Sunday, March 23, 2014

Nicola

Yesterday, after almost two weeks of work, I finished a dress I'd wanted to make for two years:  Victory Patterns' Nicola.

I had to do a fair bit of adjusting to get this one to fit me well, and then work slowly on my construction with this beautiful silk georgette.  I have lots to say about this make, but I promised my Instagram friends that I'd show the good stuff first, and save the details for later :-)

So here is my new dress.  My new favorite dress.  I have to say, I'm not 100% happy with these photos because I don't think any of them really do the dress justice.   It is so beautiful, and I can't wait for the weather to warm up so I can wear this someplace.  I've made Hubby promise to take me on a date just so I can show off my new dress.

I realize that it's really hard to see the design details in this busy print.  In the first few photos, I'm wearing the dress with a vintage full slip, which you can see peeking out at the neckline and front center hem.  I'm going to talk more about this slip in another post, because it's special to me, and I always had a vision of pairing it with this dress so the bits of lace could peek out.


The hemline dips down a bit in the back, which I love:


I got a flattering and comfortable fit across the back - hallelujah!


The sleeves are quite long under the arm, coming down below the waist.  When my arms are down, it hides how slimming the lines of the dress are.  Here you can see the shape of the body a bit better.


I lined the skirt in black silk, and when I walk or there's a breeze, it flutters a bit and shows.  So lovely!


I also took a couple of pictures with a half slip, so you can see the neckline uninterrupted.  For these I added a belt and hot pink pumps, which sadly don't match each other or the pink in the dress.


I think this dress looks great belted or unbelted, but the belt does help define the waistline with this busy print.  I'm going to try to find a belt that works better, color-wise.

You can see the sleeve a little better here:


And even better here, although my eyes are closed and I look like a goof!


I'm so glad I finally made this dress up.  And I'm also glad I waited as long as I did.  I'm not sure I could have produced a dress of this quality a year ago.  Having learned some fitting tricks and some tips for sewing with silk (thanks to a Craftsy class) made all the difference, I think. 

I'm not really sure how many dresses like this I need, but I do think I'd like to sew at least one more in a plainer fabric, so that the details show.

74 comments:

  1. It's beautiful! If you are interested, we could always ask Kirstiann about checking out her workspace while you are in Toronto - She came to our very first blogger meetup in toronto and was SO nice! I could wear my Lola, you could wear your Nicola... 'cause everyone like a fangirl, right? ;)

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    1. Thank you, Gillian!

      I think Andrea might have already set that up! Check with her :-) Just in case, I wanted to make sure to get this done so I can bring it with!

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  2. Wow! From what I had seen so far, I didn’t really like the Nicola all that much—but your version is just gorgeous! That fabric is awesome and you look great! If I were your husband, I would take you out on a date Right Now, even if it were just a stay-at-home dinner? Heck, even _not_ being your husband, I’d love to take you out on a date! (:

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    1. Thanks, Jana! I've loved this design since its release - so feminine and a bit retro. Hubby loves it too, and will definitely be taking me out somewhere. I just want to wait until it's warm enough that I don't have to cover it up!

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  3. Sexy mama! This dress is Li Ely and definitely has beautifully flattering lines.

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  4. That is so beautiful Gail. The fabric and the design go together wonderfully. Your hubby needs to take you somewhere very special to show it off.

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  5. Wow, what a classy feminine dress! Beautiful!!!

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  6. Yet another winner! Gorgeous dress and your hair is soooo swishy!! :)

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    1. Thanks, Nakisha! And yeah - I actually did my hair for once, LOL!

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  7. Wow, I can see why this dress is your new favorite! It's just stunning.

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  8. Sometimes time is all you need to finish a garment the way you want. :) I'm glad you waited because this looks so beautiful! A perfect excuse for a date with the hubby ;-)

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    1. Yes, I think time was the most important factor here! Thank you!

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  9. Wow I really love this dress. I have to admit I also have it and have not made it yet. You have spurred me on it's too nice not to make up.

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    1. Thank you! It's such a beautiful design, I'm always surprised that I find so few FOs on the interwebs! Would love to see a version you make!

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  10. Love your details (fluttery peek of black silk). This will look gorgeous on a spring evening out (whenever that arrives).

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    1. Sigh - yes. It could be quite a while before I get to wear it here in Chicago. I'll have more detail shots in a few days, where you can actually see the fabric better. It's quite a sweet print!

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  11. Gail!!! this is gorgeous!!! it is so flattering, and the fabric is perfect! as much as i love all the everyday wearable stuff, nothing stops me in my tracks like a beautiful dress. great job, can't wait to read all the details!

