Mr. Wonderful and I don’t get out nearly as much as we should, but we do have a few weddings this summer so I thought Melissa’s 30 Days of Sundresses was the perfect time to pull out all the stops. Which doesn’t mean giving up on the comfort factor. Using the right knit fabric ensured that this dress would be comfortable and still look classy enough for a night out on the town.
I started by copying my favorite store bought, strapless dress. The original was made with a stretch woven so I knew I could get away with a knit fabric and have just enough ease in through the hips. To copy the pieces, I turned the dress inside out, place freezer paper over top and made a rubbing with crayon. The dress I was copying had 3 different top panels and 4 different bottom panels several of which had a matching panel. I made sure to mark each as I went along and whether that piece needed to be doubled. I also drew out a small rectangle to use as a “vent” placket.
Once the pieces were cut, I started sewing the bodice panels from the center out creating a long “rectangle”. Each seam was pressed toward the back and top stitched.
The process was then repeated for the skirt panels.
With right sides together the bodice and skirt were pinned, from open seam to open seam and sewn together.
Now it was time for the zipper. I went with an exposed, metal toothed zipper for a little pizazz. I laid my zipper out on the wrong side of my dress and marked where I wanted the zipper to end. Then, with wrong sides together, I sewed the skirt seam from the bottom to the mark where the zipper would end, back stitching at the beginning and ending of the seam.
To insert the zipper, I pressed the raw edges of the bodice open (to the wrong side),
and pinned the zipper on one side. I changed to my zipper foot and sewed the left side to the dress.
This was then repeated for the second side, making sure to open the zipper half way.
For the elastic, I pressed the top of the bodice down 1/2 inch, pinned and sewed around the bottom, raw edge, forming the casing.
The elastic was then cut to my upper chest measurement, threaded through the casing
and stitched on each end.
To insert the back “vent”, I opened the back seam from the raw edge. I pressed each placket under 1/2 inch on one short side, pinned the placket to the vent, right sides together and sewed using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
The placket and seam were pressed toward the vent.
The raw edge was then pressed under a 1/2 inch and the entire placket folded over the seam and top stitched in place. This was then repeated for the other side of the vent. Lastly, I hemmed the bottom of the dress by pressing 1/4 inch and then a 1/2 inch and top stitching in place.
I’m usually a 100 % cotton kinda girl, but I’m really liking how this double knit polyester-spandex blend hugs my curves and I can’t complain at all about a dressy dress that doesn’t feel constrictive. I could be wrong but I don’t even feel like I need my Spanx. Which, I’ll tell you, is pretty rare these days.
The black and cream is really fun to accessorize. I can add little pops of yellow, turquoise, or coral that really stand out against the geometric pattern or go for a more sophisticated look and stick with black.
And there you have it, a fun or sophisticated strapless sundress perfect for a night on the town!
By the way, this was my first self-photographed shoot away from my own house and let me tell you, it was an interesting experience. I’m pretty sure I was the talk of the town that night! Haha, maybe I should have worn the Spanx.