Double-Sided Wool Crepe Dress

I loved this pattern/silhouette as soon as it came out and I picked a green double-sided wool crepe from Mood back in August to sew it in.  I just needed the temperatures to drop to use it.  Of course since it’s the end of November, the temps have dropped so making and wearing the dress is perfect now.

Wool Crepe Dress



Some stats:

Fabric ~

Green double-sided wool crepe from the Mood store in NYC

Notions ~

Gray rayon bemberg lining

One 6″ Riri zipper

Vogue 8824 Pattern Alterations:

Even though this pattern goes up to an XXL (size 24-26) in Vogue land, as a plus size chick I know that Vogue cuts their plus size patterns on the slim side rather than the full size.  So the first alteration I made to all the pattern pieces (front, back & sleeve) was to alter them using my TNT (tried and true) dress pattern.  I do this by creating a pattern sandwich

  • first my TNT dress pattern is laid down
  • then the pattern piece from V8824
  • finally tracing paper is added to the top
  • then I trace a new pattern piece

All my fitting issues are resolved by using my TNT dress pattern and I don’t have to start from scratch with the new pattern.  I also altered the shoulder seam on the pattern pieces front and back by 1.5″.  That was the extent of the pattern alterations.

Construction Changes:

I made a few changes to make the dress more like I imagined it.  I omitted the facings and added a lining to the body of the dress but not the sleeves.  The pattern suggests that you cut the back on the fold.  I need body definition so I added a center back seam.  But the biggest change I made was to the pockets.  The pattern calls for patch pockets – big fat patch pockets on the front of the dress.  Well I guess if you’re not sporting additional abdomen fat on the front of you, those pockets would work…but in my world I don’t call attention to my extra large protrusions.  In my world, I hide them by any means necessary…so after rooting through a few books and looking at some pics online, I decided to go with zipper pockets.

Zipper Pocket Techniques:

First, I found a helpful tutorial online from Sew Mama Sew.  It was very helpful in making the one pocket that appears on my dress.  Now why is there only one pocket? Because I was fearless in cutting a hole into the front of my dress piece when I didn’t have anymore fabric left to recut the front.  Seriously people I don’t know what the hell I was thinking!  Because of course, I cut the hole to big!  Why wouldn’t I?  I’m not the most precise sewist…I just like to sew and have some great ideas…but precision sewing…that ain’t me!

So in the middle of the night, I’m screaming at the television and at myself because I’ve got to make this work.  I even started to take pictures of this before I effed it up!


Wool Crepe Dress
Added fusible interfacing and marking the zipper pocket

 

Wool Crepe Dress
Sewing the zipper pocket in


Wool Crepe Dress
Dress front and the zipper pocket.
Look closely you can see the offense!

 

After many prayers, some stitch witchery and a lot of pressing I fixed the problem.  I mean you can only see the hole if you’re really close to me, looking for it…or so my daughter says.  That is why there is only ONE zipper pocket (which doesn’t have a pocket bag on the back because I decided to stop while I was ahead!) It does look kinda kewl on the dress front though, right?

Conclusion:

I will make this again.  I already have an idea of how I want to make it as a tunic top with a skirt and/or pants. I also have several different embellishment ideas running through my head.  Second, zipper pockets would be an amazing addition to this pattern, just leave enough fabric to practice them first!  And finally, this is a great pattern that would look great on many different body types.

So a few more pictures…

Wool Crepe Dress
A side/back view

 

Wool Crepe Dress
Sitting in a chair
Wool Crepe Dress
Worn with a tank top 
& showing the zipper

Wool Crepe Dress

Back view

…as always, more later!

21

Comments


  • Erica B
    November 27, 2012

    Great dress Carolyn. I love the trendy exposed zipper. And the shoes are great.

    • Carolyn
      November 27, 2012

      Thanks Erica! And thanks for the compliment on the shoes – I really love these because they’re pointy toes with a slingback and a low heel!

