MELANGE: BRIDGETOWN BACKLESS DRESS + MCCALLS M0525
Several months have gone by, but I finally promised myself I would get this posted today. It's snowy outside, but not as cold as when we took these pictures. If you scroll down you'll see that is was leafy and green in early fall when this garment was actually finished. This was my daughter's choice for her high school homecoming dance. I thought is was a bold one...first of all long flowy pants in a sea of short dresses, and then the bright red, super-saturated color of the Rifle Paper Co Les Fleurs rayon for Cotton and Steel. The look was topped off with vintage Kork-Ease platforms (not the snow boots she's wearing in these pictures) which gave it a seventies, comme Halston vibe, without being costumey.
We used a combination of patterns, starting with the Sew House Seven Bridgetown backless dress with its dramatic draped back (perfect for the substantial, yet drapey Cotton and Steel rayon that I love to sew with). We then looked to McCalls M0525 for the flowy pants part. We has this pattern in in the stash having sewn the short, off the shoulder romper variation earlier in the summer).
We choose a size 6 for the top and a size 8 for the bottom, figuring it would be an easy adjustment to fit them together, as both patterns have elasticated waists. Then miracle of miracles!....They fit together perfectly, so we skipped the muslin part and forged ahead. or course this was also necessary because the garment was completed the day before the dance. (In my defense Homecoming was the very first week of school this year.)
The only adjustments we made for her petite 5'3" frame were 1) shortening the bodice and 2) shortening leg length for a 5'3" frame, though less than usual to account for 3" platforms. We added a drawstring to the elastic, softly tied to add a little detail to the front. Add big dangly earrings, a bracelet, and platform shoes and you can go straight from your volleyball match to the dance (which is why we didn't get any pictures taken last fall).
Would I sew this again? In a heart beat! The fit was so easy given the drawstring/elastic waist and lots of ease in the silhouette. It was really easy to sew, and I think it looked quite elegant. (It would be beautiful in velvet) I also think it would be flattering on lots of body types.
What would I do differently? I stabilized the seams that wrap at the back with thin strips of very light weight interfacing. Because these were cut in the bias, I was afraid they might stretch and become distorted and "baggy". This turned out to be overkill with this fabric, which would have been stable enough to omit this step. In the end, I think the stabilizer inhibited the drape a little. Despite this unnecessary step, we were both happy with the way it turned out.
Do you have examples of melange or Franked-Pattern sewing from your experience?