This story starts with a strange bit of fabric I bought on a whim last year in Remnant Kings. It’s like a slightly stretchy pleather. Yup, really.
I can’t quite remember why I bought it. It’s possible I had it in mind for the Grease sewalong which I never managed to pull off – but I think it was after that. Whatever my reasoning a good metre and a bit ended up in my stash without any real plans for what to do with it.
Let’s just say it, pleather can be pretty trashy. But I’ve seen so many nice faux leather RTW items in the past couple of years that I felt, given the right pattern, I could make something of it.
I started off trying for a new version of Butterick B5707.
The issue is that the fabric was just too firm to get the right drape in the front of the bodice. I ended up with kind of a crazy enormous top. Very unflattering. Not ideal. I also felt like the skirt was a bit overpowering in the original length so decided to lop a little off.
In the end, this project is a little scrappy. It’s half leftovers from other projects.
Last year I made a red Gabriola skirt which I loved so much it was swiftly followed by a black jersey one (it’s not blogged, but a black maxi has definitely been a good wardrobe addition). The fabric for the black version was some of the nicest I’ve used, a heavy jersey from Minerva crafts. I had a good half metre left waiting for a home.
Put those together, disregard the original bodice and you have a new, roughly drafted kimono sleeve bodice, friends! The scuba is used for the facing, and of course I went to town a bit embellishing the neckline.
The bodice is scooped a little lower than I would like, because halfway into cutting said facings I realised there was a big chunk missing from the bottom layer of scuba and did some swift redrafting. This means it sits pretty wide on the shoulders.
In the back, I ended up leaving the bodice open. RACY! Actually this was because I did put the zip in all the way up, but the much drapier jersey was fighting it whereas the pleather was perfectly happy. The bodice also has a bit of bagginess about it which wasn’t working. I decided to rip it out and put in a short zip on the skirt alone, then add a button to the top of the bodice. As you can see, I need to sort out the length of the button loop. It just goes to show how slapdash this whole project was.
I like having the back like this though. Obviously it’s a bit much for work, so I’ll wear it teamed with a shirt – or never take my cardigan off.
I’m quite enjoying the dress especially given its scrappy beginnings. I realise pleather isn’t quite to everyone’s taste, but I’ve definitely got a place for it in my wardrobe.