Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pattern Test Drive - Red Velvet Dress by Cake Patterns

I really struggled to get my sewing mojo back after the Stitches and Craft Show at the end of March. Over the Easter break I thought it was high time I got may act together and make a Red Velvet Knit Dress. It is made from a stretch velvet dance fabric which I had picked up specially for this dress in November last year when I was in Melbourne. I don't know why but I've always wanted a velvet dress and the burgundy red colour is very lush.

Sizing and Adjustments
The Red Velvet Dress has 6 bodice sizes (from 30" up to 59" full bust) with 4 cup sizes for each. 

Since I never write down or remember them I always start by taking my measurements:
High Bust - 32"
Full Bust - 33"
Waist - 29.5"
Bodice Length - 12.5"

Based on my measurements I cut a 30" bodice with a C cup (I probably could have gone for a B cup but I don't like my clothes to be too tight). The finished length of this piece is marked on the pattern as being 10-1/8". I lengthened the bodice by 2" so that the bottom seam would sit in the correct spot under by bust line (on the underwire of my bra).

2" length added at the lengthen/shorten line marked on the bodice pattern piece. The same adjustment was made on the back piece as well.

The fit straight off the pattern trace was pretty good and only a few adjustments were required while sewing up the dress.
After basting the midriff to the bodice and the side seams I decided that I need to take the bodice/midriff seam up at the centre back by 1/2". I also skimmed in the side seam a little on the skirt to shape it to my hip/thighs.
I'm rather short (5'2") so I had to cut approx. 5" off the bottom of the skirt to get it to finish just above my knees with a 1" hem turnover.

You have a choice of a scissor or box pleat on the skirt. I'm not a big fan of the scissor pleat so I have gone with the box pleat option.

You can also add in a concealed ticket pocket on the waist seam but I decided to skip this option due to pure laziness :) and lack of an invisible zipper.

Red Velvet Dress teamed with a Cocoa Knit Shrug

The stretch velvet can't be ironed onto directly so I made sure to only use a warm iron with a pressing cloth when seams had to be pressed.
I also didn't want any stitch lines visible on the outside of the dress as they would have stood out too much against the pile of the velvet. The hem and neck facing have been hand stitched in place using a dodgy blind hem stitch.

The image on the left shows the machine topstitching I did on the shoulder seam, as you can see it stands out quite strongly (almost looks like piping) but I thought I could get away with it on that section of the dress. The right image show the right and wrong side of the hem sewn up by hand using a blind hem stitch. The stitching is virtually invisible on the right side of the garment.

The finished dress is very comfortable to wear and teamed with a shrug/ cardigan and stockings it is going to be perfect for a Brisbane winter.

- Ky


  1. Love the fabric you used for this dress, I want to make a dress but can't think of a fabric to use since I want a simple one but can be very elegant or classy in a way.

    1. It really depends on the pattern that you use. If you read the back of the pattern envelope it should suggest the types of fabric that would be suitable. Take the pattern into the fabric shop so that you can ask the staff for advice. This dress was suitable for stretch knit fabric and I have used a stretch Velvet.