Audrey Dress

I have always loved the simple classic elegance that was Audrey Hepburn.  Whenever I see a classic black dress I think of her.  Prior to making my Anise Jacket, I wanted a classic wool dress to wear for events this winter, and it turned out just as I envisaged.

To get the look I was after I mishmashed a variety of patterns together:

For the sleeves I used Butterick 5813, which have a wonderful triple elbow dart.  This feature allow for a close fitting sleeve that still allows for plenty of movement.  You can read a great post about this feature over at Iconic Patterns here.

Close up of sleeve darts.

For the bodice I used a combination of Simplicity 1873 (made before but not yet blogged) and the neckline of the Emery dress, which I have made before here and here.

It was blowing a gale in these photos.

To make sure the sleeves fit, I measured the armscye and the sleeve head, and ended up trimming a bit off the top of the sleevehead to get a perfect fit, very much like this tutorial.  The Fashion Incubator post about Sleeve cap ease is also worth a read here.  I also made a slight forward shoulder adjustment on the sleeve which you can see in the picture below the curve of the sleeve cap is pushed forward slightly, you can see a great illustration showing this over at In House Patterns. The sleeve is a size 12.

For the skirt I used a simple half circle skirt, drafted some time ago using this spreadsheet from Patty the Snug Bug, or you can use this online app from By Hand London and added pockets from whatever pattern was handy, probably the Emery.  It actually was a skirt I had already made ages ago but I removed the waistband and added the bodice and pockets.

Its sounds like a bit of faffing about but really very simple – I used the patterns that I knew fit me well and gave me the look I was after.  Here is a shot on my dress form so you can see the darts and it without belt, the dress is a little wrinkled after being worn all morning…

I lined the bodice in cotton voile and the skirt in the same lining that I used for my Jacket (although I don’t intend to wear them together), which makes the top comfortable and breathable and the skirt silky for wearing with stockings or tights.

The back zipper I hand picked, I really love how the stitches just disappear on a spongy fabric like the crepe.

I adore this dress.  Its one of those “bucket list” dresses that I have wanted to own ever since I saw Audrey in her stunning black dress in Sabrina.

 

I also have a new camera – my first ever DSLR, a Nikon D5500 with the 18-55mm VRII lens kit.
I chose this one purely because I could use my reward points to buy it, the lens is just a “entry level” lens but a billion times better than what I have been using. It’s been fun learning how to take shots with it.  It takes such clear pictures I felt obliged to (sorry, very dodgy job) blur my background in these shots so that the sign behind me wasn’t readable and announcing my address to the internet. Please bear with me while I work out what on earth I am doing but hopefully I will be able to show some improved photos eventually on the old blog.

And of course, how awesome are pockets:

  • stunning. i love the triple dart detailing, beautiful finish and looks fantastic

    • Thank you very much. The triple darts are amazing, I highly recommend them!

  • stunning. i love the triple dart detailing, beautiful finish and looks fantastic

  • What a beautiful fit! I love it!

    • Thanks alot Christy. It took a bit of work for me to be happy with the fit but it was worth it.

  • What a beautiful fit! I love it!

  • This is such a lovely dress! Perfectly elegant and perfectly Audrey. And the photos look fab, I also have a Nikon and adore mine 🙂

    • Thank you! I think you were one of the bloggers I noticed used a Nikon which gave me confidence to go with it. Just got a remote for it and trying to work out how to take self portraits in focus. Tricky, very tricky.

  • This is such a lovely dress! Perfectly elegant and perfectly Audrey. And the photos look fab, I also have a Nikon and adore mine 🙂

  • Sew, Jean Margaret

    You have done a wonderful job combining several patterns to create this gorgeous dress. Very stylish and fits you perfectly.

    • Thank you very much. It’s such a simple dress but I know I’ll get many years wear out of it, unless I have an unfortunate incident with clothes moths!

  • Sew, Jean Margaret

    You have done a wonderful job combining several patterns to create this gorgeous dress. Very stylish and fits you perfectly.

  • SeamsOddLouise.Blogspot.com

    Stunning, love those sleeves. Fits you like a glove.

    • Thank you heaps, I spent a fair amount of time getting the bodice darts right, but it was worth it.

  • SeamsOddLouise.Blogspot.com

    Stunning, love those sleeves. Fits you like a glove.

  • great job!

    • Thank you Carmen. I’m very happy with how it turned out for sure.

  • Carmen Ross

    great job!

  • Jo

    Absolutely glamorous and beautiful! It’s my dream to make myself a wool crepe dress one day and this is just a stunning job of it 🙂

    • I highly recommend you do it. You could just add sleeves to the same pattern block you used for your pink linen dress, it would be seriously stunning on you.

      • Jo

        Thank you!  I’ll add it to my long to-make list 🙂

  • Jo

    Absolutely glamorous and beautiful! It's my dream to make myself a wool crepe dress one day and this is just a stunning job of it 🙂

  • Sew Little Time

    Sure h a lovely classic dress!

  • Sew Little Time

    Sure h a lovely classic dress!

  • This is so classic. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about making a little black dress, as well as more winter dresses. This certainly fits the bill. Love the sleeve darts. I have a vintage pattern with them and always thought them a lovely feature

    • I highly recommend the sleeve darts. These sleeve are so comfortable it’s amazing.

  • This is so classic. I've been thinking a lot lately about making a little black dress, as well as more winter dresses. This certainly fits the bill. Love the sleeve darts. I have a vintage pattern with them and always thought them a lovely feature

  • WOW. That is seriously stunning!

  • WOW. That is seriously stunning!

  • Fabric Epiphanies

    A little black dress is a wardrobe staple. You have achieved a lovely fit! I have also just bought my first DSLR, a Canon and am loving it. It makes such a difference to the quality of my photos.

    • I am still working out how to use it but I’m loving the better quality photos too.

  • Very beautiful! I love that it is a collection of patterns that is all your own.

    • Thank you. Its so simple in style I was surprised I didn’t have this exact pattern already in stash, but it is definitely a look I will make again.

  • Gabrielle

    Check you OUT! That dress – it’s so beautiful! I love the way it fits, and your darts all look so immaculate and symmetric :). Great photos too, by the way – I have a canon DSLR but I can’t work out how to take good photos with it, so my tiny Fuji nearly always ends up getting used instead…

    • Thanks Gabrielle. I am still working out the kinks. I just got a camera remote but now am having trouble getting it to focus. Im having fun trying to figure it out though,

  • Elle

    Lovely design, you may have borrowed from here and there but the end result is all yours.

    • Thank you Elle. It’s such a simple dress but I’m loving it just the same.

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