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This Monthly Stitch challenge for this month was “tis the season to party”.

When Victory patterns recently had their Thanksgiving sale,  Nicola immediately appealed to me.

It is the perfect QLD summer party dress.  Smart but not too dressy, casual with a sense of elegance and easy to dress up or down depending on the occasion.

Nicola is a wrap dress that is fastened at the waist with two buttons above each hip. The slightly fitted bodice has three darts from the waist creating beautiful bust shaping. The skirt is designed nicely to sit across the hips, but not to be too tight or fitted. I was pleasantly surprise at how well designed this is.

Both front pieces are curved from the side seam to the front to create a tulip look that is replicated on the sleeves.

This really is a beautiful dress.

As with most wrap dresses, there is some gapage.  I was tempted to sew a clear snap at the bust, but then didn’t want to wreck the drape of the top.  I am happy to wear a camisole underneath, though this cream one is probably not the best colour. 

Making the dress I tried to be tricky and cut a size 8 top and graded to a 12 at the hips. It caused me a few problems matching the bodice darts and the skirt pleats.  I wanted the top fitted and the skirt loose.  I didn’t want it to  be tight and pulling across my hips.

I need not have fussed, it is designed to achieve this and sewing the straight size 10 would have been fine.

I didn’t have enough fabric for the skirt lining and nothing suitable on hand.  So I omitted this step as well as the facings.  Quite simply I used fusible bias tape to stabilise the front wrap and neckline.  Then I folded over a simple 5mm hem.  For the skirt I stay stitched the whole skirt then folded it over, sewed it and trimmed the seam to create a rolled hem.  

I am really happy with this dress and would highly recommend it. It was a quick make with some beautiful simple details that make it quite special.