When I first learned about the Day and Night Dress Challenge hosted by Elizabeth Makes This, I thought it was a cute but crazy idea. Make two dresses in twenty days?! Is that even possible? Well, apparently it is! It turns out the secret behind sewing fast is sewing tried and true patterns. After all, it is the muslining and adjustments that take the most time.
In the first week of January, I had started a muslin of the dress for my Cali Fabrics blog post. It went surprisingly smoothly for a fitted dress and by Jan 24 I was done with the real thing. (Keep an eye out for that post because that dress is my all time favorite make for now.)
In between making the day dress, I fell for yet another FabricMart sale and snagged up three amazing black based fabrics, and I knew it was meant to be.
With about a week left in the Day and Night Dress challenge, I knew I didn’t have time to muslin yet another new pattern so I had to pick from my TNT stash. I ended up choosing the M6883 Winslow Culottes frankpattern – which I made up not long ago here – to go with this beautiful ombré jacquard suiting from FabricMart.
I knew I wanted to use this fabric because it has a lot of body perfect for the pleats in the skirt. It also holds the shape of the skirt better than the cotton sateen I used last time. In fact, I had planned to attach horsehair braid to add more body to the hem, but found I didn’t need it in the end.
That being said, the downside of the fabric is that it is a little stiffer, and with the sheen, any wrinkles are very obvious. The bust darts ended up very pointy, and after several tries, I had a make it work moment and turned the darts into some bust pleats like in the Tilly & the Buttons Fifi Pajamas pattern:
The only other change I made was to install a centered zipper instead of invisible because I had purchased the wrong length zipper and the only one I could find on the night of the challenge deadline was a brown regular zipper. I found that I like installing centered zippers more, because it is easier to align the seams, but it does bother me a little that I can see a peek of brown.
I don’t imagine I’ll have that many events to wear this dress to, so I’m still debating whether to switch out the zipper or not, but overall I love it! This plus the day dress was a great way to kick off the new year. If you like it too, please check out the challenge page and show it some love with a vote! (Clicking the heart in the top right of the picture) There are also some other inspiring entries there, so enjoy!