What sewing projects are out of your comfort zone? This month at the Sewcialists, we are challenging our community to be brave with fabric, patterns, colour, or techniques, and to share their projects using the hashtag #SewBraveSewcialists! As Sewcialists Editor-In-Chief, of course I had to take part! But what to sew?
Something SEXY! I don’t exactly know when “sexy” left my wardrobe… probably around the same time I traded clubbing for quiet nights in with my honey! I feel good, I like my body, I feel strong and put-together every day in my me-mades, but “sexy” started to feel performative and attention seeking. But at 36, I’d like to change that. Being sexy is an attitude, and looking sexy is something we can all do, regardless of size, age, gender or looks! My sewing goal for the past two years has been “be more of a badass”, and Badass Gillian wants a few hot looks on hand for the right occasion!
I chose a Burda Plus sheath from issue 12/2015, because the model is smoking hot in the photo. The dress actually has really interesting darts and seam lines that you can’t see in her black version or my floral, so it’s worth checking out the line drawing! There are two darts in front and 4 in back, all from neckline to hip. There is also a little triangular inset piece over the upper bust for added shaping. And, as you can see in the picture below if you squint hard enough, my first ever kick pleat!
To me, being sexy is all about being comfortable – no shapewear, no “sucking in”, just something you can wear and forget about while being fabulous! (That goes for these photos, too – and while they have been adjusted like crazy to hide the fact that is was cold, dark and windy, the dress and I are 100% authentic!) The outer fabric is Liverpool knit, which is a polyester crepe double knit. It’s great for fitted garments because it is stretch but has some structure! I lined the whole thing with power mesh (you know, like the stuff the back of a bra band is made of) so that it breathes and hangs smoothly over bumps and lumps. It’s not tight or constrictive at all. I even sewed a line of elastic to the powermesh under the bust so I have the option of going braless! Ahhh, comfort!
(That said, I’m wearing a tester of an upcoming bra pattern from Emerald Erin in a 38G, and she just happened to sew it for me in the most beautiful pale aqua lace that matches this dress perfectly!)
Let’s talk details, or at least what I can remember:
- I am 5’2″, 210 pounds, and I measure 45/39/50″.
- I cut out a size 50, I think, but forgot to add any seam allowances and just sewed it with a narrow seam. Thanks to the magic of knits, I worked out fine!
- I removed 3/4″ from the top of the straps because I’m petite in the upper chest. I think I also took out 1″ at the waist.
- Sorry for the foggy details – you’ll understand if you’ve read about my slow concussion recovery!
So, how did I do? I feel brave and sassy while wearing this dress, so for me it’s a win. I’d love to see more sexy sewing in the plus size sewing world, on a range of bodies and in whatever way makes you feel powerful and strong. No one should have to look sexy all the time, but it’s fun to have some outfits that put a swing in your step and a twinkle in your eye!
Would you like to join the Sewcialists for Sew Brave this May? You can make anything as long as it’s a challenge for you – that could mean making pj pants for one sewist, or a couture jacket for another! Try a new technique, use that precious fabric you’ve been hoarding, experiment with silhouette or colour, or whatever you want. Check our the hashtag #SewBraveSewcialists for some great inspiration, and if you aren’t already, come follow us at @Sewcialists on Instagram! Right now five of the seven Sewcialists Editors are plus size, so this community is near and dear to our hearts. Thanks for having me, Curvy Sewing Collective!