Completed: A Very Festive Brocade V8998

26 Dec

After many years of saying I was gonna do it and then never actually doing it… I made a Christmas party dress!

Vogue 8998

I wanted something sparkly and festive to wear to Christmas parties (before you think I go to fancy parties… I don’t. I have consistently been the most overdressed person at every party this year, not that I’m complaining!), but every year I put it off until it’s too late. This year, I was determined to use my Mood allowance to make something fabulous, so I forced myself to start early. I’m so happy it paid off!

Vogue 8998

With this make, I chose fabric before the pattern. I had an idea that I’d like to make my dress out of a sparkly brocade – a fabric that I don’t have a lot of experience with. I generally prefer a fabric that has less body, plus, my lifestyle doesn’t really warrant a need for fancy dress. This seemed like a good opportunity to jump out of my comfort zone a little, so I waited until I was back in NYC for another workshop and used that change to stop by Mood Fabrics store to pick my brocade.

I’m not going to lie – I spent over 2 hours in that shop trying to decide. There are sooo many options, it’s a bit overwhelming! I had a couple of things in mind to narrow it down – I wanted a fabric that was primarily black, gold or silver (so I could wear it with my turquoise heels), and I was budgeting $50/yard or less (you’d be surprised how expensive brocade can get! I only needed 2 yards, which helped a lot). I wanted something that was more floral than abstract, and nothing that was super dimensional (I don’t like puffy brocade, I’ve learned). Even with those terms narrowing it down, there was a LOT of fabric to wade through. God bless all the people at Mood who helped me pull bolts and kept their grumbles to themselves every time I changed my mind. I’m sure it helped that I was there on a slow weekday morning, but still! I must have been annoying. Those people are saints haha.

Anyway, I found this fabric and eventually settled on it (someone else was considering it for their wedding party, and decided against it – so she was happy to see me buy it instead!). What you see in my photos is actually the wrong side of the fabric – the right side is more dimensional with silver + gold, as you can see here. I had a hard time deciding what size to use – and even asked IG for opinions – but ultimately decided that the wrong side really made my heart sing. Plus, it looked better with my turquoise shoes (and also, someone on IG pointed out that it looked mature and tbh I just couldn’t see past that after that fact haha). Wrong side it was, then! I did consider adding in a bit with the right side for contrast (such as at the waistband), but upon pinning the pieces to my dressform, it definitely did not work. Rather than look cool, it looked like I made a mistake. So I scrapped that idea and just went with the wrong side all over.

Vogue 8998


Vogue 8998

For my pattern, I used Vogue 8998. I cut a size 6 at the shoulders and bust, grading out to an 8 at the waist and hips. I made view E, but changed the skirt gathers to soft pleats. A quick muslin of the bodice showed that I needed to remove about 1″ from the shoulder to make it fit better, and I also removed 2″ from the skirt length before cutting. I made no other fitting changes.

Construction-wise, I mostly followed the pattern but changed a few things to suit me + my fabric. I did not interface the entire bodice – I get why they have you do it, but I felt like my brocade had enough body where it wasn’t needed. I did interface the midriff with silk organza, just to give it some extra stability. I also changed out the lapped zipper for an invisible zipper.

The whole dress is lined in black silk charmeuse, which gives the garment a bit of weight and makes it feel SUPER luxurious when I’m wearing it. There is 2″ wide horsehair braid at the hem to give the dress a bit of extra volume. This is one area that I totally deviated from the instructions. They have you attach the horsehair to the lining and then sew that to the outer fabric, so everything is encased… but I wanted my layers to be separate (mainly so I could show people the “right” side of the fabric haha). So I sewed the horsehair to the outer, and rolled the hem of the lining.

Vogue 8998

After a little bit of internal debate, I also added pockets (also out of silk charmeuse). I figured it would be nice to have a place to hold my phone (or stolen snacks), and I’m glad I did!

Vogue 8998

Oh, right – AND I made a matching clutch, using all leftover fabrics + my new Cricut Maker! More details on that in the next post 😛 But doesn’t it look great with my dress? haha!

