cat ladies unite!!
this is my cat lady cocktail dress, and also my cat--who was super happy not to be continuously removed from the photo frame this time around, gracing 115 out of the 142 pictures i took. he's very sociable. but! before i descend into complete cat-babbling, THE DRESS.
i need a cooler light source so i stop blending in with that wall :p
the bodice is made from the alexander henry "hocus the cat" print ive been hoarding FOREVER, and the body is a stretch cotton. i flattened the waistline curve on the Grainline kat dress bodice lining pieces (my full version of the dress fit so well!), and used new look 6377 for the skirt/waist, tapering it in for a more pencil skirt-y silhouette. the two patterns were merged together at the waistline seam by pinning, trying on, re-pinning, basting, and ripping the basting out. repeatedly. :p
see cat derp
originally i wanted to reverse this, so that the cat print was on the bottom and the black on top. but! im patting myself on the back for not doing that, because i hardly wear the stuff i make thats primarily a super busy print. and that would be a crying shame for such an adorable cat print :). its a lot more "me" this way.
falling over to attack the hand that pets
the bodice is lined in cotton twill, and i used some reinforced plastic boning i got from Vena Cava Design for supporting the bodice (looking up the link, they have a pretty decent selection of steel alternatives). i'd say its about the same weight as spring steel boning, but is flexible, scissor friendly, doesn't kink like Rigilene, and im fairly confident won't rust in the wash like ive had happen with spiral steel (boo to rust stains! :( ).
boning: outside & inside the dress. heyy natural light.
the zipper application is your standard visible job, and the ribbon is single fold wide bias tape. i really love using bias tape as trim for some reason. it reminds me of illustrations of mildly dishevelled seamstresses with embroidery scissors on their necklaces and seam rippers stuck into their messy buns. and a little its about giving a nod to the things especially particular to home sewing (i like my stuff to scream "handmade"). for the hem i did my first blind hem ever, which worked fabulously just using my regular presser foot + blind hem stitch.
anyways. so with this version of the kat bodice, i was torn again by the conundrum of how to modify a strapless dress for appropriate undergarment coverage. while musing on how i need to learn bramaking so i can build supportive internal structure into fancy dresses instead of having straps over straps/pinning the dress to a bra, i came up with a compromise: adjustable bra loops!
mercilessly cut from the strap of an old bra
you know those 5-way convertible bras?? well, i sewed a teeny bit of folded over bra strap elastic into the neckline seam to mimic the loops the little adjustable sliders fit into on those. so! i can ostensibly wear this strapless, or attach it to whatever style bra i happen to wear by pinning/tying the loops to it, OR put straps onto the dress itself (in these photos, i'm just wearing it with a halter bra).
the boning doesn't extend down quite far enough to support upwards from the waist
NOW. the cat paragraph. this is lucky, my adopted fluffy monster that has probably driven my neighbours insane with his constant chattering. he ALWAYS wants to do whatever im doing, to the point where my patterns are peppered with claw marks and he once pulled a pin out of a top i was making and swallowed it in the resulting tussle to get it out of his mouth (dont worry, he got to go cuddle with all his veterinary besties and i now obsessively account for every pin im using). he quacks when he's happy and i've taught him to come up to me and stand on his hind legs when he's hungry.
so! thats my dress, and thats my cat. thanks Erin for putting this challenge together, it was the first sewing challenge i've ever participated in and was super fun! i'd been mulling over how to use this cat print for ages, so thank you for the perfect excuse to sew something out of it!! :)