30 Jun Shape It Up! McCalls 2401 Garment No. 18
“The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.” —Hubert de Givenchy
Since I returned to sewing nearly five years ago, I’ve been looking for the perfect simple dress pattern and have quite a collection. Shifts, Sheaths, A-lines, Empire Waist, you name it…… I’ll buy the same pattern with a slight variation and then search for another. ~~~
So last week I took stock of my growing look-a-like pattern collection, I assessed my dying RTW dress collection and concluded all but a few were constructed from uncomplicated and basic foundations.
I knew I already had ‘the perfect dress pattern’ ~ actually lots of them, and I knew the way to move forward was to start at the very beginning. For me, this meant making a shift and shaping with darts, before making another dress.
If I was going to make a shift, then it was going to be a silk shift ~~~ and soon I was underlining, basting and thinking of Susan Khalje who told me she could keep someone busy for a week sewing a pencil skirt.
By golly, my shift would be a couture shift ~~~~ and then I came to my senses; it need not be all or nothing 😉 Breaking away from the couture standards, I inserted an invisible zipper following the Brother Invisible Zipper tutorial. (which is a foolproof tutorial)
The dress pattern is McCalls 2401 (described as a sheath),and sewn in a s m o o t h dupioni from B&J Fabrics, not papery at all.
I made one design change and lowered the back neckline to match the front neckline. To achieve the fitted back, I extended the darts all the way through the upper edge on the back pieces (click on photo above for detail).
The silk is underlined with a mystery fabric I received as a bonus from Farmhouse Fabrics which has a nice weight and texture for underlining.
I lowered the bust darts by 1/2 inch and extended the front darts downward by three inches for better shaping.
The dress is lined with a Grenadine Crepe de Chine from Mood Fabrics.
I tried talking myself out of using this beautiful fabric for a lining, but the crepe de chine transformed the shift into the dress I was seeking for the sizzling summer.
Obviously, it’s all about making the pattern perfect for you, bringing the search for perfect dress patterns to an end ……………
which means all new dress patterns are icing on the cake!
Until soon 🙂