After three and a half years of very part-time classes at West Valley College, I finally graduated a week ago with my A.S. in Apparel Production! Since I made a new dress for my very first day of class at WVC (which was also made with Britex fabric, coincidentally!), it was only fitting that I drape, draft, and sew the dress in which I accept my degree. And that the fabric for said dress come from my favorite fabric store!
This amazing embroidered eyelet immediately caught my eye when it was first added to the Britex website. The coral color is one of my favorites this season and I love the geometric design.
When the fabric arrived, I brought it to school to consult with my instructor, Tiina Keller, about what to do with it, and she suggested using the edge of the fabric as a border. A garment with a border design has one really specific requirement; the hem has to be straight. While a dirndl-type skirt or dress would work with a border, this fabric is a thick and weighty, so I opted for a straight skirt style.
I wanted the fabric to be the star, and a simple silhouette seemed the best way to go. I draped the simple sheath dress (with French darts in the front and fish eye darts in the back) on my personal dress form, tested the half drape, transferred to paper, tested the full garment in muslin and sewed the dress in one day! Phew!
I'm particularly pleased with how well the back armhole fits, thanks in full to the tiny, nearly invisible shoulder dart. Such an under-utilized feature of garments these days, shoulder darts are.
To maintain my modesty in this open eyelet and keep it comfortable in potentially hot weather, I chose to underline the dress in muslin. The arm and neck holes are finished with muslin bias binding.
Check out my pattern matching on the back. It was mostly good fortune, but I'll happily claim to have meticulously planned it!
Here's the dress on Graduation Day with my two boys, and in my robe (dress hiding underneath).
I want to give a very heart-felt thank you to Britex for their role in my pursuing and completion of this degree. The boost of skills, confidence, and excitement about garment sewing I gained as a Britex Blogger for well over 4 years truly helped propel me toward achieving this academic goal. Not to mention that their fabrics have been a invaluable source of inspiration for me. I've even had the opportunity to use some for a couple of my school projects (here, here, and here :) Thank you, Britex!
Please visit my blog for more about my inspiration for pursuing a degree in Apparel Production, (despite having no plan to switch careers) and maybe I'll eventually even post about my midterm and final draping projects. Also, follow my adventures as I spend the month of July in Paris while I take classes in Couture Techniques at the Paris American Academy!