The Dalida dress

Hurry hurry, I have 2 days left before the beginning of fall to speak about summery sewing. And it would be a shame to miss out on this one, which is probably one of my favorite creations of 2018.

When the heatwave began this summer, I only dreamed of this dress. The lightness of the crepe, the small straps, the skirt that flew in the wind … my skin only supported this sewing. I wanted to sew me a dress as comfortable to wear, in a lightweight fabric. And I remembered this beautiful crepe found at La Plaine market !

That day I met my drafting class mate, Sandrine, who, while digging into fabrics, began to exclaim “Emilie, I think this one is for you!”. Should she knows my tastes, because indeed, this coupon was superb. Transparent, it’s true, but no problem: I’ll arm myself with courage to line it.

This summer, on the street or in public transport, I have often met young women wearing strappy wrap dresses. I thought that in a heatwave, such a pattern should be comfortable to wear. I then began to draw a sketch.

Drafting was not too complex and I had enough confidence in my work to skip the stage of the toile. Regarding the finishes, I didn’t have to think: given the transparency of the fabric, the dress would be fully lined.

The lining comes from La Plaine market too, it’s a microfiber that I had already used here. In the end I need to sew an outer version of my dress, to add straps, then to sew the same version in lining, strapless and slightly shorter.

The outer dress and its lining are sewn at the armholes (and on the back seam) and then at the neckline, and later, on the side of the skirt (the one I hold by hand on the picture below). To stick the lining well inside the dress, I didn’t forget to understitch the seam allowances.

The dress and its lining are also held by a loose point at the waist. To keep the fluidity of the skirt, the side seams of the two dresses are not sewn together.

For the finishes, I just overlocked the seams. These being hidden, it was enough. To get the belt through, I sewed a buttonhole on the side of my dress.

And to not worry about a wrap neckline too … generous, I sewed a little snap.

And above all, I stabilized the wrap-over seam with a piece of interfacing cut in the straight grain.

And it’s great! Well, my dresses always turning me crazy, it has not failed to rule. By cutting my fabric, I noticed how the crepe was woven very loose: having cut my skirts in the bias, suspend the dress 48h before sewing my hem was mandatory. Obviously, the fabric “dripped” on the sides of the skirt, and I struggled to retrace the hem with my skirt rounder.

Cut in a hurry (I wanted at all costs to put the dress in my suitcases), the hem is not ultra regular, I recognize it. But that doesn’t stop me from adoring this dress!

One day I’m really going to take a tumble, turning like a moron in my dresses. It would be fun to explain this at the ER ! 😀

Verdict: no suspense here, I love this dress! It ticks all the boxes to unhook my heart: it is flowery, it is lightweight as a feather, it is flattering, the forms are highlighted without feeling restricted. The wrap dress is a garment so sensual and feminine. And above all, it’s red! This color has a strange power on me: it increases my confidence and my femininity. Asterix had the magic potion, I have the red color! 😀

And why Dalida? By posting my sketch on Instagram, Juste_un_fil_et_des_aiguilles commented it with “the dress would be nice to sew while listening to Dalida” … what she didn’t know is that I’m a huge fan of Dalida, and that no dress still bore her pseudonym! It was time to. ❤

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

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