Vogue 8998

Vogue 8998

Vogue 8998

Despite this being a fairly fancy, pretty $$$$ dress made with fine materials… it was really easy to sew. It’s just a basic dress (I mean, style-wise it’s technically a sundress, you know?) that is fully lined with a center back zipper. There aren’t a ton of pieces, and while I can’t say that the silk was the easiest thing I have ever cut… the brocade was super easy to work with. It doesn’t shift around, it pressed fine with high heat + a press cloth (sorry, I’m terrible but I use high heat for everything haha), and all my hand stitches disappeared which made hand sewing the hem very satisfactory! The only downside to brocade is that it sheds like CRAZY… so I just serged all my seams (even the ones that are completely covered by lining) to prevent them from fraying more. I am still finding sparkly bits of brocade in my studio. It’s kind of great.

Vogue 8998

Vogue 8998

I love the shape of the bodice, and the wide waistband.

Vogue 8998

Vogue 8998

Vogue 8998

Vogue 8998

Vogue 8998

Vogue 8998

Here you can see the “right” side of the fabric! 🙂

Whew! All right, sorry, that was a load of photos. I am so excited about this dress, though, it’s been a while since I worked on such a big, fancy project!

Vogue 8998

I’m happy to report that I have now worn this dress 4 times – 3 parties, and one night out with my coworkers for fancy drinks! It’s super comfortable to wear, and the silk lining makes it a touch more warm than I expected. A couple of the parties I went to were waaaay more low-key than this dress would require, but it actually looks super cute with my cropped Chuck sweater worn over it with a belt.

Anyway, that’s all for this dress! I’ll be back later this week to talk more about the clutch I made to go with it 🙂

**Note: The fabrics used in this post were provided to me by Mood Fabrics, in exchange for my monthly contribution to the Mood Sewing Network. All opinions are my own!


47 Responses to “Completed: A Very Festive Brocade V8998”

  1. Kelly December 26, 2017 at 9:53 am #

    I love a matching dress and clutch. You would have to pay so much for that in RTW, but when you sew suddenly scraps turn you into the fanciest person in the room (if you weren’t already!). Very pretty dress, and classic enough to wear forever!

    • LLADYBIRD December 26, 2017 at 11:27 am #

      I know!! I love how something as simple as scraps can elevate an outfit into something even fancier! One of my favorite things about sewing!

  2. Melody Anderson December 26, 2017 at 10:31 am #

    Gorgeous creation!! and you look fabulous in it!! I am sure you will get lots of use from such a beautiful dress for a long time , so the investment was definitely worth it. Happy Boxing Day and a I wish you a wonderful New Year! take care from Iowa

  3. MistyMaMa December 26, 2017 at 11:02 am #

    I love the dress and you lokk fabulous in it !! Have a good holidays season !!!

  4. Denise December 26, 2017 at 11:03 am #

    That dress is simply beautiful. Hard decision on the right/wrong side but it looks more classic the way you did it. And it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed in any situation. At least that’s my opinion. I have enjoyed your blog. Thank you for the laughs.

    • LLADYBIRD December 26, 2017 at 11:28 am #

      I agree! I’d rather be awkwardly overdressed (but still fabulous) than even more awkwardly underdressed!! Thank you!

  5. Anonymous December 26, 2017 at 11:05 am #

    You definitely made the right call using the wrong side of the fabric. This is a marvelous dress and you look fantastic with shoes and clutch, and stockings!
    I am a beginner-aspiring sewist and very much enjoy your posts.
    You are my inspiration!

  6. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) December 26, 2017 at 11:32 am #

    that is so pretty

  7. Jane M. Green December 26, 2017 at 12:01 pm #

    Stunning….outstanding……classy! You continue to inspire me! Thank you for all of this fabulous detailed information! Really love and appreciate following you! Happy New Year and please keep sewing! (I still have so much to learn!)

    • LLADYBIRD December 26, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

      Thank you so much!! I hope to never ever stop sewing 🙂

  8. bethnegrey December 26, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    I can see why you chose the reverse side of this brocade. Otherwise, partygoers would’ve had to put you at the top of the tree! This is just a gorgeous, simple(y) stunning dress. And I can only imagine how luxurious it feels to wear it. Merry Christmas (on the first day of Christmas…be careful if you find pear trees and partridges on your doorstep) and Happy New Year!

    • LLADYBIRD December 26, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

      ha! I’d be open to a pear tree, but maybe not so much as partridge (I’m sure Amelia would love it lol). Merry Christmas!

  9. Kit December 26, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

    Magnificent (as usual). One question how did you attach the horsehair? Also, I have the worst time hemming a circle skirt. I can never get a smooth edge. Do you have any tips on how do hem them correctly? Thanks!

