Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

The Woman in the Red Dress

I’m 31 years old and I still don’t know if I can pull off a red dress…

I’ve gone through so many phases where I’m totally confident that I can and others when I think it looks awful on me that for a long time I just ruled it out of my wardrobe! I thought it was time to try again though!

I bought a beautifully soft red viscose twill from Pound Fabrics – at £2.50/m it was an absolute steal! My idea for a dress was for something like this…

I wanted a drop shoulder dress with exaggerated palettes flutter sleeves and some sort of hem ruffle. In order to create this I decide to mash a whole bunch of patterns together!

The base of the dress is the By Hand London Eloise dress which features a semi fitted bodice and a very full flared hem rufffle. (I’ve used this pattern before here and here). I used the Simplicity 1366 blouse as a guide to change the shoulder and armscye to a drop shoulder and then I used the combo of the blouse sleeve and View F of the Simplicity 8506 vintage sleeve pattern and mulched them together!

It ended up being a pretty quick sew as there’s only bust darts and no closures as the neck is wide enough to go over my head.

After trying it on, I felt I’d made the body a little too long so I made a channel at the waist with the excess length and added some elastic. I’d always planned to belt it anyway and this way the elastic held the weight of the dress a bit better!

I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this dress now that it’s done! Whilst it looks pretty close to what I’d doodled, I don’t know if it’s the right shape for my body. Those drop shoulders I don’t think are doing me any favours and neither is the looseness of the fit!

That being said the fabric feels amazing and I love the swishy-ness of it – it’s seriously the softest stuff I’ve bought for ages. I really hope I grow to love the dress more!

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  1. Hi, Wear the dress!!! You’re adorable and people will comment because you look so great! I am 71 and if I could wave my magic wand and take off a big handful of years, I would dress brightly and beautifully. I always was conservative and wore a lot of blacks and dark colors. What a mistake! Celebrate your youth and beauty while you have them. You’ll NEVER regret it!

  2. I think it looks good, but I know that post-make feeling of ‘eeh, it’s fine I suppose’. Some items need time to grow on you, this one seems like a floaty summer day vibe

  3. I think you’ve done a lovely job! Personally, I think if you adjusted the sleeves, it could make it look less interesting. Currently it looks like a fab vintage find.
    You wear it super well and the style is so on-trend!

  4. I think it’s lovely! I like the wide shoulders but if you find you don’t wear it like that, well, it’s what stitch pickers are for. 🙂

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