New Year's Sewing Resolution: New Year's Party Dress

  • Difficulty Rating: Intermediate
New Year's Eve Party Dress

Twelve short months ago, I made a new year’s resolution to sew myself one item of clothing each month throughout 2012, and I’m happy to report that it has been a successful and exciting experience.

For December’s project, I wanted to complete my handmade clothing collection with something a little special, so I decided to sew a party dress - suitable for celebrating my achievement and as something to wear on New Year’s Eve.

I decided to use the beautiful Yoke Dress pattern by Salme Patterns. I chose a gorgeous gray 100% wool with a sparkly/glittery organza for the yoke.

The Yoke Dress pattern is available as an instant download which is my favorite way to purchase a pattern. It requires very little effort to print the pattern at home and to tape the piece together before cutting.

paper pattern

This particular pattern is beautifully written and straightforward. I love the pleated detail in the skirt and the yoke is perfect. I began by cutting each pattern piece in the corresponding fabric and clearly labeling them for future reference.

The bodice front and back have darts for shaping. To create neat, smooth darts, run your stitches from the outer seam edge to the center point, but do not finish your stitching by running back and forth with the machine. Instead, remove the bodice from the machine once you have reached the end point, and tie the threads to secure.

Tying darts

Following the pattern’s directions, I completed the bodice and yoke by sewing the organza to the wool. Sewing with organza can be tricky and I recommend using a brand new needle in your machine to help avoid snagging and pulled threads.

bodice and yoke

As recommended in the directions, I used French seams to finish the shoulder seams. This is particularly useful when sewing with a sheer fabric, as all raw edges are hidden from sight.

shoulder seams

It took a little time to get the positioning of the skirt pleats in the right place, but I was determined to make them as perfectly aligned as possible, so it was worth a bit of extra effort and perseverance. Once the pleats are aligned, you can sew the skirt to the bodice.

skirt pleats

This dress has an invisible zipper the runs through the skirt and into the bodice.

adding a zipper

To finish the yoke, bias tape is sewn at the armholes and neckline. I used a store-bought bias tape in a similar color to my organza, though you could make your own.

adding bias tape

I chose a sweet little metal button for the back of the neck closure.

choosing and adding a button

After hemming, my dress was complete! I am delighted with how this dress turned out - I especially love the little details - but it also looks good and it feels great to wear. It’s the perfect dress to wear on New Year’s Eve and a pretty great way to finish up my resolution projects.

back of the dress

Supply List

Yoke Dress pattern by Salme Patterns
Fabric and notions (according to pattern requirements)
Sewing machine
Thread
Pins