Isabel Wrap Dress x Made for Mermaids
Can you believe Christmas is just a couple days away?! (Is that a cliche thing to say to kick off a holiday blog post?) Every dang year it just seems to sneak up on you. But as of last week the packages are mailed and the gift sewing is done, so now its all about the gingerbread cookies and christmas movies over here.
I really enjoy holiday sewing and making something special (you know, for the holiday parties that I always think I'll go to...but don't. Because kids), but this year I've tried to be more conscious of not only avoiding purchasing disposable (or one-time wear) clothing but making it too. Knowing that red and green aren't colors I ever really wear, I decided to go with this lovely blue crushed stretch velvet from Stylish Fabric. It has a little more oomph than a regular dress but I know I'll also wear it through the winter and can even see it being a cute dress for Easter and warmer seasons.
Yup, I'm on the holiday velvet train too! Who knew when I ordered it in October that it would be THE fabric this Christmas season. But I am totally digging all of the velvet out there. I met someone at Stitch Sew Shop earlier this week that had made a black velvet trouser that was seriously awesome and I might just have to put that on my list too.
This was my first time sewing a Made for Mermaids pattern, and overall I'd say it was fine. I felt the sizing was pretty accurate for the measurements provided, which was a huge plus for me because almost every time I make a pattern based on my measurements it ends up too baggy (I know getting the right fit is more complicated than just using a chart but sometimes you just need to get the dress made without time for muslining and refitting). However, the pattern is drafted for a 5'5" individual and the instructions recommend shortening the pattern throughout ½" for each inch of height difference. I'm 5/1" (with a short torso), meaning I should've removed 2" throughout the dress--and I'm so glad I didn't! The waist seam just barely hits me at my narrowest point, and only because I think the dress has relaxed and stretched a little as I let it hang for a week. The back bodice pattern piece is also curved strangely in the center back (I assumed to account for the weight of the skirt pulling it down but that hasn't been the case for me), so that seam rides up above the waist in the back as well. I didn't love that the seam was higher in the back and the waist tie didn't sit nicely on top of it, so I actually ended up cutting the ties off, sewing the dress together in to a faux wrap dress, and tacking one long tie at the center back that i tie around. Its not how I originally wanted it but I just don't care for the look of the the ties sitting higher or lower that the waist seam on a wrap dress. I'm also not sure if I'm sold on the band on the neckline and think I would've preferred a regular folded hem to finish that part of the garment to give it less of a casual vibe.
Because the knee length dress was shorter on me than I expected or felt great in, I decided to add a ruffle to the bottom to extend the hem. Its not a hugely gathered ruffle; just a little something to add length, and it gives me a more feminine feel when I wear it. Again, I feel like the dress did relax over the last week+ and is now longer than when I initially finished it so the look has changed. So who knows--I might ditch the ruffle later and see how it feels.
Overall I'm quite pleased with my holiday dress. I improved my stretch velvet skills, and I think the Isabel Wrap Dress could work even better for me with a couple changes to suit my preference.
What do you think of the stretch velvet trend? Are you feelin' it or is it still to 90's? Did you include velvet in your holiday sewing this year?