Opera Dress

At the beginning of the summer I read a blog review of a pattern by Lisette. As it was a range of patterns I had not heard of before I clicked onto their website to have a look.

The review I had read was for a tunic top and the blogger was raving about the pattern, about how easy it had been to sew and how practical and comfortable the tunic was to wear. (I’m afraid that I cannot now remember where I read the review). I browsed the website for a while and ended up ordering two patterns. Firstly the Passport pattern which is for a dress and jacket.

And, secondly the Portfolio pattern for the tunic top mentioned above (which can be made in three lengths – top, tunic or dress), and trousers.

The dress and jacket pattern was tidied away into my pattern box once I received it as I figured I would wait until the baby was born before sewing such dresses again.

However, shortly afterwards we were invited to go to the Opera. Now for some a night at the opera might be a regular occurrence. But when you live in the outer sticks of rural southern France and spend a lot of time with little people (otherwise known as children) a night at the opera is something to shout about. And something worth a new dress.

At the time I was six months pregnant so I perused Burda and the other major pattern companies for a maternity dress pattern but found absolutely nothing that appealed so I decided to use a pattern I already had and adapt it for the bump.

I had a couple of metres of black linen fabric in the cupboard and decided that a maternity version of a LBD would be just the thing for the opera. I had in my mind a fairly simple design and after going through all my patterns I decided that the Lisette Passport dress pattern would be just the thing.

I had already made a couple of other maternity dresses by adapting regular patterns (the Crepe one seen here) and I used the same method this time. I shortened the bodice section to finish just under the bust line and lengthened the skirt section accordingly also adding width to the front skirt section which I pleated to fit into the waistline (now, under bust line). Now if you have looked at the pattern for the dress at all you will have seen that the bodice is constructed with a crossover pleat in the centre at the front waistline. Unfortunately in adapting the pattern for the bump this feature was mainly lost.

To add a feminine touch I finished the armholes with lace bias binding which you cannot see on the photos below but which softened the look. I also added a same fabric tie belt to cinch the dress in on the waistline a little more.

I ended up wearing the dress a lot. I may not have looked or felt very ‘little’ over the last couple of months of the summer but a black dress is always useful and this one was no exception.

The pattern is definitely on my list (yes, that would be the never ending one!) of things to sew again – mainly because I really like the bodice construction with the centre pleat – I’m thinking in a bright colour or patterned fabric for next spring……..