Take a look at my choir dress!
Two years ago, I had room in my life for some classical music again. I rejoined my local Master Chorale after a long break. Of course performing with a choir group requires a choir dress within a dress code such as floor length, elbow length (or longer) sleeves, and a modest neckline…in black. What’s a sewing girl to do? Does she spend a fortune on a lovely gown that will only be worn on occasion IF she can even find one that fits the required description? Last I looked, modest necklines and long sleeve gowns were not to be found. Does she run to the discount store and throw together a cheap black maxi skirt and black top? No and no! She sews herself something fabulous. And if you are THIS she, you make this your first adult sewing project EVER!! Yes, it was definitely a risk that payed off to use Project Runway lingo.
At the time that I was pondering what to do, New Look 6000 was having its day. And it struck me that I needed a dress with the party on the top, since that’s really all that is seen by the audience unless you’re in the front row. And I rarely am since I’m tall-ish. This pattern has so many great details from the waist up: assymetric waist pleating, sleeve cuffs, and a fabulous 60s-style collar.
I found a decent wool blend from JoAnn, and used a remnant of black velvet for the cuff and collar contrasts. Being that this was the first garment I sewed for myself, I measured myself and the pattern pieces several times to make sure before cutting. To lengthen the dress and avoid having to do any kind of slit or kick pleats, I overlayed a long A-line skirt pattern during the tracing process. My mom, who owns an antique/consignment store is always a great resource and she brought over several brooches for me to choose from, and from that choice I picked buttons for the cuffs with the right amount of sparkle to coordinate. She sings in the choir with me, too, by the way. Its a fun girls night out for us, with our choir friends. That may sound a little nerdy to some, I guess. I think I figured my cost on this dress was around $32!
I was so grateful this project turned out. It is fun to wear and adds something extra special for me at performances. My husband says it is always easy to find me right away because the dress is so different from what others are wearing and the way the pin catches the light. I’m thankful for my husband, too. Despite knowing nothing about music, he comes to all my performances in support of something I love so much!