Red Scuba Dress

I am not much of a dress girl.   From the practical side they don’t play well with sweaters and jackets which are my staples for both winter and summer. Bare legs in the summer in the office are tough with the A/C so I typically wear pants to work.  In the winter I can wear skirts because I can wear them with tights and boots.

Mostly though dresses seem too feminine for me and put me outside my comfort zone.  I keep thinking that folks at work won’t take me seriously if I am too girly.  This latest wardrobe addition brings my dress count to a whopping 4 (two for special occasions and two for work all made by me)!  Maybe I need to channel Claire Underwood for some ‘serious’ dresses.

I made this dress for my brother’s wedding at the end of October, Halloween actually.  The invitation said “Wear your red dress” so of course I had to make one.  My inspiration was an image of Mary-Kate Olsen wearing a long narrow dress with a fur stole. I auditioned many patterns and ideas and finally arrived at the Kimono Wrap dress from Well-Suited.  It’s not a pattern per se but instructions and illustrations for drafting your own dress.

My attempt at the Kimono design was a hot mess and didn’t even make it to the muslin stage. I know, Kimono sleeves should be simple in theory.  Since I was under a time constraint for the wedding I tossed it aside for future cogitation.  I still liked the faux wrap detail so came up with something similar with set in sleeves using Armstrong’s Patterndrafting book.


The fabric is a gorgeous red scuba knit that came from Gorgeous Fabrics.  It’s a medium weight scuba with a little more stretch in the width than length, and almost too thick for the gathered detail at the waist.  I fussed around with finding the right stretch lining for the bodice and in the end removed it.


The scuba fairly easy to work with, much easier than a jersey knit, and came together quickly.  The seams are serged with woolly nylon in the loopers, and the hem stitched with a twin needle.  The neckline just has a long straight stitch.



Not bad.  I think I’ve got a bit too much length in the back but that’s it.  For future reference I think the neckline is too wide and would be more flattering for my face shape if it was narrower.  At just below the knee the length is also out of my comfort zone.  I pegged it to keep it from being frumpy, but someday I may shorten to my favorite length just above the knee.

The Stole

What fun!  This is a faux fur that I got several years ago from Metro Textiles.  I was there a few weeks ago and he still has some…  I draped it for the shaping.  It’s just a tube so no wrap or fasteners.  I reused some silk from an old garment for the lining, but the BEST part is that it’s interlined with Polar Fleece!  So warm, comfy, chic, and perfect for an October wedding.

Lessons Learned

  • Don’t try to sew something fancy, special, etc on a deadline.  I should have learned this one by now….
  • Pattern Drafting is fun, especially when you are rotating darts and creating tucks and pleats.


3 thoughts on “Red Scuba Dress

  1. This is lovely. I would not have guessed it was scuba – the bodice detail makes it look pretty drapey. And the stole is extra fabulous. Have a great time rocking this look at the wedding.


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