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I made this dress in July 2015 and it was my first attempt at tracing a pattern from an existing dress. To put it quite simply, it wasn’t a success.


The dress is made from red cotton velvet I purchased from Lincraft during a 50% off sale.

As it’s cotton, it doesn’t have that sheen like the polyester or silk-blend velvet fabrics have, and more of which we see in fashion right now, but I prefer the natural fabric and I think it has a more sophisticated feel rather than a party-fun time feel. (Both sophisticated and party-fun time are great feels though).


I made this red velvet dress from my first attempt of tracing the pattern from a vintage dress I bought. However, I didn’t really know what I was doing and sort of made it up as I went along. This pattern is completely wrong.

The bodice is far too big and was so loose and wide across the top that I’ve had to use a nappy pin to gather it in the middle and then hide the nappy pin with a brooch.

Well, at least I tried right?

The front darts are practically touching my chin and the side bust darts are pointing to Heaven, almost straight up to the sky.

The darts in the front of the skirt, almost nearly do, but really and quite visibly don’t, match up with the front darts in the bodice which puts the eye off and I feel is even more exaggerated when I tie a belt around the waist.

The skirt is nice but the shape of the hips took a number of attempts to get it right, though I did make this pattern without a french curve so I’ll let that slip.

The best part about the pattern though, is the back which has a gorgeous scoop and the straps fit perfectly, as they aren’t too tight but also don’t fall off the shoulder.


When I first made this dress it was very tight as I had intended for it to be a kind of body con number. However, when I tried it on for these photos I realised it’s actually a tad too big around my waist and hips so it sort of hangs more which feels more comfortable but I don’t think it looks quite as nice.

When I made this dress I was very pleased with the result and I think it does look good. It’s just in hindsight now, that I’ve mastered that pattern that I can look back and find all the faults. I’ve only worn it once in public and I don’t think it’ll be my go-to for any special occasion. When I first showed my dad this dress he described it as Grace Kelly-esque, which of course I was proud to hear. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to make another dress like it in the future and amend my mistakes.

I hope you enjoy my little reviews of my past sewing projects. I'm trying to make them as a little portfolio on my blog. I couldn't wait to show the dress amongst all of our gorgeous Christmas decorations. With the dress I'm wearing, Swarovski earrings and a green dyed, mink-fur hair clip I bought in a gorgeous antique shop in Stowe, Vermont. Lipstick is Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in the colour Retro Red 004, Matte.

Cheers, Alexandra xx

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