The Juliette Dress

Are you ready for a long post ? Not because with this dress, it is worthy of a good summer saga: bouncing twists, big suspense and tearful happy end, we will be served.

It all started when the last thread of the Lio dress was cut: you know, I hate to stay on a failure, and I wanted at all costs to take back this dress by modifying the 2-3 things that distressed me. I imagined my new version embellished with a beautiful ruffle at the neckline. It was during my last drafting lesson in June that my teacher drew me this beautiful sketch, illustrating what I had in mind.

Like many of you, she advises me to lower a little my middle front, but not especially touch the depth of the neckline, which is quite pretty. To still gain a few millimeters on the height of my bodice, I decide to reduce a little bit the width of my belt.

Given the thinness and fluidity of my fabric, she advises me to replace the ruffled neckline with a simple gathered band. She also advises me, to calculate the length of my gathered band, to multiply by two the length of my neckline, back and front.

And this is where the first drama comes in: by cutting into my fabric, I take as a measure the length of my HALF front and back, that I multiply by 2 and not by 4 … and find me with a band of  the Exact length of my neckline. Nothing to gather then.

Here it is. Having already cut my scraps for the baby girl, I find this piece, unused.

I decide to cut a ruffled band. So I spend an afternoon drawing snails (a ruffled piece has this form before being cut and sewn) that could be placed there, and comes to this.

My teacher was right: it’s ugly. The fabric is lacking structure. And the ruffled piece is not wide enough. Death in my soul, I switch to Plan C.

One of the edges of the fabric had a different pattern. As it didn’t really please me, I had cut it, and its length was 2m. Exactly what I needed for my neckline. So I hemmed, gathered and sewn the thing …

… and finds me with a terrible result. : D Nothing is ok in this neckline: it is too gathered, too contrasting, too … ugly. But wait … if you find this too gathered, you may not need a length of 2m? If you can find a small piece of fabric to add to your very first band … it could be ok ??? (*suspense music *)

And it worked ! In the end I managed to find 47 small cms to add to my first band of 1m: one is about half the ratio of gathers, and the result is exactly what I wanted. (* Violins, we’re crying and we are happy *)

I could quite sew the dress without this particular neckline, but I could not imagine it without. And what I prefer is its back.


What more to say about this dress? As usual, the bodice is lined, and the only visible seams are French ones.

When wearing it for the pictures, I noticed that my shoulder straps were falling slightly. I then sewed ribbons pressed to the shoulders, to hang on the straps of the bra, so that they remain well in place.

Tested today and it works!

The fabric is a viscose, found at the Plaine market. The end of the roller had some defects, which the seller did not charge me. It is a very soft fabric, very fluid, with brilliant hues, and it is a real pleasure to wear.

When naming it, I had not the slightest inspiration. I asked Juliette if she had an idea, and it was by looking at her, with her cutie face, that the evidence was: “well she will be named after your first name my darling, because ‘There’s no better name than yours!’ My daughter is probably one of my greatest sources of inspiration, somewhere it makes sense that one of my favorite dresses bears her first name. ❤

A nice weekend to all, and take care of yourself!


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