Thursday, December 13, 2012

Red Velvet, The Reveal

Here is my new red velvet cocktail dress!

This is what a vampire would look like in the daylight.  My goodness – I am so pasty I glow.

My mom found this Persian lamb (it’s synthetic) jacket that was a massive mess.  One sleeve lining was completely detached – thankfully someone thought to safety-pin the lining to the jacket so they were not separated.  The other was half ripped out.  The pockets were pulled apart, and some of the side seam was even ripped open.  What the heck?!  She wanted me to fix it, but I really do hate mending of any kind.  It is ridiculous, but when a store-bought garment button falls off (and let's face it - they ALWAYS do), it takes months, sometimes years for me to stitch it back into place.

It still is not perfect – I actually found another ripped seam at the back of one of the sleeves after I left for the day – whoops!  But it was not very noticeable since the lining is also black.  Thank goodness for small favors.

But I do want to say that whoever decided to massacre the insides of this garment should be very ashamed of themselves.  I guess it could have ended up in Goodwill’s garbage, so it could be worse.  There is still some work to be done, but I have lost the motivation for the time being.

Creation is fun – mending, not so much.  Am I the only one who feels this way?

And I forgot to mention that I added a back vent to the skirt (although I will bet that some of you that are familiar with this pattern already noticed the alteration in my post discussing the skirt construction) – those simple slits always make me paranoid that I am going to show more than I want to.  

Have you ever seen someone wearing a pencil skirt that does not realize that back slit ripped open during the day?  I do not wish to be one of those people.

By the way – that silk organza added to the back skirt pieces seems to have done the job – no baggy bottom at the end of the day!  Or perhaps the velvet is simply more stable than a woven wool  . . . I may never know.

Now I just need to add a couple of ribbon hangers to hang the dress properly.

It sure is nice to have a back seam zipper on this dress – it is so easy to slip in and out of!  Thank you Gertie!

Not too shabby for some leftover yardage and an unfinished dress that was beginning to look like something the 1980s would have rejected!

Dress:  Made by me, Butterick 5814 (sleeves c/o Simplicity 9025)
Coat:  Vintage, borrowed from mom (if I have to mend it, I get to wear it)
Hat:  Made by me
Brooch & Earrings:  Grandmother’s
Shoes:  Nina


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  2. Wow! The dress looks amazing!! Well done!!! And so quick too!!!

  3. Va Va Voom! You will every eye in the room focused on you in this stunner of a dress. You look stunning in it and the fit is fabulous.

  4. Dear Laura,

    1. it is not you who looks like a vampire, it is the sunlight that is too strong (light makes it all in a photo...). At another time of the day, it would have rendered otherwise.
    2. this dress is defenitely stunning, it is very flattering on the neckline and absolutely not baggy! And I love the effect of the waist-line ribbon, it so highlights the waistline and the hips and gives a nice V-shape to the upper body.
    3. to answer your question, yes, I find new projects much more fun than mending, but I try to be reasonable and I try to keep my mending basket empty before starting on new projects (hence little new sewing in the past months, but lots of small bits done with!). I hope to have more time next year to get on with new projects.

  5. Another triumph! I so enjoy your creations. And have come to enjoy mending, by the way, so a change of heart is not impossible. :-)
    Looking forward to what you will bring us in the next year. For now Happy Holiday wishes.

  6. What a gorgeous and stunning dress.

  7. Oh, Laura Mae, oh my goodness! You look stunning, and the jacket is the perfect touch!

  8. Laura Mae,

    What a resourceful reinvention! You are certain to become a cocktail party legend; the smart money is wagered on the very moment you enter a room.

    Great hat!


  9. Beautiful dress. And coat. I actually like reconstrusting and revamping thrift store items. I like think of them as already half done not as mending projects. Like making a cake from a box mix instead of from scratch.

  10. My stars, you - and this gorgeous dress - look breath-takingly ravishing. It's such an incredible, feminine, alluring piece. Top-notch work on it, dear gal.

    ♥ Jessica


    Love how your paired it with black nylons, great call.

  11. So so so so beautiful!

  12. GIIIIIRL, you look amazing! Va va voom indeed! I actually like the addition of the longer sleeves better than the original version... and to be honest. I didn't care much for the original version anyway until I saw your version. The fit is SPOT ON. Work it!

  13. This is just stunning! I absolutely love the cut and fit! It's simply fantastic!!

    I totally know what you mean about looking like a vampire in daylight! The same thing has happened to me!


  14. Wow! That has turned out so well and is very flattering on you. I think that your pale coloring suits the style perfectly! Well done to you, you are sure to be the belle of that ball!

  15. Hot Mama!!! I love how this turned out. I wasn't so sure when you first showed the pattern, but it turned out amazing! I'm with you on mending. I would rather start from scratch than do mending. Not sure why. I think the only mending I enjoyed was earlier this year when my son, visiting from faaaarrrr away (lol) needed a button sewn on his suit jacket. I think it just felt good to be able to do something for my "little boy" again! :)

  16. This is one of the loveliest things I have ever seen. What an incredible fit. YOU should be the pattern model on the Butterick website. I actually think the whole dress is much improved by those elegant sleeves.
    I can't stand mending, no matter how quick or small the job. I will let dozens of things pile up until they they take up so much space that I just can't get on with my creative work, then I will furiously hem things and sew buttons on for a full day.
    I wore my grandmother's faux Persian lamb coat for years without any buttons. I just recently sewed on two buttons finally, and find that I never use them anyway.

  17. Oooh yeah! This is absolutely my favorite of yours so far. Stunning!!

  18. Great dress. And I LOVE that coat...what a SCORE! Me, I don't mind's very satisfying to "put something right", especially if I was going to end up with a coat like THAT one! Sheesh, you gotta wonder how it ended up like it did! But, in my day I have been given many a COOL thing that people didn't want anymore simply because it needed some fixing! I was perfectly happy to take it off their hands, knowing I could quickly restore it to its former glory!

  19. That is a stunning dress, beautiful

  20. Wow, to think this was an abandoned project in a former life. I'm always amazed by your construction techniques. So inspiring.

  21. Wow, it looks amazing! That cut is very flattering on you :)

  22. HOT dress!! The brooch is gorgeous with it. Hmm i want to sew with velvet now... Oh yeah, I agree, mending is the pits.

  23. You look fabulous! I love the addition of the sleeves.

  24. Stunning frock, you look so Christmassy (in a good way!). I am with you for mending, tedious tedious tedious.

  25. LOVE this on you - it looks fab! Red is such a great colour :-)

  26. This dress is really, really gorgeous! It fits you perfectly! Great work on the construction.