Green Dressy Casual Dress

We got invited to another wedding. Yaaay!

It was 2 weeks out and I decided that I wanted to make another dress for it, because the ones I have all have some sort of issue whether it is fit or being uncomfortable in them somehow. Besides, it gave me a chance to sew for the #sewfrosting challenge that True Bias and Closet Case Patterns is hosting.



Week one:

I started with a grey fabric that I was going to accent with purple stitching and embroidery. Along with pintucks on the bodice. My brother nixed the idea – said the dress was going to look more like something I’d wear to a funeral … Good thing I only cut out the center front piece of the bodice!!! Whew!

So next I pulled out this blue sheer fabric with glittery flowers all over. I got the skirt pieces all cut and then was told the dress code was dressy casual. Naturally, this kept me up in the middle of the night. I lay awake trying to think of all my options. Please tell me I’m not the only one that does this!!




Week two:

I nixed the glittery blue dress – it was going to look to formal. I did NOT want to stand out in a wedding that I knew a total of 3 people! In my laying awake state – I had a vision of a high necked collar, flowy dress. See the swishyness (totally a word)?


On Monday (wedding was Saturday) After finding a pattern that had what I wanted, Rebecca Page’s Emma Dress, I scrambled to tape all 40 PAGES of the pattern pieces together! Once the pieces were laid out, the conclusion was – not enough fabric by a looooong shot! No other fabric in my fabric library came close to the 6 some yards that I needed for this dress, and I refused to buy more.


Lets talk about the “fabric” – it is one of my favorite non-dressy saris that sit in a box because I don’t wear saris anymore. Geometric, mendhi green, with maroon accents – what’s not to love! I left the sari fall in to give the chiffon some weight at the bottom – best thing was no hemming! The lining was also re-purposed – a similar colored knit t-shirt for the bodice and the petticoat that went with the sari for the skirt. I’m proud to say I did not buy a single thing for this dress while making it!


Next option – hacking it. I used the top part of the pattern for the bodice but cut it waaay down – like to my natural waist instead of 1/4 way down my thighs. That’s when the fun started! You know, lets take a really flowy dress pattern and hack it to be fitted. No biggie. Why can’t I just keep things simple? The best option here was to finish the bodice with the collar and everything then pin a zipper and start tacking the pleats in. This part took a lot of time to do since I have no dress form. Check out all the pins…eek!


Then I attached a “belt” aka contrasting strip of fabric around the waist area to accentuate the tiniest part of my body.  Again, I had to pin and move things around to make it look just right. Even had to unpick parts of it because of the weird poof that was going on in the back right side and the front center area not being straight. Just getting the bodice all figured out took me to Wednesday night.



After all that, I was ready to move on to my skirt. Draping a few different ways, finally picked box pleats in the front and gathers in the back. The pleats are 3.5″ across, two on each side with the center ones meeting up. It feels like a sari because of the pleats, but without the frustration of keeping it up in one piece! Okay so, I hand basted the pleats then attached it to the lining.


I added side seams because I wanted pockets – again making it more complicated than I had to, but soooo worth it!


Similarly, gathering the two back pieces and attaching to the lining. Thursday night, I got everything attached but the zipper and back hem.



Friday during the day was spent making my daughter’s dress for the same event. Kids clothes are so much faster to make! Once I was done with hers, I came back to my dress and closed it up. I had to add some snaps to keep the collar from drooping in the back, with the buttons. I was only up till 2 am the day of the event. That’s a win, right? 😉


What is also a win, is that I loooove the dress, the way it feels, looks, everything. I feel covered up and surprisingly warm even without sleeves. Which makes me super happy. Not to mention, I get to add this to my daily rotation now because of it’s casualness. Win win win!


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