am in LOVE with this dress!
(I took the pictures today after shoveling snow for an hour, so please excuse my dead-tired face and bushy hair!)

I got loads of complements for my dress from my friends at the party. My BF even decreeted this was my most successful sewing project to date. Whoop-whoop! The semi-fitted silhouette looked pretty darn good on my frame (it smoothed out much of my lumps-and-bumps) and the dress was very comfortable. What I like most about this pattern is the fact that it is easily adaptable for everyday wear or dressier events. My version had fancy satin details, but I have plans to remake this using a white or black matte fabric for the cuffs and collar for everyday wear. In fact, I have plans to remake this multiple times. Can you imagine it? The same dress, but in a multicolored tweed fabric and a contrasting collar, would look very work appropriate. Or how about in a thick red crepe and a white collar? I can just imagine myself wearing that with my black and white saddle shoes (hold the knee socks!). I can see loads of winter-wardrobe possibilities with this little number...

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Please forgive my bushy hair and general grumpiness...

Even though this garment caused me a lot of pain in the beginning (remember how I had completed the body of the dress and found out it was two sizes too big?), it ended up a winner. After adjusting the size, construction was fairly easy: basic darts, inserting a zipper, constructing a collar and adding sleeves. For a beginner, the collarless version might be easier, but for an intermediate sewer, this dress is fairly easy to make once you figure out your actual size. I finished it on the 31 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon- that's about 3 hours before our guests arrived. Yeah, that's pretty much down to the wire! In my haste, I'm afraid I cut a few corners, but nothing drastic. For instance, the lining had to be attatched to the zipper by hand. I did one side of the zipper, but lack of time made me skip the second side. It wasn't a big deal since no one could see it. I'll finish it this week while watching the telly. I also finished -rather poorly- the lining hem by cutting it and using a zig-zag stitch instead of making an actual hem. Why? Well the darn lining was way too long, and the fold added bulk to the silhouette. I'll buy some pretty lace to finish the hem. I also discovered that I badly need a tailor's ham to press collars: i'll ask for it on my birthday. I will also buy a new camera, because these pictures are truly horrid!
I shortened the hem: it's over the knee.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any picture of construction to show you. I really should remember to do this... Oh well, there's always next time! I'll be posting my review of this pattern on Pattern Review later on if you want more details. All in all, I am pretty happy with the end result. It feels good to make a dress that I actually want to wear after a long streak of wadders. I think I got my sewing mojo back. Huzzah!
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I leave you with pictures of our New Year party. My baker/artist/teacher friend Josie made her version of a popular snack-cake here in Quebec called Ah!Caramel. Normally these are individually wrapped little cakes topped with caramel and covered in chocolate. Her version was insanely drool-worthy: it had buttercream made from scratch and salted caramel! I think I'll go eat the ones left-over in my fridge... Au revoir!
Melanie's deceptively potent punch! Photo: Josie.
Josie's version of Ah!Caramel.
Kistch finger foods, anyone? Photo by M.A.


  1. Happy new year! This is absolutely smashing! I love the colour on you and the fit is fantastic. The collar really glams it up :D

  2. j'en veux une pareil :)Elle est vraiment jolie ta robe !