Named Clothing Gemma Dress with Stylish Fabric

FullSizeRender (2)

FullSizeRender (4)

The holidays are finally here, and that calls for a fancy dress. Ever since I saw Named Clothing’s Gemma Dress in velvet, I’ve been wanting to try making a maternity version for myself. I couldn’t shake the idea out of my head so I decided to go for it. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out. I’m happy to say, it worked! This pattern also comes with a sweatshirt variation that I’ll have to try post baby bump.

FullSizeRender (1) copy

I picked a royal blue stretch velvet from Stylish Fabric for this dress. I cut my dress out along the less shiny-reflective side of the fabric. I have a lot going on so I figured it would be more flattering to NOT catch the light on every bulge along my body but nowΒ I wish I had cut it the other way around. I don’t think it would be so bad. I do like the darker blue color of the less shiny side I chose though.

A lot of people ask me for tips about working with stretch velvet. It’s basically very similar to sewing with a knit fabric. You can wash and dry it. Make sure to use a stretch stitch or serger when sewing with it. Be aware of what direction you are cutting out your pattern, one direction of the fabric is more reflective and the other not so much. There’s not a right or wrong way, just depends on your personal preference. This is my fourth stretch velvet project in the last year, you could say I’m a fan.

IMG_6401

IMG_6400

I picked a size based on my current bust measurement and added a little more length to the front skirt piece of the dress. I found it helpful to drape/stretch the fabric over my baby bump and see how much width I needed across, I ended up adding Β 2 1/2″ to the waistline. This is what my pattern piece looked like after my modifications:

FullSizeRender (1)

I’m not sure if that’s the BEST way to do it, but it worked really well for me. Just measure around your widest part and find it on the pattern piece based off of where the waist is marked. I’m currently 25 weeks along, and there’s still room to grow in this dress. I didn’t make any modifications to the back pattern pieces.

FullSizeRender (1)

I sewed everything together according to the directions. When you get to steps 8 & 9 I would recommend basting the pieces together first and once you match up your seams (it may take a few attempts) sew a straight stitch at regular stitch length just over the matched seams, and then serge the whole seam. This was the hardest part of the whole project for me.

IMG_6396

My hip measurements are a lot smaller than the size 8 measurements, but I didn’t adjust the pattern at all. I sewed up the side seams as they were, and then fitted the dress exactly how I wanted it at the side seams, and sewed them up again. I wasn’t sure how everything was going to fit overall, I ended up taking another 1/2″ out of the bodice side seams and sleeves, plus the extra fabric that I needed to take off at my hips. It worked great. I also lowered the back slit by 3″ for more coverage.

FullSizeRender (3)

Thanks for reading along, and happy holiday season everyone!

 

 

Advertisements

Velvet Ebony Dress with Stylish Fabric

IMG_5210

I’m in full blown fall sewing mode over here, anyone else? I’m trying to add pieces I can wear now while it’s still pretty warm and on through the fall as it starts to cool down. I can feel fall in the air! Velvet is a HUGE trend for fall this year and Stylish Fabric has just what you need! They have so many colors in this gorgeous, drapey stretch velvet. I saw this Old Rose color and instantly pictured a easy swing dress, specifically the Ebony Dress by Closet Case Files.

IMG_5219

IMG_5215

I’ve used this pattern before for the t-shirt option. I wear it all the time, and was eager to try out the dress variation. I love it! It has just the right amount of volume without being too much. It’s super comfortable to wear and easy to dress up or down. I will be living in this dress! I made one alteration by adding 4″ in length, which ended up being perfect. I also chose the 3/4 sleeves length and added another 1″. Next time I think I would go up one sleeve size, and add a little more length. The armscye also feels a little high, so I would need to lower it a little on my next go. Other than that this dress is a hit!

IMG_5216

IMG_5218

A few tips for sewing with stretch velvet!

  1. Pay attention to the way the light hits the fabric. It’s different from different directions depending on the nap. Decide what you like best!
  2. Treat stretch velvet just like a knit. Use a ball point needle or serger to sew. Finish hems just as you would a knit. (I used a stretch twin needle).
  3. I washed mine on delicate in warm water in my washing machine, and then dried it on delicate as well. It washes up great!

It’s really quite easy to use, and the results are stunning. It’s a perfect fabric choice for fall and winter! (and pretty much every season it seems!).

IMG_5212

IMG_5220

Thanks so much for reading along. Now go grab some stretch velvet for yourself! It’s only $7.65 a yard and you cant beat that! Happy sewing friends!

This is a collaboration between Stylish Fabric and myself. All opinions are my own.Β