  10. heather December 26, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

    such an amazing dress- inside & out! really beautiful! thanks for sharing your talent! happy new year! 🙂

  11. Melody Srygley December 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Well, you made a FABULOUS dress! And NO, ah NO, two hours lurking about Mood does not surprise or amaze me. And yes, the Mood employees are amazing – pulling those bolts with smiles on their faces. I’ll bet they really have some fun stories to tell! Happy New Year Lauren!

    • LLADYBIRD December 27, 2017 at 8:36 am #

      Thank you! I agree, the people who work at Mood are absolutely amazing; it’s such a pleasure to be able to shop there 🙂 Happy New Year!

  12. Philippa December 26, 2017 at 4:12 pm #

    Gorgeous dress, it fits so well and looks lovely on you! Merry Christmas!

    • LLADYBIRD December 27, 2017 at 8:36 am #

      Thank you so much! Merry Christmas!

  13. MarthaL December 26, 2017 at 5:37 pm #

    Great job! You look beautiful and should wear that every chance you get!

  14. chloeinside December 26, 2017 at 10:16 pm #

    So pretty! I would love to be able to do that!

    • LLADYBIRD December 27, 2017 at 8:36 am #

      I bet you can! It’s not terribly difficult 🙂

  15. Birgit December 27, 2017 at 3:35 am #

    It’s beautiful! And +1 for dressing up! Happy holidays 🙂

  16. Becky Thompson December 27, 2017 at 4:06 am #

    So, SO pretty! Girl, you are a conundrum. Tats, piercings, and brocade. Since when? 🙂 The dress is gorgeous and so are you.

    • LLADYBIRD December 27, 2017 at 8:36 am #

      lol can’t nobody tell me what to do 😛 Thank you!

  17. steelyseamstress December 27, 2017 at 7:27 am #

    What a fabulous dress and with a matching bag- will we get a post about how you made that too? Who cares about overdressing, when you’re dressed so amazingly!

    • LLADYBIRD December 27, 2017 at 8:37 am #

      Yes! Bag post is next in the queue 🙂

  18. HEATHER MYERS December 27, 2017 at 7:53 am #

    Lovely! Great to see you making something fun out of the norm. And finding places to wear it! I’ve gotten on a useful daily wear sewing kick too, so also inspiration to break out of it occasionally.

    • LLADYBIRD December 27, 2017 at 8:37 am #

      It’s fun to step outside the norm every now and then and make something completely one-off! I definitely find it inspirational 🙂

  19. PsychicSewerKathleen December 27, 2017 at 9:58 am #

    I’m certain your dress set off a cacophony of oohs and ahs!! Gorgeous in every respect – the luxury of all that swishing fabric around your legs must feel like a bit of heaven. I love it when you make a project that showcases your brilliant sewing skills like this Lauren and I REALLY appreciate you sharing it all with us 🙂 I’m a huge Mood fan but I have to admit I’ve never actually gone through with the purchase sitting in my basket due to the shipping cost to Canada. In combination with the difference in our dollar it pretty much doubles the cost. Someday I’ll make it to NY and it will be my first stop! I wish you a wonderful 2018 – even better than you can imagine.

    • LLADYBIRD December 27, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

      Thank you so much! I hope you make it to NYC to shop at Mood and are able to buy all the fabric your heart desires! ❤

  20. Jessie December 27, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    The whole ensemble is absolutely stunning! Looking forward to reading your post about the matching clutch. Also, I’m kind of enamored by your gold polka dot wall. Is that a wallpaper, or did you stencil it on?

    • LLADYBIRD December 27, 2017 at 3:32 pm #

      Neither! They are actually just removable decals that I can peel off if I ever decide to change it up 🙂

  21. Alison December 27, 2017 at 5:37 pm #

    I think the wrong side was the right side in this case! It looks great.

  22. alaniasheeley January 10, 2018 at 1:01 pm #

    Your dress is absolutely lovely. Often the wrong side of the fabric is the right choice. I defer to a comment of Claire Shaeffer’s, “the right side of the fabric is the one you like the best”.

  23. Anonymous April 13, 2018 at 2:45 am #

    what a pretty dress, and its suiting u alot!!!!! reall impressed and loved the way u gave description off whole sewing o this dress.. kudos


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