You guys! I have never been so excited to tell you about something I made...
If you have been reading the blog, you will know I have been searching for a dress pattern to make for an upcoming wedding I was attending. After looking at tons of patterns and online inspiration, I kept coming back to the Acton Dress by In The Folds. I just couldn't get it out of my head. I was just a little afraid to take it on...
I have a confession to make. I don't really sew zippers. I also shy away from fitted bodices that aren't knits because I know I will likely have to do a small bust adjustment. Basically, I am scared of making super fitted garments for fancy events. Good thing I threw my fears aside for this event because I couldn't be happier with how my dress turned out.
After reading Emily's fantastic blog on choosing the correct size and taking my measurements, I realized I definitely needed to do a SBA and a muslin. Conveniently, she has sew along posts for fitting a toile and doing an SBA so I went step by step, following her directions . It was so helpful to have the steps broken down and thoroughly explained with photographs. With a little tweaking, I felt ready to cut into my fabric.
For my dress, I chose a burgundy floral rayon, which is unfortunately now sold out. I knew I envisioned something flowy that would look dressy enough, but I also wanted something that wouldn't be too challenging, or slippery, to sew. I think this fabric was the perfect balance. Plus, I spotted it on a RTW clothing site in blue so I had an idea of what it would look like made up.
My original draw to this pattern was the neckline and high back of View B. After tons of back and forth on what would be more formal, I decided to combine the bodice from View B with the skirt from View A. I had seen this done by a few people and ultimately went for it because of how much fabric I had. I added 10 inches to the skirt using the length of the largest size as my starting point. I based this off a maxi dress I had that fit perfectly but I really should have measured! Once I tried on the assembled dress, I realized it was only to my ankles...whoops!
I ended up having a couple of happy accidents while assembling this dress. As I put together the bodice, I realized that the back should have been a little wider, or that I would need to reduce my seam allowance since it would have been a tight squeeze as is. Luckily, I went to Kiki, our resident teacher and she suggested making it a keyhole and leaving it open. Since the bodice is entirely lined, this worked perfect! I added a hand sewn button loop and a pretty button to the top as a closure. I love how it turned out, it looked so elegant and made me feel fancy. To account for the keyhole, I shortened the zipper to 5 inches and attached it at the top of the skirt.
As per Emily's directions, I let my dress hang overnight once the straps were attached. It's a good thing too because it definitely dropped more on one side than the other. It also gave me a chance to think about the dress length a little more. Here is where happy accident number two came in. I decided just to even out the bottom hem and chop off an inch. This resulted in a midi-ish length that was surprisingly flattering. I am so glad this happened because I feel like a floor length dress would have felt a little too formal.
I learned so much from sewing this dress and I feel like it helped me level up and conquer a few of my fears. Emily really promotes enjoying the process throughout her pattern directions and I felt supported by that sentiment. As a result, I ended up with a dress I love, feel confident wearing, and proud to have sewn.