I hope this finds each and everyone of you enjoying a happy end of the year, whichever way you like it best!
Here is my last sewing project before Christmas – a Cosmo Dress!
Hot Patterns’ Cosmopolitan Dress and I have a complicated history. I have always loved the pattern and this was my first purchase from Hot Patterns. The first time I made it, however, some of you may remember that I was losing my Grandma and I majorly messed it up. I never touched this dress again. The pattern stayed in my pattern drawer for a long time; I glanced at it occasionally, until I was finally ready to dig it up again. This time around, it worked. Cheer with me, friends – I have finally conquered the Cosmo!
That being said, the sewing wasn’t exactly a walkover. I cut a size 6 for the back and a size 8 for the front, but I should have made a size 6 all around. The back was a perfect fit. I didn’t use a zipper as I was sewing with a knit, so I took out 1.5 cm from the center and cut it on the fold of my fabric instead of cutting two pieces.
I also changed the finishing for the neckline. This is were I had majorly messed up 3 years ago (though really, what was I thinking back then – facings in a knit fabric?); this time I did one of my favourite neckline finishes for knits: contrasting binding that is sewn stretched out, so as to stay close to the body when worn. I used a black knit fabric for this, that has a bit more body and resiliency than the main fabric.
My last alteration was the sleeves. I wanted neither the scarf-style sleeves – not practical for teaching – nor the huge sleeves gathered at the cuff – way too big for my small frame. I Frankensteined the sleeves from my trusty and much-worn New Look 6429.
One final thing regarding construction: I sewed the side seams and sleeves all in one go, as most of us do when we sew with knits and sleeves do not need easing.
This dress will be wearable in the spring as well, but right now, I am making it work as a winter dress with thermal underwear (and an extra black top underneath if it’s really cold), boots and opaque tights (or woolen tights if it’s really cold); and it is a great match under my beloved purple coat. My usual accent accessories (oversized cowl, gorgeous cabled fingerless gloves that were a gift from dear Tany a couple of years back, and I’m currently making a matching béret) are grey, so this purple and grey print was just ideal.
(I’ll talk more about the cowl some other time, along with some other winter accessories that I’ve been crocheting for me or as Christmas gifts.)
I have to own up to Trena‘s inspiration here. I am a great fan of her outfits; the last two paragraphs of this post in particular have inspired me to go out in dresses or skirts almost every single day for the past 6 weeks. A past 6 weeks that have been whoppingly cold around these parts, even here in Southern France. Thanks to Trena’s advice I haven’t been cold at all – and have been feeling cute at the same time as warm! 🙂
For a long time, too, I kept drooling over Trena’s colourful tights. Up till recently, funky tights weren’t something readily available (or at least affordable) in France; happily, this is changing. This will probably sound silly but I was really tickled to find purple tights that were a nice match for the dress. Going back to Trena’s post to link it for you, I just realized Trena’s tights that day were also purple! I swear this is coincidental. Though you know, with Trena and I being exactly the same size and all – I probably already mentioned that I have regular dreams of raiding her closet for all her adorable dresses. 😉