Beach Chic Update

I totally agree with those of you who commented that you would like better pics. Unfortunately all of my photos from the evening were underexposed and not worth using. Hubby agreed to do another photo shoot so hopefully these are better. I find the photos the hardest part of doing this blog.

I also left out a few details in the previous post. I had originally intended to use Vogue 1460 as the bodice. I liked the drapey cowl neck and slight blousing at the waist.

Vogue 1460 1460 Flat

I had planned to cut the sleeves off but the muslin toile just didn’t work. The neckline just didn’t work and I could never get the sleeve/armhole to work. I will give it another try but decided to go another direction for this dress. I had already cut the bodice pieces from silk and hadn’t enough fabric to ditch them. Time for a different style; a simple sleeveless with lowered neckline would work. The back was cut on the straight grain but the front was bias. That worked fine until I got to the bust darts. If you’ve ever tried to sew darts on bias, especially on silk, they are a nightmare. The solution was to sew them by hand with a tiny running stitch and ease the fabric until it was flat.

Bust Dart

The tiny piping stabilized neck and armholes and will prevent them from stretching out of shape. It also adds a nice custom finish to the edges. The lining was understitched by hand to keep it from peeking out.

Piping w understitching

Front and back views; no selfies!

Front View

Back View

The back drapes softly and is left open. Self stick bra cups work great or you could close up the back seam to hide a bra. Please excuse all the wrinkles; I didn’t iron before the reshoot.


14 thoughts on “Beach Chic Update”

  1. Thank you so much for all the details of how you made this. I am still to try my hand at draping and keep putting it on the back burner. Your postings are inspiring and so helpful. Maybe I will dip my toe in the water soon.
    The fabric you choose is so unique and it is so lovely to read and see the process as you went along. Beautifully made and a perfect fit.

  2. Thank you and I’m so happy you enjoyed this. As for draping, just do it. You will get comfortable the more you do. Try an inexpensive fabric so you won’t go crazy if it doesn’t work out.

  3. Great pictures Mary – you look so lovely. The open back is modern and youthful without showing too much skin and the sky on you shoulders is super. Also I really like the little bit of blonde (or grey?) coming through in your hair – very pretty.

  4. This is gorgeous and you did a fantastic job! What a challenge – great fit AND great use of the print.

  5. Hi Mary, thanks again for another post in the world of couture sewing! And thanks for sharing the details of your thought process, because this is what the couture is all about, the decisions. I draped this same skirt in Susan Khalje’s class last year along with Julien Christofoli, her wonderful Paris master draper colleague! What a patient, knowledgeable man and what a great experience. If only you would teach classes too – several of my couture sewing friends would be interested. I have taken several classes with Susan over the years, and she is an absolutely wonderful, patient teacher who can solve any issue. But it’d also be nice to study with other couture sewing experts such as yourself to get more perspective. It’s a continuous learning experience. Thanks again!

    1. Thank you Sharon. I’m glad you enjoyed my details about how this dress was created. You are absolutely right about the constant decisions in the couture process. It’s what makes this kind of sewing challenging. You are evaluating how the fabric is behaving and using multiple techniques to produce the effect you want. I’ve considered doing classes and will be sure to post any concrete plans. Your input as to what type of class would be helpful. I looked for your blog but can’t seem to find. I would love to see what you are doing.

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