I bought this stretch cotton pique at Fabricland on sale for $5/metre knowing that it would make the perfect V8997 sheath dress–snug but still comfy! Big colourful floral pattern! Enough body to hold it’s shape nicely! Figuring out the perfect lining fabric took a little longer, but eventually I settled on a stretch cotton poplin in white. I wanted something with the same give of the fabric, first of all, but secondly, I wanted to keep the cotton feel and breathability for those super-hot days in July and August when anything slippery on the skin feels like a wet plastic bag coated with silicone.
As I’d made the circle-skirt version of this before, the sheath dress was pretty simple. I shortened the bodice pieces on the shorten line, as last time it was too long; it turned out to be just a smidge too much and next time I’ll put back in 1/2″ of it. I also needed to take out between 1/8″ and 1/4″ for all the waist and hip seams (and that’s a lot–there’s eight pieces between the front and back) to make it reasonably snug and sheath-like. I took out about 1/4″ on the princess seam right at the armscye as well, to deal with some gaping that only become evident once the whole thing was sewn together (of course–so it had to be disassembled and reassembled at that seam. Always an adventure).
I also added about 3/4″ to the inside of the v at the shoulders to better cover bra straps.
The main variation was the welting. This is the same white stretch cotton poplin I used for the lining, in 1 1/2″ bias strips, folded in half. One of the things I really love about this dress pattern is the seamlines, particularly that angle around the waist (empire waist in this case thanks to the extra shortening–d’oh!), and I didn’t want it to be hidden by the busy print. And then I thought if I were going to add welting around the waist I should add it at the neckline and armscye as well, just for greater consistency and visual balance.
I’m glad I did. I think it looks sharp, emphasizes those seamlines well, and adds an extra 1/2″ on the shoulders for even more bra strap coverage (key!). But oh my god did it ever make assembling those pieces that much more finicky and time consuming.
The zipper was just a regular white zipper–I didn’t want to mess with an invisible zipper with a really thick and spongy pique fabric. But hey! Check out how those seamlines and welts match up!
Not bad, eh?
Used a blind stitch for the main fabric at the hem, and my new 6mm hemming foot for the lining, which I totally love and which is also going to revolutionize my shirtmaking, I can tell. It was the easiest hem I’ve ever sewn in my life, ever.
And a ton of hand-stitching to attach linings to seamlines internally once most of the construction was done.
I’ve worn it a few times already and I can atest to it being super, super comfortable, thanks to the stretch. Like pajamas comfortable. And find me another sheath dress that you would compare to pajamas, I dare you.
10 thoughts on “V8997, the Sheath Dress Edition”
I love the dress and the fabric is gorgeous. A comfy sheath dress seems like an impossible dream!
I love that you named your insulin pump Bertha. My sewing machine is Jane and my serger Rochester (it’s loud and temperamental). Bertha seems like a fitting name. I hope the next two weeks are pain free for you! I know how much migraines suck when you have no relief. 😦 Many pain-free wishes to you!
I should name my sewing machines too. I’ve never thought to do that somehow.
Bertha is fitting. She’s crazy; I wish I could get rid of her but I’m stuck with her for life; and I keep her hidden. 😉
Thanks for the pain-free wishes. 🙂 So far so good since the weekend. About two weeks to go.
Ooooh I love the welting details! Giving me the motivation to go work on piping the edges of the dress I’m working on right now.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you about how long it would take! 😉
The dress is stunning! Love the colour and the fits spot on!
Good luck with all the medical attachments, my mum calls our caravan Bertha- she’s even got her own Facebook page!
Thank you. 🙂
There’s got to be a back-story behind that caravan name.
She’s big…so big Bertha (I’m a golfer! And there’s big Bertha clubs.) not an exciting reason, sorry! 😃
Love the back. The sewing jargon is lost on me but you look terrific!
That dress is GORGEOUS on you! WOOT!
Thanks, Liz. 🙂