Friday, September 5, 2014

Tosca Dress from The Sewing Workshop

You will not be seeing this just-completed project on me for two reasons: first, because I made it for a friend and second, because it just wouldn't be fair to those nice folks at The Sewing Workshop. This dress looks so cute on my friend and so very bad on me. I amused my husband and myself by parading around the house in it last night. My friend and I are of similar size and height, so I don't know why it works so beautifully for her and so dreadfully for me, but such is the truth.

When Waechter's Silk Shop was going out of business in the spring, my friend bought their sample of this dress. She liked it so much she wanted another, so she ordered the pattern and the fabric and had me make it up.

For this version we omitted the top pockets.

Even with just the two lower pockets, it's still plenty pocket-y! The fabric is European linen in Fig from I enjoyed working with the fabric--it had a nice combination of weight, drape and softness.

It's not a hard dress to make, though the pockets take a good bit of time. This is a size small at the chest and shoulders, medium through the hip to hem. I reduced the length by four inches.

My favorite part of the project is a little brooch I made for my friend to wear on the dress. The pin on the back was still drying when I wanted to take a picture, so I held it in my hand. It's a combination of needle felting, free motion stitching and a little trapunto stuffing. I think it will be cute on the dress and I did enjoy making it!


  1. What a gorgeous version of this dress! I've been a Tosca fan for years now, but haven't bought the pattern or made it up. You're tempting me!!! Lucky lucky friend :)

    "My friend and I are of similar size and height, so I don't know why it works so beautifully for her and so dreadfully for me, but such is the truth." I see this type of comment popping up quite a bit recently. Certain shapes - a princess lined sheath, fit and flare dress, classic trousers - look great on the vast majority of people provided they're properly fitted.

    But there's a lot of other, interesting, unique designs which look great on some people but fall flat on many others. This often depends on subtler variations in build and proportion. This dress looks amazing on TerriK of Sew Sophisticated (she has pics on her flickr stream but i don't have time to search right now). Terri's a rectangle with a delicate build, high small bust and neat square shoulders and long, lean calves with nicely turned ankles.

    Those figure types are highlighted and showcased with this design. If a person has a lower-set, fuller and more rounded bust with sloping shoulders this can start to make the top part of the dress look kind of bulky and droopy because the dress design accentuates and exaggerates that aspect of the person's form. If you have two people with the same bust measurement, but one's inches are mostly chest and less bust, while the other has a smaller chest but more in the breasts themselves you could get this type of situation (hope this makes some type of sense!).

    These types of designs are wonderful to give life and style to our wardrobes, but they won't work for everyone. I adore Marcy Tilton's designs but i only look good in her V8876 dress - everything else looks terrible on me. But Marcy is a delicate rectangle, with a high small bust, whereas i'm a busty, hourglassy linebacker shouldered IT. Really, it'd be surprising if much flattered both of us with such different shapes!

    But your case here shows that even subtler differences in shape can have just as dramatic a difference. I enjoy the challenge of educating my eye, but it can be so frustrating and vexing at times!

    I hope we get a picture of this wonderful piece on your friend sometime :) Happy Day! steph

  2. The dress looks great, how nice of you to make it for your friend, but it would look just awful on me! As the commenter above observes, there are all sorts of differences of shape and figure which means that styles work for us or don't. As an hourglass with biggish boobs and hips, this style would disguise rather than accentuate the good things about my figure. But hey, wouldn't the world be dull if we were all the same! xxx

  3. That dress is very cute and I love the brooch you lovingly made to go with it. What a nice friend you are!