I absolutely love the way this dress turned out. It’s too bad I don’t live in a tropical country to wear it more often. For months I had been looking for a fun summery dress to wear for a wedding in Mexico, until I found this Sewlux red carpet dress. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy make but I was determined to learn. So here is my tale of pattern hacking.
I already had the fabric, all I needed was the right pattern to match the dress. The closest pattern to the red carpet dress I could find was the New Look 6264. As with all patterns, I searched for any useful reviews and found not a single review. Not a very comforting feeling but I carried on. I still had plenty of time for a backup plan if it all went terribly wrong.
There were a few modifications I had to make in order to get the result I was looking for. The most obvious one being that I needed to transform it into a backless dress. I disregarded entirely the back bodice of the original pattern and adjusted the front so that it extended slightly towards the back and provided a little more coverage to the sides. The blue lines in the image below show more or less how I changed the pattern :
The halter neckline was changed into a fixed gathering and sewn into the neckband. In the original pattern the halter would fold over the neckband, this way the gathering gives a more bulky look. I used the same pattern piece for the neckband but one size smaller and reduced the top part of the bodice by about 4 cm (as shown in the previous drawing). The new bodice then looked like this:
Neckband and straps were a bit of a challenge to find the right material to make it with as I wanted something much lighter than leather. So I found a very nice heavy weight stretch satin that matched the colour of the rest of the wedding party. The straps extended to criss cross at the back and again in the front.
Another addition to the dress was the lining. The main fabric was very light and see through so I added a layer of shiny silk for the lining, which made the colours of dress shine vibrant.
In the end I chose to keep the knee length, asymmetrical hemline from original pattern as I felt more appropriate for the sandy beach.
This project helped me learn a lot about sewing with sheer fabrics. In the next post I’ll share with you tips that were very helpful for making this dress. Stay tuned!