When I ordered this fabric from EmmaOneSock, I was planning a summer blouse, but once it arrived, I could not get the image of a one-shoulder dress out of my head. After a few days I wondered why this was so...perhaps I had been reading too many fashion magazines with red dresses in them? So I google-imaged "red one-shoulder dress". My gosh, could a red fabric be used for anything else?
I planned to wear this dress to a big Christmas function, then at the last moment decided that I really needed to wear something more demure. Finally it got an outing at my bookclub Christmas party. That's one of the things I love about bookclub. I can wear whatever I like and everybody tells me I look wonderful! Such lovely ladies.
I accessorised with my silver clutch. In the background you can see the Christmas stocking my mother embroidered for me and the Advent Calendar my sister made for my kids.
I also like to wear the dress unbelted, which is how I will probably wear it on Christmas Day.
The pattern used is McCalls 6118. I bought it for the one-sleeved version after seeing Anne Hathaway wearing a similar dress by Roberto Cavalli.
The pattern should have been a 1 hour quickie but I had a lot of problems. In a pattern review, I read that the reviewer found the sizing to run large. I am not familiar with McCall's sizing. It seemed a bit silly to muslin such a simple style, so I compromised and just muslined the neck band. I made square shoulder and forward shoulder adjustments, which is what I would expect to make. Then when I made the dress up, it was way too big, so I took in a total of about 6 inches from the sides (1 1/2 inch each seam).
I sewed a beautiful blind hem. The fabric texture was perfect for a blind hem. Then I had to unpick it all because the hem hung much lower on the non-shoulder side. I didn't want to make the dress any shorter by taking up the long side, so I just made the hem much smaller on one side than the other. The dress is still uneven, but that was the best I could do without going shorter. I handstitched the second hem because it no longer ran on the cross-grain and I thought that I would not be able to control the hem very well by machine.
I did put the ribbon on the shoulder, but did not tie it in the bow suggested by the pattern. My ribbon was cut on the cross grain instead of the bias because I was short of fabric, but because of the fabric drape, I don't think that this matters.
I added a bra stay to the dress, under the arm of the non-shoulder side. This stay tucks into a strapless bra, so that the dress does not hang down on that side, or slide down over your bra when you bend over. I have previously written instructions to make a similar decollette stay. It is basically a length of boning inside a casing, which is hinged to the garment with fell stitches. Close-up photos are shown below. Sadly, these photos do not show the beautiful french seams that I made the first time I sewed the dress, but the modified double-stitched seams after I took it in.