’tis the party dress season…

s-the-party-season-6This time of year tends to require the obligatory holiday party dress and as always nothing in the closet provides sufficient inspiration.  To ease this dire situation in steps the Boundless Style workbook, by Kristiann Boos of Victory Patterns fame, with its multitude of dress options.


There are big skirts and little skirts, sleeves and no sleeves, boat necks and v necks, ties and peplums.  Which can all be switched for each other.  The book has an accompanying Look Book website where you can mix and match your design.  The configuration I went with was the Jackie bodice with no ties, no sleeves with the tea length Lydia skirt.


The fabric is from my usual Brisbane haunt of The Fabric Store a gorgeous silk that was a ‘substitute’ purchase become the silk that I was coveting was not on the display floor (which I did actually found again and quickly remedied by being purchased).

As expected that skirt is a fabric hog and required some pattern Tetris games to get this close.  Obviously I didn’t have sufficient yardage for two wrap pieces with back bodice and I used silk organza for the front facing pieces.  There was also not enough fabric to consider any ‘inappropriate rose’ placements hence the butt rose!!  But the skirt is simply stunning despite the butt rose!  I love it.

Each skirt side is made up of three pieces seamed together and double pleated.  The skirt has a gorgeous vintage feel to it.  I am definitely eyeing off my fabric stash for more suitable fabric to make more of these skirts whether as a dress or throw a straight waistband on it!

I fitted within the book’s size 8 and I made the bodice and skirt in size 8 with no adjustments.  The skirt with that amount of volume was not going to present any fitting issues, however I would adjust the bodice for the next make.

The wrap of the back bodice gaps slightly which I am hoping a quick tack will remedy easily however the front bodice needs more attention.  There is excess fabric around the bust, it is not too obvious but I notice it.  Perhaps a small bust adjustment of two or three centimetres will assist.  Or alternatively  reducing between the shoulder and armscye which brings me to my usual gripe with bodice pattern pieces that are same whether sleeveless or with sleeves because no way does that work correctly without excess ease.  If the next make is also sleeveless I think I will follow my pattern making instructions and come in 1cm at the top of side seam to nothing at waistline and then raise armhole 2cm.

It is also the finishing details that I love about the dress.  These details begin in the Boundless Style Book where a skirt lining and waist stay are included. I thought that it I taking the effort to make a lining and a waist stay I should take the details to the next level (and three hours of hand sewing later).  I added bra guards and crinoline in the hem both following Claire Shaeffer’s instructions in High Fashion Sewing Secrets – and I glad I did as sometimes adding more details is better…

Overall the dress is a success but currently still in the ‘party’ infrequent dress category of the wardrobe.  However I think once I tack the two back wraps together I think I will feel a more comfortable to wear more regularly and hopefully will make for a higher rotation – despite the bodice excess as that skirt is so much fun to wear.