  • oonaballoona
    November 27, 2012

    invisible offense or no, the zipper is SO cool on this!

    • Carolyn
      November 27, 2012

      Oona – thanks but just think how great it would have looked if there had been TWO zippers! *LOL*

      • Amy
        November 28, 2012

        I actually like the one-zipper look. If it were balanced, it wouldn’t seem so surprising. I especially like it paired with those necklaces.

  • Melinda G
    November 27, 2012

    That color is fabulous on you! As everyone else has said, that zipper pocket is great and makes your dress unique. I really like your idea of a back seam to add definition.

    • Carolyn
      November 27, 2012

      Melinda ~ I really think the center back seams helps it not look so boxy. Next time I’m adding a zipper to the back to make it easier to get in and out of. Thanks for the compliment!

  • Samina
    November 27, 2012

    All the elements came together in your dress, including your sewing expertise (not being precise can be a virtue), of course! My favorite styled look is the one with the turtleneck — the holiday season may have something to do with it. Great job and great look on you!

    • Carolyn
      November 27, 2012

      Samina – thanks for understanding and clarifying my position on being precise! *LOL* Thanks for appreciating my dress!

  • J
    November 27, 2012

    I think this dress might actually be better with the single zipper on the front. With two exposed zippers there might be the suggestion of a horizontal line right across an area that I certainly never want to emphasize. The asymmetry of the single zipper breaks up the expanse of the front without leading the eye across the hip line. That’s what I call accidental inspiration. Very chic!

    • liz
      November 28, 2012

      i agree. i love the dress with the one zipper . it appears to be deliberate and a great design element. think two would make it ordinary and boring…and boxy. it looks beautiful exactly as it is. i like the tank under much better though.

      • liz
        November 28, 2012

        oh and i wanted to add that a seam around your high waist all the way around looks like it would make you look even better. you seem to have a small waist and there is extra fabric on the back where it looks too big. the dress might be more flattering with that defined a little. just my two cents. i can’t sew..yet. but you have inspired me.

        • Carolyn
          November 28, 2012

          Liz – thanks for your comments. They are much appreciated because I think the one zipper is a little funky looking in a good way too. The extra space in the back is my fitting choice because I have a job where I move around alot (reaching/grabbing etc.) and in the past when I’ve fitted a garment closer I’ve had some seam ripping issues. Leaving a little space for movement is a personal choice.

    • Carolyn
      November 28, 2012

      Thanks J. I’m going to have to remember the accidental inspiration line. It’s a good one! *smile*

  • Ginger
    November 28, 2012

    Ooh, I love this color! The zipper pocket is rad! I like that there’s just one– the asymmetry is very hip, in my opinion. I don’t really understand patch pockets… great for 7 year-olds, but I don’t think I would ever wear them.

  • Carolyn
    November 28, 2012

    Ginger – love the “great for 7 year olds” comment! That about sums up how I feel about patch pockets! *LOL*

  • I learn so much here. I love the zipper pocket too, and the fabric is very fab.

  • Jan
    November 29, 2012

    Carolyn,
    Thank you . You settled a few things for me. I have that pattern and have been trying to get to it for over a week. “Little things” like TG and a sick puppy got in the way.

    I’m making mine out of winter white faux suede. I too don’t like the patch pockets. I was going to omitt them and wear with a wide belt. I like your zipper . Also I think I will put a zipper in the back, I like that idea of yours also. Also lining it.

    You look terriffic in yours! Thanks for the inspiration.
    I will have to get mine completed this week, I hope.

  • Janine Whisler
    November 29, 2012

    BAM! That is how you look. Great dress! That pattern just jumped my sewing line to position #1. Thanks for your post!

  • Sarah Gunn
    December 2, 2012

    Wow! You look great in this color! I love the dress and the accessories are perfect.

  • Amanda S.
    December 6, 2012

    I like this a lot! The green looks great on you and the pop of metallic at the zipper makes it unique.