My every-day wardrobe consists of easy-to-wear layers. But once I year, I have the opportunity to really dress-up. The choir that I sing with, Oregon Repertory Singers has an annual fundraiser where formal attire is required. I always look forward to the opportunity to sew and wear something special.
In past years, I’ve sewn cocktail length dresses, but this year, I wanted something different, so I decided to go ‘long’. Honestly, in all my years of sewing, I’ve only sewn a couple of long dresses. What?? I know!! If it isn’t time now, when will it be?
For the pattern, I chose Vogue 9311, a long dress with optional sleeves and ruffle. I love the v-neck line and think that it gives the dress a look of elegance. I made the long sleeve version, but shortened them to 3/4 length. Instead of cuffs, I used elastic to gather the base of the sleeves. I wanted to be able to push them up and away from my dinner:).
The biggest challenge with this make was the fabric. I love the look of this burnout velvet, but it really was tough to work with. The shimmer comes from shiny gold fibres that are woven into the spaces between the sections of velvet ‘burnout’ and they tended to snag. Also, the fabric frayed like crazy so I finished all the edges with my serger before sewing the seams. I purchased microtex needles which really worked nicely!
Even though the pattern doesn’t call for a lining, I chose to line the bodice and skirt with solid black silk. This really helped give the skirt more body and structure. The lining was easy to create and gave the entire dress a nice finished feel. It’s so lovely to wear! The ties are meant to be worn in the back, but they were so long, I was able to play around with the look, and decided I liked them better in front.
I’m pretty pleased with my new frock and absolutely love this Vogue pattern. It’s been in my stash for awhile, and I’m so glad I finally decided to make it. I can imagine a version for Spring, maybe in linen. I really enjoyed wearing this dress last weekend. It felt so elegant. The good news is that I’ll have another chance to wear it when we sing with the Oregon Symphony in April.
This project really marks the end of winter sewing for me. I’m really ready to sew up some of my lovely woven fabrics for Spring and Summer. How about you?
Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!