Summer of Dresses - I Declare Victory for Ava


Hello all you lovely dress parade attendees.  It's been a fun summer of pretend drinking, cake eating, and hot dudes to fan us off.... but sadly the fun as to end sometime. I'm gonna wrap up with parade with a UFO that might have never seen the light of day if it wasn't for the Stash Busting Sew-a-long theme.  That's right EmSewCrazy, you made me finish a UFO! Internet high five my friend.
The start date of this project has long been overwritten by song lyrics, I blame you Black Keys! What I do remember is that swiss dot was originally bought for the contrast and it seemed to clash with the main fabric.  The fabric "probably" wasn't so much the problem as the crew neck on the inset.  Crew necks and my figure just don't jive.  I then tried to circumvent this problem by completely leaving off the contrast pieces and put spaghetti straps on the bodice.  Except that I didn't get any further than ripping off the contrast before throwing the whole thing in a box.
Because what I'd mentally blocked out was that the purple "cotton" behaves nothing like cotton and truly is a fabric woven by the devil. I'm might just throw every last scrap in a metal trash can, set it ablaze, then dance around it while cackling. "Die devil spawn, die!"
So it makes perfect sense that I decided to make my sewing life even more difficult by choosing some stashed silk as the contrast.  Cause sewing THREE bias binding in silk isn't the express train to crazy town.  This is your doing devil fabric!  You made me think this was a good idea.  Fabric says nothing, just steals my watch.

So in summery I would say the pattern is awesome. The fabric is pretty/evil. The sewing process was like repeatedly sticking seam rippers in your eyes, but the finished dress is pretty cool. That's perfectly clear, right. Snort, snort.

Ava Dress from Victory Patterns. I bought the PDF version because back in the day she didn't have paper patterns.  As I mentioned in my PDF post, the formatting this company uses is excellent and I had no problem putting together the rather large pattern.

Fabrics used
The main purple print was from Sawyer Brooke's backroom area and was labeled dress weight cotton.  I'm 80% sure this is not actually cotton since it behaves exactly like a rayon.    However all other fabric I've ordered from Sawyer Brook has been properly labeled and I haven't done a burn test.  Could be the original supplier mislabeled it or it's some cotton that has been highly processed.

I also want to say that Sawyer Brooke's customer service is excellent. My original 3 yards was lost in the mail and they furnished me with another 3 yards with any questions.  Then months later the original 3 yards somehow got out of the UPS's black hole and mysteriously appeared on my door step.

Contrast is some white crepe de chine from Gorgeous Fabrics that I bought to make a button down shirt.  Now that I see how transparent it is I might have to rethink that plan.
Pattern changes/alterations
All of these were done eons ago so I'm just reading my pattern.
1. Added 5/8" to the shoulder seams of the contrast to make the neck scoop deeper.  The neckline binding then had to be increased the same amount.
2. Increased the length of the bodice 1 1/2".  I'm guessing this was drafted for a smaller cup size and my "assets" suck up a bunch of the length.
3. Moved the dart position over to the right slightly to better line up with my apex point.

1. I had the same problem with the bias areas of this skirt as I did with the Tania culottes.  The mostly bias side skirt panels stretched out several extra inches and I had to trim them down to match the straight grain panels.

2. When doing bias bindings in silk I've found that the width of the binding changes after I've sewn the first seam.  Going back and trimming the binding down to a consistent size made my neckline a lot neater looking than my arm hole bindings.
3. I did not bias bind the sweetheart seam between the two fabrics.  Instead I serged the seam allowance and then edge stitched it down on the man fabric side.

4. The skirt is very full so make sure you pick a fabric with plenty of drape and a lighter weight.

Husband Comment
Husband -"Hey that's cool with the two fabrics." Me - "But the bias binding is all crappy."  Husband - "What are you talking about? it looks fine."

My Final Thoughts
My bias bindings are kind of sucky but the rest of the dress is well constructed and comfy to wear.  If I was making this in a less slippery fabric or got better bias binding skills I'd make this again. I'd also put this skirt on another bodice in a heartbeat. Look at it, it's so big and swishy!
I hope you've enjoyed the summer dress parade. It certainly was super fun to sew as many dresses as possible during the summer months, while having all of you along for the ride.  Summer of Dresses Forever!!!!


  1. husband is right... this looks awesome! i like the wider neckline too, it's super flattering!

  2. Please say it isn't so - I'm not ready to pack up my folding chair just yet! I'm so glad you finished this. I love the fabric combination! Too bad the purple gave you such trouble since it's very pretty fabric. I haven't sewn anything from Victory patterns yet. I really have to check them out.

  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this dress. Such pretty colors and patterns. LOVE the contrast yoke. So sad it was such a butt to work with. But I'm glad I could help you in defeating the devil's spawn and end up with something so gorgeous!! This is one of my favorite Victory pattern designs. Maybe someday I'll actually buy one....

  4. Ooooh, Don't Cry For Me Argentina, because this is too pretty! The sweetheart yoke reminds me of Collette's macaron dress. Love your fabric choices.

  5. You are the pretty girl. Summer flowers dress is happyness for your summer sewing. (Man, I'll never be as creepy as Leila! Must study my Engrish!)

  6. Oh Oh Oh!!!! I LOVE the fabric! And the color... I think I swoon. I think it would look great on me!!! ;) Looks wonderful! I just love this dress... and to think it was an UFO...Wow! ~Laurie

  7. Go you for finishing a UFO! :-) I think the dress looks great, and while your hubby may not fully understand the intricacies of potty training, he's clearly got bias bindings figured out. ;-)

  8. Thanks! I have no idea why it took me this long to come up with the idea to deepen the neckline. Maybe I should remade a macaroon this way.

  9. There be a few fall dresses, we can call it a mini parade or something. :) I really like Victory pattern's first collection because it's kind of retro inspired. The second collection isn't my taste, but I've see lots of people sew them up.

  10. You were very helpful! Now don't ask me about those other UFO's which are mostly blazers that need linings and button holes. ;)

  11. The yoke is very similar to the macaroon dress, I've sewn both. I didn't deepen my macaroon neckline though and never wear it.

  12. Haa haaa haa haaa!!!! I don't know, this was pretty good "creepy" internet comment. But not really creepy because you are rainbow Gillian. :)

  13. I also think this would look great on you Laurie. The skirt makes your bottom half look all elegant and the sweet heart neckline is feminine but with plenty of coverage.

  14. Thank you! My husband does usually like my garments if they are a classic design and he is a lot less critical of my sewing than I am.

  15. I'm so glad you resurrected this and stuck with it, it's absolutely gorgeous! I still haven't tried any of the Victory Patterns but I think this is the one I am the most drawn to, especially after seeing yours.

  16. Thanks TaraCat. I think Victory patterns are very well drafted with some unique details.

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