Red Licorice (or What Happened to the Month of March?)

Hi there! Remember me? March included some unexpected surprises that caused me to need to put sewing on a back burner. Spring break starts today though, which I’m hoping will mean one thing–lots of time with my sewing machine and serger! I do have one pretty treat to show off before I start my spring sewing marathon. This is the dress that took all of March to make!

Worth the wait, huh? I think so. First of all, this pattern is a gem. I think the style is so classy, yet unique. The shape of the collar is great, in my opinion. It’s not a very commonly used collar shape, which makes it really stand out on the boat-neckline of this dress. I was afraid that the sleeves would be too voluminous for my taste, but if I arrange them just right by pushing the elastic up over my elbow and then letting the sleeve fall below it, it creates a really nice shape.  

Design/Pattern: Licorice, from the Colette Sewing Handbook

Materials: Red poly/rayon/lycra knit (often called Sophia knit). The pattern calls for woven fabrics, but I really had my heart set on making this style in a red stable knit, so I went with my heart rather than the pattern instructions. Luckily, my heart knew what it was talking about.

Techniques:

  • Sewed seams with a long, straight stitch, then serged the seam allowances close to the stitching line. (I am not yet confident sewing straight seams on the serger.)
  • Set-in sleeves
  • Casing for elastic made with bias tape
  • Finished neckline with bias tape

Alterations/Changes:

  • Made a petite adjustment at the waistline
  • Adjusted dart placement and size on the dress front
  • Omitted the lining and zipper because I didn’t think it was necessary for a knit dress. Because of this, I had to invent a way to finish the neckline. I created a very neat finish using bias tape. If there is any interest in seeing a tutorial for my technique, please speak up in the comments.

As a teacher and as a seamstress I am rather stingy about giving out A+ grades, but I think this dress deserves it. I think the style and fit are spot on. And I was really needing a great red dress! Besides that, I was patient with myself as I was sewing because I wanted the end result to be worthy of the wonderful design and the red fabric. I love it so much that I plan on wearing it twice during its first week.

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9 thoughts on “Red Licorice (or What Happened to the Month of March?)

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