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Atelier Brunette Crepe Dress by Laura

I am a huge fan of Atelier Brunette Fabrics, and have been considering how to use their range of Plain Crepe Fabrics for some time now. The fabric itself is lightweight with nice drape, and it has a beautiful lustre to it in real life. You can feel that it is a quality fabric which made me think it could hold up well for evening wear. The crepes are available in a variety of rich colours and I chose ‘Midnight’, which is close to navy, to give some flexibility in accessorising for different occasions. I’m hoping that this dress can do ‘double duty’ for upcoming weddings and parties.

When it came to finding the perfect Sewing Pattern, Simplicity 8292 seemed to tick all the boxes for me. It has four variations, with a straight or flared skirt, and a range of sleeves. Having felt the drape of the fabric, I knew it would be perfect for a dress that incorporated some elements of softer structure, but could still keep some shape. This meant I could use it to make version C of the dress which features a pencil skirt and fluted sleeve. I’m glad I chose this option because the sleeves hang so delicately, and suit my shorter frame.

I find that commercial patterns tend to have a little too much ease for me and when I make clothes according to their recommendations, always need to take them in. With this in mind I cut a size smaller than the pattern recommends, having made note of the finished measurements and trying a quick tissue fit of the pattern. I ended up with a great fitting bodice, but a skirt that ran a little tight. Perfect for a cocktail evening but not so great for sitting down in! This would normally be an easy adjustment but…..

…….I had decided to use French seams to join the skirt panels. This is partly because the fabric is quite delicate and frays a little more than cotton would. I also felt that this would give a more polished finish than overlocked seams. Overall I’m glad I went with this, even though it was a little trickier to unpick when it needed letting out! Luckily the fabric wasn’t harmed too much from unpicking and pressed well, making it much easier to sew with than some other crepes.

This was also the first time I had constructed a bodice that used princess seams for shaping rather than darts. This was easy to construct and matched up perfectly against the skirt seam. 

The bodice is lined and I found that the instructions were very thorough in this respect, giving precise directions.

I’m really happy with the final result. The Atelier Brunette crepe is perfect for this dress; the fluted sleeves hang and move beautifully because the fabric isn’t bulky or stiff. Though the rest of the dress has some structured elements, the fabric can still hold these well enough….. and I can sit down in it now!

Thanks for reading,

Laura @ The Petite Passions

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