Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Red Bombshell Dress

Pattern Description:  Bustier dress with draped detail.

Pattern Sizing:  36-44.  I made size 36 with size 38 bra cups.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  No, but that’s a good thing. There’s just something about a satiny dress that is a big turn off for me. All the versions I’ve seen look so much better than the official photo.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  I loosely followed the instructions per Gretchen’s video course on Craftsy. She incorporates some couture details (i.e. a lot of fussy hand sewing, such as a hand picked zipper and zipper guard) which I did not do. I inserted an invisible zipper and hemmed and sewed everything by machine.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I love that the pattern was free of seam allowances, so I can alter the pattern instantly and then add my preferred ½” seam allowances. The pattern is very well drafted and the pieces fit together perfectly.

Fabric Used:  True red cotton sateen, lined with quilting cotton in the bodice and Ambiance rayon in the skirt.

Pattern alterations you made:  I shortened the skirt a couple of inches at the hem and shortened the waist by an inch. I added an inch all around the top edge for coverage.

Design changes you made: I followed Gretchen’s instructions and omitted the poufy appendage at the waist. Since I detest gathers, especially at the waist, I made tiny pleats along the waistline for the draped detail.

I lined the skirt since I like my dresses fully lined. I made the back skirt vent on the left side (just like on a jacket vent) rather than on the right side (which seems bass ackwards to me).

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, definitely.

Conclusion:  I really like the pattern, much more than I ever thought I would, mostly due to the success of others that have courageously gone before me in making this bold design. I never would have chosen this style for myself, but I was so encouraged by how great everyone else's dress turned out that I wanted to try it for myself.

Course:  29.99
Fabric:  29.74
Bodice lining:  4.77
Skirt lining:  4.77
Batting:  .94
Zipper:  1.79
Ribbon casing:  1.83
Waist stay:  2.18 
Total:  76.01


  1. beautiful dress! I like the way you changes the draping at the waist and your choice of fabric.
    I agree with you about satiny dresses - they can be a little icky sometimes.