A velvet dress for the holidays

It’s always hard to find a good dress for the holidays. You want it to be stylish, but not too avant garde. Comfortable but not frumpy.

This year I took matters into my own hands and made the best holiday dress ever. Okay, so maybe it’s not the best ever but I still think it is pretty darn great.

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I used Vogue 9253 – a kimono sleeve dress with a deep V-neck. It has two options for length, maxi and midi. The pattern also features a tie sash.

This pattern has been on my wish list for a while, but I always thought of it as a summer pattern. However, a few weeks ago I got the idea in my head that I needed a maxi velvet dress and suddenly I realized this pattern just HAD to be made!

I chose this green stretch velvet. The fabric is wonderfully drapey and doesn’t wrinkle at all.

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There were a few modifications I made because the pattern is originally drafted for wovens and a few because I was working with velvet.

  1. I made a size smaller than I normally would. Usually I use 1-2 sizes smaller than my measurements put me for Big 4 patterns — for this dress, I made 2 sizes smaller but used a larger seam allowance.
  2. I cut the skirt pieces on the fold. As drafted, they have a seam down the front. I didn’t like the idea of more seams breaking up the velvet.
  3. I cut the back bodice on the fold.
  4. I eliminated the back zipper. Because this fabric is so stretchy and the v-neck so deep, the zipper wasn’t needed at all. This also helped cut down on the number of seams.
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  5. I didn’t hem anything. This one will be controversial I am sure! Since this is a party dress that will likely only get worn a few times and then dry-cleaned, I wasn’t worried about longevity. I was so worried about messing up the pile of the velvet that I didn’t want to risk hemming. I’ve been swanning about my apartment in this dress since I made it and there isn’t a fray or rolling hem in sight so I think I got away with it.
  6. I did have to raise the neckline a bit since I plan to wear this to a work holiday party! I sewed it as indicated and then hand stitched the front panels closed after I had tried the finished dress on and marked where I wanted the v-neck to end.

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I would highly recommend using the stretch velvet for all of your winter party sewing needs! It comes in a few other lovely colors — in fact, I’ve already picked it up in burgundy and will show you that project soon.

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What are your holiday sewing plans?

 

Alexandra blogs about sewing and reading over at her blog The Library of Alexandra. You can also follow her day-to-day sewing adventures on Instagram where she’s @alexandrap529.

alexandrap529

I'm Alexandra Patterson. I currently work at an independent boarding school in Pennsylvania as a research librarian.

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