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The Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Atelier Brunette Viscose Crepe

Hello Minerva Crafts readers! I'm excited to be back with a simple, everyday black dress, perfect for dressing up with some favorite accessories.

Top of my 2019 To-Make list is a to-die-for LBD--I'm thinking silk, several muslins, and lots of hand sewing--but while dreaming about that I noticed a distinct lack of casual black dresses in my wardrobe as well! I'd been wanting to try out Atelier Brunette's fabrics since I'd heard so many good things, and I bought Megan Nielsen's Sudley Pattern during a recent sale, so everything came together perfectly for this project.

You might notice that my Sudley does not look exactly like the pattern--I made two small alterations that change the look of the dress! The first is that I cut the back in two pieces, rather than on the fold, and just used a little back slit (and hook and eye closure) instead of the large keyhole opening. The second is that I added an elasticated waistband. It's still a very simple make and an easy-to-wear dress, even with the changes I made. The third change I made is a less-obvious one: instead of lining the dress, I drafted a neckline facing. As written, the Sudley is fully lined, bodice and skirt, but I generally prefer to be more economical with my fabric and wear a slip under dresses. After all, if you are fully lining your dress that's basically two dresses worth of fabric--and I'd rather have two dresses and wear the same slip with each. Of course, there are some dresses that need a real lining, but this simple every black dress is not one of them! I topstitched the facing down to keep it out of the way and cut down on future ironing.

The Fabric is really amazing, and viscose can be hit or miss for me. I prefer a more substantial feel than your average rayon challis and this one from Atelier Brunette delivers that quality! It's drapey, a bit spongy, and feels really wonderful on. There's not much to say about the look--it's a solid black--but the other prints available are so fun and there's a great assortment of pretty colors to choose from as well.

As far as my final product, I'm pretty happy with it and anticipate wearing it often, but it isn't quite perfect. I typically prefer a natural waistline to empire, and knew that the dress bodice was above natural waist/empire length, but since I am short-waisted I thought that it would just cut the length at the largest size and have the bodice hit at my natural waist. Unfortunately, the waist is still quite high! When I make it again, I'll extend the waist by an inch or two, which will also make it a bit longer, too. The fit in the shoulders is very nice and I really like the sleeves as well. Overall, it's a nice blank slate type of everyday dress that I think I'll reach for often--and it's easy to accessorize, too.

Thanks for reading,

Allie @ Allie Jackson

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