In Progress: The Good Times Dress

Finally, I have moved more than halfway through my ready-to-sew garments from the summer. The latest is a little bit of Studio 54.

This is Hotpatterns Good Times Dress, which is inspired by a DVF style, and in a totally glam silk jersey. I might be having a silk jersey crush. It’s so lovely and easy to sew, and skims the curves in a very flattering way.

I originally cut this dress for a friend who was performing in a 25-year reunion concert with her band. This was back in July and I didn’t really have time to complete it but I probably needed an excuse to cut it out. I’d always wanted to try Hotpatterns as I’ve accumulated a few. I’d bought the lovely hibiscus-colored jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics over a year ago, for a project for another friend and we ended up going with something else. In the end, I really wanted that fabric (and dress) for myself anyway!

As you might notice, the dress remains unhemmed (the sleeves and hem will be about four inches shorter). This is because I’ve decided to put the dress in time out for awhile so I don’t make any more holes or mistakes.

It took me a couple of days to figure out the yokes. The HP instructions have you roll up the bodice into its yoke “like a sausage” for a clean finish, much like the “burrito method” in shirtmaking. The problem with doing it this way is that the neckline is already closed, making it impossible to turn inside out. Ask me how I know–I had some kind of origami puzzle going on after sewing it according to the illustration.

To do this correctly, one must roll the entire garment (including the opposite yoke), into the yoke, sew and then turn out through the open armhole.

After figuring out the yokes, my serger started acting up. It needs a tune-up like last year. I kept ripping out a lot of serged stitches before I figured out that the problem was not with me or my needle but my machine. I wound up poking a big hole in the garment where the pocket goes, and had to sew over it.

I’m exaggerating by pulling on the dress but sometimes pockets in knits just don’t lay well. I love pockets but might just serge them out of the picture when I come back to the dress.

The whole pattern is basically a bunch of rectangles, which I think is pretty clever in its simplicity. The sleeves are sewn in at right angles to the straight line of the shoulder. I’d probably call them kimono-style, with a square armpit. But I can’t figure out how to sew that intersection of seams at the armpit without all the bunching and this is the point where I stopped before I ripped out yet another seam.

I love the proportions of the shapes in the dress. It has just a little bit of waist-shaping but otherwise relies on the drape of the fabric and ties for style.

I’m excited to see this done and will be back modeling this dress. It’s too much pretty to waste.

In the meantime, I’m going to have to set aside the rest of my project list since most of it requires a fixed serger (except the bra) and I’m ready to get on with some fall sewing!


  1. Sherry says:

    It’s looking beautiful! I kind of agree with you about the pockets, and if you can see the pocket bag through the dress it’s not so good either. Love the colour too!

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