Maz's Capulet Dress

Maz's Capulet Dress

Hi everyone!

What better way to kick off my first blog post than with a party dress?!   The combination of having a small child and a worldwide pandemic has meant parties haven’t really been a thing for a while but now the invites have begun to flood in! Not one, but TWO, party invites.  This calls for a new dress!

I’ve chosen to make The Capulet Dress by Stitch Witch Patterns which is a dress I’ve made previously as part of the pattern testing team.  I absolutely love this pattern as it has two sleeve options with all the drama! If you love a big sleeve, then this dress will not disappoint.  There are options for a short puff sleeve and a long Juliet sleeve, that gives a nod towards Shakespeare’s heroine Juliet Capulet.  It is a beautiful, wearable, modern take on the square necklines and puffed sleeved fashions from long ago that have resurfaced more recently. 

I previously made this dress in a brushed cotton with soft muted tones and the Juliet sleeve option.  The fabric was quite drapey and the sleeves, although still special, were more understated making it a perfect day dress.  Once the pattern was released there were so many versions popping up on Instagram in gorgeous special occasion fabrics, so now with a genuine, real-life party invite, I had the perfect excuse to go all out ‘fabulous’ when picking fabric!  I spotted this beautiful rose gold and black viscose jacquard in Jenny’s shop and thought it would be perfect for creating a more structured version of the dress with some added sparkle.

The fabric arrived beautifully wrapped and although it looked great on the site, the pictures just don’t do it justice.  In person the fabric has such a beautiful shine and the perfect amount of glitz.

I am a fan of brocades and textured jacquard fabrics and this one is truly lovely.  It is a softer jacquard without any of that ‘crunchy’ feel you can often get with these materials, and I also found it frayed less than similar fabrics I’ve worked with.  Both sides of the fabric don’t seem to snag and pluck easily, which again is often a worry with these fabrics.  Before I started the project, I overlocked the raw edges to help prevent the fabric fraying or pulling in the wash.  I think I may have just been unlucky in the past, but I’ve had some disasters when washing fabrics, so I’m quite militant about washing my fabric before cutting it, but I need not have worried.

As I mentioned earlier, this is a pattern I have made before, and my aim was to make the same dress but in a fabric that screamed PARTY! I used extra fine pins to avoid any unwanted snagging but I’m not entirely sure this was needed.  The fabric is medium weight with no stretch and behaves very well, making it a great choice for a beginner to use too.  Although it has no stretch there is a bit of ‘give’ in it which means you have a better chance of getting a good fit on a close-fitting garment.  I did make a few tweaks to this dress this time round; by lining the bodice with a bit of black cotton and changing the sleeves.  Instructions are provided detailing how to line the bodice if for example you are using a sheer fabric, but I chose to do this slightly differently and eliminate using a facing at all.  It is also my personal preference to use an invisible zip and sandwich this between the main fabric and lining.

I had set out with the intention of making the exact same dress as my previous one with the long Juliet sleeves.  However, I changed my mind after cutting the sleeves as I felt the long, black sleeves had a more wintery look, and I’m sad to admit I just don’t get out much and need a dress that will work all year for those rare occasions when this mum is off duty!  As I had already cut the sleeves, I decided to turn the lower half of the sleeve into a sleeve band and keep the shoulder part as it was.  I inserted some wide elastic into the band so it could grip the tops of my arms.  The elastic has only a slightly smaller circumference than the band so is not visually noticeable, but it makes a huge difference to preventing the sleeve slipping and ensures that lovely big pouf stays put.  I added 2 inches to the length of the skirt (for reference I am 5’6”) as the dress is intended to be quite short.

I love, love, love this dress! I think with the shorter sleeves it will work all year round for special occasions- this dress is for life not just for Christmas!

Jenny Says:

"This dress is most definitely not for Christmas! What an absolutely stunning make! I adore those sweet statement sleeves, the firm structure of the jacquard really helps to hold their shape, ready to party!"

Inspired to make your own version? Here's what you'll need:

(available direct as a PDF from the designer)

Printed using my A0 Pattern Printing Service.

Maz was provided with the materials for her project free of charge and received a gift voucher in recognition of the time spent on her project.
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Wow!! What a totally gorgeous party dress! Perfect fabric.

Lucy Sharpe

Looks fabulous!

Lorraine O'Neill

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