Velvet Cashmerette Upton Dress

Velvet Cashmerette Upton Dress


Happy Memorial Day weekend!  This holiday weekend always serves as the unofficial beginning of summer, which is why I think it serves as the perfect (albeit hilarious) time to debut my new velvet dress.  During the recent Penny Rose (legendary costume designer) lecture, she mentioned knowing the rules well enough to break them.  That’s exactly what I did with this Cashmerette Upton dress.  If it doesn’t look like other Uptons you’ve seen before, there’s a reason for that.  I purposely broke four cardinal sewing rules when making this dress!


Rule 1 – Use Seasonally Appropriate Fabric

When Minerva sent me this lush matte velvet in the color Rust, I had a million different ideas for it.  So many ideas, in fact, that by the time I knew what I wanted to make, it was Spring.  Most people would think it insane to use a midweight velvet right as temperatures are rising.  I mean, it truly makes no sense.  Did I let a little thing like that stop me?  Of course not!  This fabric laundered beautifully and didn’t fray or pill while I sewed.  Despite this being a knit fabric, the 10% stretch honestly felt more like a slight mechanical stretch and I feel the fabric behaves more like a woven.  This leads me to the next broken rule…







Rule 2 – Always Match Fabric Type and Pattern Type

Originally, I was going to make a velvet Colette Moneta with this fabric.  Once I started working with it, I knew it wouldn’t really work for any of the knit patterns I have.  Therefore, I decided to pull out my trusty Cashmerette Upton Dress Expansion pattern.  Although this pattern is for wovens, I knew it would work well with this fabric.  And I was right!  I still had the idea of a velvet Moneta in my head and the Upton Dress is really for thinner/lighter weight fabrics.  I knew I would have to break more rules to end up with the desired garment.


Rule 3 – Use All the Pattern Pieces/Rule 4 – Use Pattern Pieces Only for Their Intended Purposes

Because the velvet is so thick and lush, I knew that the Upton waistband pieces would add too much bulk to my dress.  I decided to completely omit it.  The Upton skirt pieces give several options, but I really wanted a simple, gathered skirt.  The Upton skirt pieces are meant to be pleated, but again, I knew that would add too much bulk.  I measured only the pleat widths, divided that number by 2, and subtracted that number from the waist width.  Doing this got rid of the unnecessary bulk, but gave me enough fabric to gather at the waist.  I honestly love how my “rule breaker” dress turned out!  How about you?  Are you ready to break some rules?!









By Stitch and Shimmy

*Photo by Carrie at the Dancers Eye -*

American Cabaret Bellydancer.  Cheese Goddess. Crafty Chick. Seamwork Ambassador. Minerva Maker. Feminist Badass.

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