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    1. Thank you! I am a sucker for a pretty dress. To finally have one that fits this well is icing on the cake!

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  12. What a beautiful dress. This is the reason we sew!

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  13. This is just perfect! The shape, the colours, the fit, the print, gorgeous!

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  14. Wow, this really is gorgeous. I have to make myself a fitted dress this summer. Haven't done that, ever, so I'm a bit concerned. Also, haven't found the pattern yet...

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    1. Thank you! Ooooh, you should let me and A and S choose a pattern for you . . . How brave are you?

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  15. A new favorite dress and one you made, how awesome you are dear Gail!

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    1. Thank you, Tracey! You're the sweetest!

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  16. I love this dress. I need a dress just like this!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! It's a great pattern, and not at all difficult (once you get past the fitting!).

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  17. Perfect! The pattern/fabric combo is excellent and you look so happy in it! I made my own version last summer but didn't end up wearing it much... am considering re-making in stretch cotton now though!

    http://cashmerette.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-victory-in-silk.html

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    1. Thank you! I've checked yours out more than once! I'm sort of surprised you only made one, since it's a wrap!

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  18. What a stunner! The black silk must feel gorgeous against your skin.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, it feels so luxurious to wear!

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  19. Oh my goodness, this is absolutely gorgeous! You look radiant in it as well :)

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    1. Thank you! Got a little help from some new makeup :-)

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  20. This is really pretty and delicate. Great work!

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  21. No wonder this is your new favorite dress - it's gorgeous! I love everything about it (the fabric is beautiful, the fit is perfect, and I love the hemline). I've passed over the Nicola, but I think I have to give it a second look based on your version. I can't wait to read the detail post!

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    1. Thank you! I really recommend this pattern, and I think it would look fantastic on you!

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  22. Gorgeous dress! That smile says it all. When a dress can make you feel that good, you know you're onto a winner

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  23. This dress is STUNNING on you! Especially love the peek of the black silk you lined it with! Can't wait to see it in person! Makes me think I need to get it together and make something for our evening out!

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    1. Thank you! LOL - I feel like I need to bring All The Clothes with me! I really hope it warms up a bit!

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  24. I LOVE IT! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  25. Looks Fantastic on you!
    Love those sleeves...

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    1. Thank you! Aren't the sleeves cool? I love everything about this design - and that's saying a lot, because I usually stay away from wrap styles!

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  26. Beautiful!!! I saw a dress like this in a boutique and considered pattern hacking it out of some other patterns but this is so perfect! :)

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    1. Thanks, Sally! No need to hack if you don't want to - it's a great pattern, very easy to put together!

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  27. ooooh it's so feminine and evokes the feeling of ladylike elegance. Definite calls for a date!

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    1. Thanks, Erin! It is so ladylike, isn't it? I feel so pretty when I put it on!

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  28. Amazing dress! And well done in handling such a difficult fabric (I also bought the Carftsy silk class and after reading it helped you, I am glad I did) The drape and print of your fabric is just lovely! I am looking forward to read more about your constructing (I assume) details!!!

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    1. Thanks, Ela! Of course there will be both fitting and construction details! I always have too much to say for one post!

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  29. It looks lovely on and as usual, I'm looking forward to the in depth follow up. Oh and please send us some 'in the wild' shots!

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    1. Thanks, Kirsty! I know - I'm kind of lame always taking pictures in front of this grey wall! I always mean to take "in the wild" shots, but when I'm actually out and about, I get so absorbed in what I'm doing and who I'm with that I always forget! Will try to do better!

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  30. Gorgeous, Gail! I think you need several more of these! Who needs a reason to look glamorous? This dress is everything!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle! I think I'll probably make at least one more of these. Gotta get some mileage out of all that fitting I did!

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  31. Gorgeous dress! I especially love it belted.

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  32. I'm speechless. (That, and you better bring this dress to TO so I can look at it up close. Pretty please?)

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    1. Aww, thank you! And you better believe it's coming with me - that's pretty much the reason why I powered through (and ignored my Robson) to finish it!

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  33. This is GORGEOUS! What an amazing dress! It's so, so pretty!

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  34. I LOVE this dress on YOU and the way YOU made it! I have seen this dress made up before and didn't like it much but now I see it on you and I rushed to buy the pattern! I LOVE when this happens! Beautiful job!

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    1. Aww, thank you, Dante! What a lovely compliment! I hope you love the pattern as much as I do!

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