The Rose City Halter Dress by Sew House Seven is my new favorite dress!
It's a “classic summer dress with a fitted lined halter bodice, including bust darts, neck ties and an invisible size zipper.” You can make the dress with one of two skirt options: a gathered skirt with in-seam pockets (like the ones I made) or an A-line skirt with patch pockets.
DId you see? IT HAS POCKETS!!
I made it twice in the course of three weeks in two completely different fabrics, and it works amazingly well for both casual and dressy occasions!
I first made it to take on our summer vacation out of Liberty of London "Suzani Circles" Tana lawn (colorway A with a black background). I made the size 8 based on the measurements on the package and it fit perfectly without any alterations (which is a good thing because I am not a muslin-maker nor a pattern-tracer). I normally wear a size 6 in J Crew clothes to give you a point of reference.
Upon our return, I had a week to come up with something to wear to a black-tie party. I was starting to panic when I got, what is normally a really dumb idea, to make something to wear at the 11th hour.
Hemming a dress in the car on the way to an event never ends up well - in so many ways.
Fortunately making the Rose City Halter Dress in a yummy taupe silk shantung ended up being a very smart decision. I finished it with plenty of time to spare…an hour before we left the house!
This miracle was only possible because the pattern is so well drafted and simplistic in design that it came together beautifully. Notches match up perfectly, darts mold just right and the directions with drawings are explicit. Even her instructions for attaching the lining to the invisible zipper were exact.
But then again, the designer Peggy Mead has worked for at least two major higher-end clothing brands, so she knows a thing or two about fit and fashion. And it is very evident. This is literally one of the first patterns I didn’t have to change anything on. : )
So far I’ve gotten a bazillion compliments on both dresses! (yay and thank you!)
Just a few programming notes:
As with using any patterned fabric, pay attention to your pattern placement. This Liberty print has big circles in the design, and I had to take care that they didn’t end up encircling my boobs.
Second, I am 5’ 4” and the dress was a bit long for me, but that actually worked out perfectly because I ended up making a 4” hem. The deep hem gives the bottom of the dress a nice weight to swish.
Next, for the silk version, I lined the entire dress with a very pale pink Swiss batiste. I also added a ribboned band of beading where the bodice and skirt come together, just for fun.
Lastly, in case you are wondering, the back of the dress comes up high enough that you can comfortably wear a strapless bra and not have to worry or fidget.
Here I am checking out my sister's caged tomatoes...I see I need to get my butt to yoga! My arms need some chaturangas!!
Oh Nan – it looks great on you! You have great taste in fabrics I see as well. You are bold to make a last minute formal dress and hem it in the car although, it sounds like something I would too. That also sounds like my cake baking habit – decide to make a scratch cake at the last minute and then my husband has to come to the rescue and fix it or I scrap it and buy one. Glad you didn’t have to buy a formal at the last minute because this one is gorgeous!