I bought this dark red wool blend crêpe at a fabric sale in Milan some weeks ago. I wanted to make a dress, but I didn’t know what to sew. I came across this nice mini-dress in an old issue of La Mia boutique, an Italian sewing magazine, and I right away thought it would have been perfect for this dark red fabric.
The pattern I used is ABITO 09, designed by Veronica Bettini Mood for La Mia Boutique, Issue 06 (June 2016). The dress has a relaxed silhouette, three quarter sleeves and a low back neckline with crossed loops (simple but striking…I fell in love at first sight!).
It is marked as an “easy” project to sew and I have to say that it’s very easy and fun to sew indeed. The magazine instructions suggest using some crisp fabrics (such as taffeta, shantung, grosgrain, etc), but I don’t like these kind of fabrics very much and I thought this pattern would have been right with a more fluid fabric also, such as this wool crepe. I like the result very much indeed!
I chose my size, 42 (Italian size), and I traced the pattern. I added seam allowances to my paper pattern (1 cm everywhere, 4 cm on sleeve and dress hems instead of 2 cm as suggested in the instructions). Then I cut the fabric. Being the crêpe a fabric that easily frays, I finished every edge with my serger, to prevent them from fraying, before starting to sew the dress. If you haven’t got a serger you can use a thin stripe of a very light fusible interfacing on the edge (es. a cotton batiste or knit fusible interfacing), outside the sewing line.
I basted the dress to check if the fit was right for my body. I modified only these few things:
- I lengthened the darts (I pinned the new dart apex I wanted while I was wearing the dress to test it).
- I shortened the sleeve hem by 4 cm.
- I sewed the sides of the dress and the shorter seam of the sleeve using a 1,5 cm seam allowance instead of 1 cm, to tighten the dress.
- I had to make the loops higher/thicker because my fabric was very thick and I didn’t manage to turn the tubes of fabric right side out.
Then I sewed the dress up. I reinforced facings with a light cotton batiste fusible interfacing in order to not stiffen the fabric too much. And I sewed a knit stay tape on the neckline (front and back), as usual, to stabilise the seam and to prevent it from stretching.
In the end I pressed and hemmed the dress and the sleeves.
As I said earlier, I like this dress a lot! A red dress was lacking in my wardrobe and I’m happy to have sewed it on my own. I think it’s gonna be one of my favourite dresses over this season. It’s perfect for both day (wearing a top underneath if you feel the cold) and night! And I love this pattern so much that I want to make a black version of this dress soon.