For a while now, I haven’t been able to get the thought of a green velvet holiday dress out of my head. I had one of those classic mid-90’s crushed velvet Christmas dresses when I was little, and it was my absolute favorite! Welcome to the grown-up version of my favorite dress!
I started by simply knowing I wanted a velvet dress, and found this one on pinterest to use as inspiration. I knew the Charleston Dress from Hey June Handmade would be the perfect place to start, so I quickly snatched up the last 2 yards of green stretch velvet that Raspberry Creek had in stock right before black Friday (looks like they have a little back in stock right now!).
Since I had never made View B before, I started by making a muslin to make sure the waist and hip locations were in the right spot (and they were, right from the start!). I modified the muslin pattern pieces to have a boatneck in the front and a scoop in the back to begin with, but then adjusted them more by gradually by changing my muslin to give the affect I was looking for (i.e. scoop out only low enough that I can still wear a normal bra!). I also made a swayback adjustment, altered the hip curve a bit, and added 3″ of length to the bottom of the skirt.
When I was happy with the muslin, I combined the bodice and skirt pattern pieces to remove the waist seam, and then I was ready to cut into my good fabric.
When making the dress, I blatantly disregarded Adrianna’s very sound advice to use a sewing machine and went straight for the serger. I would normally listen to every word of the instructions (there’s a reason that #adriannaisagenius is a real thing!), but my machine hates velvet, while my serger handles it with no issues. Thankfully it worked out!
Unfortunately the velvet didn’t behave as similarly to the ponte I used as a muslin fabric as I had hoped, and it turns out I probably could have sized down for the velvet. I ended up taking in the side seams a bit in both the arms and body, which pushed my princess seams out a bit farther to the sides than if I had sized down, but I’m still calling this dress a win.
I finished the neckline by using my stable ponte muslin fabric as a single fold bias tape (understitching and all!), and it holds the shape perfectly.
I left an 8″ slit in the back. I don’t need it for mobility because the fabric has plenty of stretch – I just like how it looks!
The belt was also a little DIY project – it’s literally just rhinestones hot glued to fold over elastic! But hey – it works!
I added some shoes from Payless (and some shapewear, of course!) to complete the look!
I’ll leave you with my red carpet pose… on my front sidewalk… hiding from my neighbors by staying behind a tree. 😉
Thanks for reading!!