sew + tell: elisabeth’s rush hour dress

Elisabeth is here today from the Advisors Circle. She recently stopped by to share her Gelato Dress styled three ways. And be sure to check out her tutorials: Recital Shirt with Ruffles, Sleeve Flounce and Henley T-shirt. Now she’s here with her latest make, and she is going to give you the scoop.

Liesl + Co. Rush Hour Dress

Name: Elisabeth Larsen
Where can we find you on the internet? Instagram, Flickr

Project Details
Pattern used: Liesl + Co. Rush Hour Dress
Fabric used: Solid stretch twill for the bodice, floral stretch twill for the skirt, and rayon bemberg taffeta for the lining.

Did the fabric work well?

One of the inspiration pictures that Liesl showed in her introductory post for the pattern showed a dress with a printed bodice and solid skirt. I love dresses that look like separates so I decided to take this as inspiration for my dress! I looked through a lot of different suitings, but ultimately decided to make the dress in twill because I fell in love with the floral twill fabric I used for the skirt.

The dress works really well in twill. My twill fabrics are a relatively lighter weight with around 10% stretch each, and I found that they gave the dress a nice amount of structure without being too stiff. They were also very easy to sew with! The lining fabric is lightweight so it doesn’t add any bulk and feels great against the skin. I chose two fabrics with a really similar weight because I was concerned about how it would effect the sizing and structure, but after making it, I do think you could choose a lighter weight for the bodice and it would also work.

Liesl + Co. Rush Hour Dress

How did the sewing go?

The sewing on this project does take time because of all the fitting, but those steps are well worth the end result. I have never made anything that was this fitted before! I did not make a muslin but I did baste fit all the portions of the dress. The way the dress is constructed makes it really easy to do that! You have so many panels on the bodice and the skirt that it was easy to take things in a little at the waist and then take things out at the hips. I started with one set of seams at a time and then went to the next if I needed more change. My best piece of advice with the fitting is to realize that you may need to fit the outer pieces and the lining very differently. In my case, stretch twill and bemberg do not fit the same way at all! I was glad that I had done the baste fit, especially on the skirt, because if I had just made the same adjustments I made on the skirt the lining would have been far too tight.

I wanted a dress for spring/summer, but I don’t wear sleeveless dresses. The short sleeve cut line for this dress is mentioned on the pattern description, so if you were wondering what it looked like, that is what I used to make this version.

Liels’s instructions on the trickier parts of the dress are great. The invisible zipper went in perfectly on the first try (always an exciting moment!) and the mitered hem was much simpler than I thought it might be. I would recommend using the blog post about how to catchstitch for your hem. I loved having that invisible hem, especially with the printed skirt where it would have been impossible to have a single color that really blended across all of the colors in my print. I have not had good experiences doing a blind hem on my machine, so I turned on a movie, sat down with my needle and thread, and was all finished with the catchstiching long before the end credits!

What was the best part?

I love, love, love how this dress fits! I’m always drawn to dresses like this in the store, but never end up buying them because the fit is so disappointing. I was able to blend across three sizes for this dress and choose my own cup size and then make the fit even better through the baste fitting process. The end result is one of the best-fitting things I have ever worn! I also love all of the interesting and professional details. The Dior darts are new to me but I love the way they look! The mitered hem and catchstitch leave the bottom of your skirt looking outstanding and I also love the way the lining connects to the dress so the inside of your dress looks just as nice as the outside.


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1 Comment

  1. Nicole Baugh

    That looks wonderful! Care to add a picture of the inside, since you mentioned how nice it is?

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