Holiday Party Dress!

Raise your hand if you’re an Oscar de la Renta fan.IMG_0029

That would be me!

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Frankly I should raise both hands. I think Oscar de la Renta makes the best party dresses on earth! I’m drawn to the gorgeous fabric, clear colors and flattering fits, especially in the bodice.

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One of these days I might just break down and buy one, but until that time comes, this holiday season I’ll keep sewing dresses inspired by the famed designer.

This red and black floral brocade has party dress written all over it, and I placed an order for 3 1/2 yards of this mid-weight brocade. Little did I know I would cut out three patterns before finding one to showcase the beauty and dimension of this fabric! The fabric features a diagonal design which I realized needed to be treated like a stripe.

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I settled on Vogue 8997, View B.

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The 16- piece pattern allowed for strategic fabric placement letting me take advantage of the diagonal design, and I was able to create a mirrored effect with the pattern.IMG_0004 IMG_0006 3 IMG_0002

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I’m fond of the dress silhouette although I don’t wear it often.

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Being intent on a snugly fit bodice, I cut the back out in a smaller size, then sewed 1″ seams. Anything other than a snug fit would have resulted in slipping shoulders and gapes in the back-V.

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Unless I’m sewing a decorative or separating zipper, my favorite zipper method is using the invisible zipper, and I used a Coats and Clark 14″ invisible zipper for this dress. I’ve tried every technique from hand inserted pic-stitched zippers to lapped zippers. I find inserting an invisible zipper with an invisible zipper foot always produces a nice clean finish with only the zipper pull in sight. (click on photo above or below for close-up look)

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3 & 1/2 yards of brocade makes for a heavy dress, so I decided to line only the bodice. I know this decision knocks the dress out of the Oscar de la Renta echelon, but I did not want to wear a 10 pound dress!  This brocade features a non-scratchy backing, and I finished each edge on the serger before stitching the pieces together.

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I’m happy with the decision! The brocade has unbelievable body, does not wrinkle, and the skirt portion did not need to be lined. (PS – the skirt circumference is 144″ !)

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Other than a tendency to ravel, I find brocade easy to handle, and the result is almost always festive – a definite win-win scenario. I encourage you to give this delightful fabric a try for you holiday sewing, and now…..let the party begin!

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