Wednesday, October 2, 2013

LBD - Project Sewn Sewalong

Project Sewn is a 4 week sewing competition comprising six designer/sewists who are all given a theme each week to base their looks on.  They are then scored by their fellow competitors and are opened to an online popular vote.  At the end of the voting period the votes are tallied and based on this combined score. One designer is sent home and one is announced a winner for each week.
Along with the "professional" competition there is also a little sewalong for anyone to enter based on the same theme the designers have each week.
I'm definitely going to sew along with this one. I need to use a lot of my stash so I'm making a personal vow to myself to only use fabric and supplies that I have on hand already and to sew along each week not just enter something I've already sewn. Update: Broken vow in Week 2. Entered something I made up last month as my mum is in town and I need to spend some QT with here.

Week number one is the LBD. The little black dress is an essential part of any woman's wardrobe and guess what? I didn't have one! 
I was pretty happy when I sorted through my stash box and found the following:

Black Silk Shantung which I picked up from Lincraft. I remember it was a little pricey so I'm glad I'm finally using it.
Black lining and a 20cm of a black sequin fabric (no idea why I bought this)
Pattern V8555 I picked up when Spotlight had one of those $5 pattern deals on. I thought it looked like a nice staple pattern to have in my collection.
Black zip. 

Wow, I had everything. No need to take a trip to the fabric store which is great as I would end up coming home with another purchase which has nothing to do with the LBD challenge.

The pattern is V8555 which I checked out on Pattern review. They all looked amazing and had great reviews so definitely worth sewing up.

The Silk shantung creases easily and I had it folded for a while in a box so I had a lot of pressing to do before I started. Also worth noting is that it frays a lot. I decided to use a black sequin fabric for the midriff section which adds a nice sparkle and bit of glamor but it was very bulky and slippery. I made sure I tacked everything in place before sewing and it worked really well. I trimmed back the seams a lot to reduce the bulk. 


I really liked sewing this pattern, it was easy and fits well. I didn't realise that a normal dress zipper was to be inserted and had sewn the CB seam already before reading this instruction.  I didn't want to ruin the look of the dress by machine stitching the dress zip in so I used the couture method of stab stitching. This requires lots of tacking in place first. But, I'm so glad I did as it turned out beautifully. I will definitely use this method again. You can really manoeuvre the zipper so it fits perfectly.

What I really love about this LBD is that it reminds me of those gorgeous 50's style dresses like Audrey Hepburn used to wear. All I need now are some long gloves and pearls. Actually, you might notice I'm wearing pearls. They are a little present my 8 year old son gave to me for mothers day. He bought them from his School for $1! He is always asking why I don't wear them, so now I can show him that I think they are special enough to wear with my special dress.

           Now I have a little black dress in my wardrobe and I've used a fair chunk of my stash,                                                                             thankyou ProjectSewn.

    To reinforce the seam with the slit I made seam binding out of the 
silk shantung 

 I used the couture method of stab stitching for the zipper which
 required three rows of tacking

 The midriff was challenging as I had four layers of fabric, lining,
interfacing, sequin fabric and main fabric.

You can vote here form my dress in the competition. I am number 12.


  1. Annie this LBD is gorgeous and you have made it so beautifully. The sequin midriff is a stroke of design genius!!! You look fabulous in this dress too, so go and find a party and show it off.
    PS: tell your son he has great taste. The pearls are a perfect finish. Aren't sons so sweet???I know mine is now that he is 27.

    1. Thankyou Marjorie. I don't know about genius but I was happy with how it turned out. I was even more happy to use it up in a project because it was a bit expensive and I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I will tell Ollie you said he has great taste, he'll love that. Ax

  2. Beautiful and classic LBD! Good luck on the challenge!

    1. Thanks Hana, I'm going to need luck there are so many beautiful sewers entering this challenge.

  3. Beautiful dress! You're right - it is so Audrey! And your pearls from your son are so sweet.

  4. OH my goodness!!!! I love this dress. It looks so expensive and the fit is absolutely beautiful!!! I am so glad to have found you through project sewn. I got lost in all your sewing goodness--your work is impeccable (and I want a tutorial on sewing couture zippers!) ~elizabeth

    1. Thankyou Elizabeth. That's so nice of you to notice my dress and love it. I did try to make a video tutorial on the couture zipper so maybe I'll continue on it for you. It's not that hard and looks great.