Cherry Bombshell Dress

Cherry Bombshell Dress

10.02.20
Handmade

I am so excited and proud to share my most recent completed sewing project with you all. Some of you may remember my Make Nine plans for 2020, and this dress was on the list. I was really excited to wear it but if I’m being honest, I was pretty nervous to actually make this project. I had such high hopes for it and would have been so bummed if it hadn’t turned out well. As a result, I spent the first several months of the year browsing to find the perfect fabric and fully spiraling in that decision the way only an over thinker can.

But as you can see, eventually I made a decision and then I eventually got up the nerve to tackle the project. I absolutely love the finished garment and it feels like such an accomplishment to have completed it. I wore it out on a date last night and felt like a million bucks because of it. The feeling of dreaming up a garment, planning and executing it, and finally wearing exactly the piece you had in mind is such an empowering feeling. I am so grateful for my sewing practice! Read on below for a gallery of photos and lots of notes on my process including why this color is so special to me.

Gorgeous plunging neckline
Hey legs!
Love the beautiful drape of this pattern
So much skirt, but in a good way
Sleeves with a touch of drama
01/05
Gorgeous plunging neckline

I love a deep V neckline because I love my curves (it’s only taken me 30+ years to get here) and this one is perfect. The dress is comfortable and has just the right amount of coverage to let me flaunt what I’ve got but also not overly exposed.

Hey legs!

LOVE a skirt with a slit. I raised the slit up a couple of inches on my skirt after my muslin fitting because as designed, it hit just above my knee. This is most likely because the pattern was designed for a much taller person who would have longer legs overall, and I’m glad I made this adjustment.

Love the beautiful drape of this pattern
So much skirt, but in a good way

I had to take SO much length off of the skirt pattern to achieve the right length for me, but it worked out. It’s advisable to figure this out before you cut into your final fabric so you don’t cut out long lengths and then end up having wasted a bunch of the fabric.

Sleeves with a touch of drama

Sleeves on patterns sometimes make me break into a sweat just thinking about them because of all the fitting issues that can arise from being the owner of strong arms and shoulders combined with a curvy bust. Thankfully these sleeves fit comfortably and look great. I shortened them slightly (I think maybe just an inch) and with the elastic in the cuff, the length added the perfect amount of blousing at the wrist.

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  • Gorgeous plunging neckline
    Gorgeous plunging neckline

    I love a deep V neckline because I love my curves (it’s only taken me 30+ years to get here) and this one is perfect. The dress is comfortable and has just the right amount of coverage to let me flaunt what I’ve got but also not overly exposed.

  • Hey legs!
    Hey legs!

    LOVE a skirt with a slit. I raised the slit up a couple of inches on my skirt after my muslin fitting because as designed, it hit just above my knee. This is most likely because the pattern was designed for a much taller person who would have longer legs overall, and I’m glad I made this adjustment.

  • Love the beautiful drape of this pattern
    Love the beautiful drape of this pattern
  • So much skirt, but in a good way
    So much skirt, but in a good way

    I had to take SO much length off of the skirt pattern to achieve the right length for me, but it worked out. It’s advisable to figure this out before you cut into your final fabric so you don’t cut out long lengths and then end up having wasted a bunch of the fabric.

  • Sleeves with a touch of drama
    Sleeves with a touch of drama

    Sleeves on patterns sometimes make me break into a sweat just thinking about them because of all the fitting issues that can arise from being the owner of strong arms and shoulders combined with a curvy bust. Thankfully these sleeves fit comfortably and look great. I shortened them slightly (I think maybe just an inch) and with the elastic in the cuff, the length added the perfect amount of blousing at the wrist.

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Project Planning and Execution

Pattern Selection

Sometimes I have an idea for a garment and I have to find a pattern to suit it, but in this case the pattern itself was the inspiration. When Deer and Doe released the Magnolia dress I was immediately enamored with the floor length version. I haven’t sewn anything quite this dramatic before and the design drew me in.

Features I love:
Plunging neckline
Floor length skirt
Skirt slit
Invisible zipper closure

Fabric Selection

Oh holy crap did I agonize over finding the perfect fabric for this project. But in the end, I think I was totally right to do so. Fabric choice was vitally important to the drape of the project as well as the overall aesthetic. I knew I wanted to make this in a bright, bold color and was leaning toward either bright yellow (my favorite color) or bright red (a close second). In the end, red felt like the way to go…not to mention that there is not nearly enough yellow fabric available that is actually 1. pretty and 2. the shade I want.

Red is particularly special to me because my dad LOVED me in red. Apparently my parents brought me home from the hospital in a red outfit and forever after that when I would wear red, he would tell me, “I just love my girl in red. Red is your color!” I always wonder if he would have felt similarly if my homecoming outfit had been some other color but no matter…I think he was right. Red really is my color, and I think of Dad every time I wear it.

This viscose crepe was a dream to work with, and is so comfortable to wear. I am glad for the tiny polka dots to break up the solid red background. I am just so pleased that my choice was worth the wait and effort.

Project Prep + Assembly

I knew that I absolutely had to make a muslin of this dress given the potential for fitting issues. I was actually quite shocked when I found that I didn’t need any adjustments to the pattern overall. I couldn’t believe it fit my bust, shoulders, and arms so well right out of the gate. (I did sew the sleeves on the muslin, I just didn’t take a photo at that point.)

My changes based on muslin notes:
Raised the slit of the skirt 2.5 inches
Removed many inches of length from the bottom of the skirt
Shortened the sleeves by 1 inch
Omitted the waist ties

Pattern Notes

As I have already stated numerous times, I love the final garment. I will definitely make this dress again, maybe in solid black next time. The fit of the final piece as compared to my muslin is actually a bit loose on me and I can slide it on and off without unzipping the zipper. I think there are a couple of reasons for this, both my fluctuating bodyweight and the ability of viscose crepe to relax and shift a bit more than the tightly woven fabric used for my muslin. I am very happy with the fit overall and am glad it is so comfortable.

This was the first Deer and Doe pattern I have made. The instructions were on the sparse side of things. If you were a less experienced sewist, I’m not sure how well this would turn out. They don’t give any guidance as to the width of bias strips needed for finishing the neckline, which was odd and frustrating. They also didn’t recommend interfacing at all. I chose to interface the area of the zipper, the area of the slit, and the waistband, and I’m glad I did. The zipper is unnecessarily long and ends right at the armpit, so next time I will probably use a shorter zip to correct that.

Pattern + Fabric Sources