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Rose Cafe Bustier + M7971

Shoes | Coclico

      I finally made the very popular Rose Cafe Bustier dress pattern in a gorgeous deadstock Amour Vert silk. A few months back I met up with a lady I know from the sewing internet and she took me to Fabrix, which mostly stocks deadstock/leftover/overstock fabrics, and which I definitely recommend if you are in SF. It is the type of place where you probably never know what you are going to find, but you'll probably always find something good. In this case, this 100% silk (which has an abstract animal print and is such a pretty rich berry color in person) was only $6.99 a yard! I bought 3 yards but wish I had bought a little more. I initially thought about turning it into a slip dress, but the slip dress pattern I have is cut on the bias, and this fabric isn't very wide, so I decided against that because I was worried that there was not enough extra fabric to recover from any mistakes. After seeing a few inspiration photos online, I landed on making a Reformation style dress (sample photo below) by using the RCB pattern for the bodice, mashed up with the McCall's 7971 for the skirt. I also decided not to make a toile, to test the fit, and decided to just cut right into the silk.
  The RCB pattern has a few options, you can sew in boning (like in a corset) and underwire or foam cups, or neither. I went with foam cups, as I don't need much support. However, bra foam was going to take several weeks to ship from Etsy, so I went to Joann's and bought sew-in foam interfacing. It worked, in a pinch, but I think if I was doing this again (and for my next bustier) I'll just wait for the proper bra foam. Also, during the construction I realized I have a strapless bra that is the same size/shape so I think I might make the cups with no foam and just wear the dress with a strapless bra. 
     I spent the most amount of time messing with the fit of the bodice. I made the dress in size 0 with an A cup and I'm not sure if I did something wrong while cutting out the pieces, because the top of the bodice was way too big. I had to take in about 4-5 inches, which is a lot of inches for an alteration. All the fiddling with the fit really paid off however, and the end result isn't too tight nor too loose. I also added adjustable straps, which means it never digs in at my shoulders.
      Attaching the skirt was pretty painless, especially considering it came from a different pattern, and I was pretty pleased I was able to attach it to the zipper along with the lined bodice. The last step was to figure out the straps. I actually really liked the look of the black ribbon, but after getting input from some trusted sources, it looks like I was the only one, so I went with the skinny straps. I think this was the right call because I was able to repurpose fastenings from an old set of detachable straps that came with a strapless bra, and make the straps adjustable. 
     I wore it outside to take photos and am excited for an opportunity to wear it out amongst people. Overall, I'm very proud of the dress and plan to wear it, but would probably only give it a B. There are so many things I learned through making the bustier that will make it so much easier on the next go-around. Until then, I'm still feeling very satisfied and pretty proud of my second ever project with silk.
    Do you have one of these Reformation-style dresses? Thanks for stopping by!


  1. This turned out so well! I love Amour Vert's patterned silks - I normally get mine from Stonemountain, glad to learn of another source. I passed by Fabrix a few weeks ago, but unfortunately, didn't have time to deeply browse. And had no idea they carried deadstock!

    If you're ever in that area again, Cafe Bunn Mi across the street has great Vietnamese sandwiches :)

    1. Thank you! Fabrix definitely requires a bit of time to hunt through everything.