There were several dresses I liked from the 'Victoria' by Victoria Beckham collection which was released in early 2012 (but is no longer on the VB website). I blogged about my favourites here and last month I made this dress, inspired by one of my top picks.
I had been thinking about the pleated dress (above) for a while and when I saw the RTW contest on Pattern Review, I thought I'd have a go at making it and enter my first ever sewing competition!
I bought the fabric for the top at Homecraft Textiles. I spent ages trying to find the spotted fabric and I finally discovered this one under a pile of other rolls on a bottom shelf. Then I chose the off-white fabric to match the background of the spotted fabric. The pleated fabric was an op shop find from ages ago.
The pattern was completely self drafted based on tops I already had. I made a v-neck as I prefer that shape on me. The panel of blue dots was sewn on to the front of the top. The neckline and sleeves were finished with ribbed stretch knit. I have never worked with pleated fabric before and it was a real challenge (I could insert a much stronger word here, but I won't!). I used a rectangular piece of fabric for the skirt, which should have been simple but I must have made the skirt about five times and unpicked it before I got this version, which is still far from perfect. I was initially trying to fold the fabric into its pleats and then sew it, which was next to impossible. In the end I went with a separate skirt and top, rather than a dress. I just couldn't attach the skirt to the top without it looking bulky and messy, even with the addition of elastic, which I sewed in and removed at least twice!
To create the separate skirt and top, I finished the hem of the top with a white ribbed band and that was done. Phew! I added a wide navy ribbed band to create the waistband of the skirt and stretched it as I sewed the 'flattened' pleated fabric to it. When the waistband is unstretched (as shown below right), or only stretched slightly, the pleats hang quite nicely.
So there we go. Check out my entry on the Pattern Review RTW contest page and vote for your favourite (from 1st May 2012), or why not enter something you have made yourself! The more the merrier.