So. I didn’t quite adhere to Gertie’s Crepe Sewalong schedule. I started with Gertie in December….and finished nearly eight months later. I just didn’t want to rush things…or more accurately, I am a procrastinator who allowed the near-finished dress to hang on my dressform for months because I hate hemming. The pattern is the Crepe by Colette Patterns. My fashion fabric is a medium-weight cotton purchased from Denver Fabrics online (still available here). The navy and cream cross-hatch pattern is set on the diagonal and is incredibly flattering and wearable. I underlined the entire dress with a navy cotton batiste to add body and opaqueness to the dress.
Along the way, I made a few adjustments to the construction to make the dress my own and suit my personal style. The simplest alteration was adding length to the ties (about 6 inches) so that I could tie them in front rather than back. I knew that a back bow wasn’t my style necessarily and would not allow me to add a cardigan on top. I also removed the curve from the sweetheart neckline. Finally, I cut about 3 1/2 inches from the skirt length for a knee-length hem.
I hesitated adding the pockets concerned about adding bulk in the hip area, but they really are *essential* to making this a great dress. I love them…not that you can tell from my so-so expression in the picture!
Fitting the bodice of my Crepe was a long process. My first issue was that I just started with the wrong size. I cut my first bodice muslin as a 10 and quickly realized my mistake. Next I cut an 8 and still made many adjustments. Some of my adjustments were apparently lost during transfer to my pattern, because once the fashion fabric was cut and the bodice sewn, there were still significant fit issues to overcome. At that point, in my head, I heard Tim Gunn saying “make it work”… and that I did. I just started pinching and tucking the excess fabric and realized I could carry those tucks directly into the line of the sleeves (on both the bodice front and back) creating a more flattering sleeve shape in the process. An unorthodox method, but it somehow worked for me! With the busy fabric it is difficult to see what I did, so I will take some detailed pictures another day and show the adjustments.
The new sleeve shape and neckline is much more flattering for me.
I love the finished look that the underlining adds. This was my first time following the steps of a sewalong and I learned some great techniques, such as underlining and using silk organza to stabilize the neckline. Because I enjoyed Gertie’s instruction, I recently purchased her online Perfect Fit Bombshell Dress class on Craftsy.