The “Honey Vegas” Dress

The Facts

Fabric: about 3 metres of yellow seersucker cotton, gift from the lovely Trish
Pattern: Simplicity 7088, gift from Jo
Year: 1967
Notions: Bra repair kit (hook and eye) and a little bit of elastic, ~$2
Time to complete: 5.5 hours (including hand sewing)
First worn: hasn’t been worn yet
Wear again? I’m planning on wearing it in summer, post-baby-bump
Total cost: ~$2

Ah, yes. This dress. I had grand plans for this dress. It was meant to be for the Viva Las Vegas theme week over on Sew Weekly. There was going to be a photo shoot involving cards, poker chips, dramatic 1960’s style eye make up, high heels, and a martini glass (with fruit juice in it – I am pregnant, after all!).

The pattern reminds me of a 1960’s cocktail dress – just perfect for hanging around in glamorous Vegas casinos with the high rollers. And Vegas is in a desert, so sunshine bright yellow is perfect, no?

I got to sewing away, using this fabulous pattern Jo gave me. I figured it would be great for maternity wear – lots of volume to skim over that bump.

Oh boy, was I ever wrong.

It’s a bit hard to see on the pattern envelope, but the front of this dress is princess seamed. The gathered section starts from a few centimetres towards the back of the dress (there’s an underarm dart to give shaping around the waist). Translation: this dress is fitted in the front, and loose at the back. Kinda the opposite to what you want for a baby bump.

So yes. You’re not getting a photo of it on me, as I don’t really want to subject you all to that. Here it is on a dress form instead. (Not a proper dress form – this one is nonadjustable and a couple of sizes smaller than the dress, but you can get the idea.) Sadly the black fabric of the dress form makes the seams stand out a lot more than they would in real life – just squint and see if you can look past that.

Despite the fact that it looks utterly dreadful on me at the moment, I think it’s gonna be good in summer once the baby bump no longer completely distorts it. It gets to hang in my wardrobe until then, looking like a little ray of sunshine waiting for it’s time to come.

Interesting construction detail – there’s a stay across the back shoulder blades, under the gathers. It fastens with a bra closure, to keep the dress in place and the drape hanging nicely. First time I’ve seen this in a dress, and I found it quite intriguing. I’m looking forward to seeing how it hangs when I wear it out and about in a few months! (And yes, I promise to take photos then of it actually being worn, in case you’re curious.) I must admit to not having sewing in the bra closure yet though – I’m waiting until I can try it on, to make sure I get the width correct. I’ve pinned it on the dress form, so you can get an idea of what it’ll look like once it’s there – the stays between the shoulder blades bring the front of the dress in nicely, leaving just the back to flow loosely.

Also, congrats to Heather, who was first to guess which of Jo’s patterns I was going to use first. I’m making a little surprise for you for your guessing powers. ;-)

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8 responses to “The “Honey Vegas” Dress

  1. When I gave the pattern to you I really thought it was the ugliest pattern I had ever seen (sorry). You have proved me wrong – it really isn’t so bad afterall and I guess it is just a generation thing as I can remember wearing tent dresses when I was a little girl in the 60’s and definitely would not wear them again LOL.

  2. How cool is this shape! Oh this is really fun- can’t wait to see in on you.

  3. Super cool! I love this!

  4. I think this dress is gorgeous, and I am very interested to see what it looks like on a person, rather than a form.

  5. Have you thought about turning it around? If its possible of course. Love the colour.

    • I wish I could, but the princess lines on the front sit oddly when worn to the back. :-( It’ll just have to wait until I’ve lost a fair amount of the bump next summer! Gives me a new dress to look forward to, anyway!

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