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Finished: Italian Brocade Sheath Dress

I'm calling this my Anna Wintour dress, because it reminds me of the brightly patterned sheath dresses the Vogue editor favors. I like the classic and timeless appeal of this particular design. It looks like it might stay in style for a few years, right? I figure this dress will be my number one pick to wear to weddings, graduations and other spring/summer events.

Ok, so here are the construction details, to recap:
  • Used McCalls 6460, and I highly recommend this basic pattern with different cup sizes. I made a muslin and worked it enough so the finished dress fit me like a glove. The only variance I made was to omit the bias binding around the neck (more just a lack of time factor than anything else).
  • Fabric is a poly-blend brocade from Mood, available in the NYC store and LA stores, and here at Moodfabrics.com. Take a look at this photo below and you can see how vivid the colors are and how interesting the texture is.

  • Interlined the entire dress with silk organza. This did two things: Gave the fashion fabric a little more body, so it does not wrinkle at all, and allowed me to hide catch-stitching in the organza rather than in the brocade.
  • Lining is fuchsia silk charmeuse, which I attached to the dress by fell-stitching at the neck, sleeves and back zipper seam.
  • Back zipper is pick-stitched. Originally I had inserted an invisible zipper, but I did not like the way it pulled and showed the teeth (told you this dress was close-fitting), so I opted for a pick-stitched zipper. (Do not be afraid of pick-stitched zippers: They are fast and easy to insert.)
  • If you want to make a dress quickly, go with a raglan sleeve pattern. You can save a lot of time if you don't have to obsess over a perfect sleeve head. (I'm a sleeve-head obsesser.)
  • I had the fabric-covered belt done by a woman in California who makes covered belts and buckles. She works quickly and her rates are reasonable (unfortunately she does not have an online site.) Details: Pat's Custom Buttons and Belts. Call her at 1-209-369-5410 to receive a catalog, or write to her at Pat Mahoney, PO Box 335, Lodi, CA 95241.
Bottom line: This dress is a keeper! The fabric is a little pricier than what I usually spend on fabric, but it is the star of the dress and looks rich and expensive. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and family members were very complimentary when I wore it to a Father's Day dinner last Sunday. (Usually I have to fish for compliments from my husband and kids, as in "Ahem, would you please look up from the TV and tell me how wonderful I look in this [insert article of clothing here] I made?" I'm needy when it comes to compliments about the things I've sewn.)

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Speaking of Italian brocades, we just got in a huge shipment of beautiful and unique brocades from Italy. Some really stunning fabrics in this collection, and now they're also available at MoodFabrics.com.

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Birthday boy Swatch with his fans in the NYC store today.
Happy 5th birthday to our beloved mascot Swatch! He's been coming to the store with owner Eric Sauma since he was a wee pup, and he is definitely our most popular salesperson. The Mood staff loves Swatch too, and we miss him when he takes a day off due to rain or snow (he does not like either). XOXO to you, Swatchie!  

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