A Trina Holiday Dress

If I have a holiday party to attend in December – that’s all the excuse I need to sew up a fancy dress for the occasion.

I had 2 different lengths of this red, matte, 3-ply silk crepe in my stash – both pieces are remnants I found on sale at Vogue Fabrics.  I’ve had them in my stash for a couple of years.  I’d pull them out from time to time hoping to make something with them but never did.

When the Trina Dress by Victory Patterns came out last Autumn, I was smitten with it.  With fresh determination to use my silk crepe, I set to work.

My excitement was short lived when I found that I was missing just under 2 yards for the project.  The dress calls for 5.5 yards and I had 3 5/8ths yardage in this silk crepe.

Being a stubborn Taurus – I was determined to make it work.  I laid my pattern pieces out on the fabric in every configuration possible to maximize the yardage.

  • I ended up piecing together my tie wrap & seaming it with a narrow hem.
  • I cut one or both kimono sleeves on the opposite grainline.
    • Instead of cutting on the lengthwise grain they were cut on the crosswise grain.
  • Many pieces were cut on a single layer to maximize fabric – even utilizing the selvage for straight edges.
  • I shortened the sleeves.  I narrowed the sleeves.
  • I shortened the skirt.

I think the only reason I was even able to pull this off is due to my shortness.

I had to piece the wrap tie so from leftover areas of fabric otherwise I was going to use a contrast color.  I was fine piecing the fabric, but by unlucky coincidence one of the seam lines is near center front of the bodice.

On this Trina version in a solid fabric, it’s much easier to decipher the style lines than in my previous Trina Blouse version.

I didn’t make any modifications between the blouse and dress – although I ought to have.

While the silk crepe is just as drapey (and lovely) as the rayon voile, the silk is much heavier and thicker, something I didn’t fully anticipate.  The bodice dare I say “sags” with the extra weight.

I feel like it would be a bit more figure flattering if the bodice was shortened or if the shoulder area was ‘lifted up’.

I love the dramatic kimono dress idea – but being so short and pear-shaped, I wasn’t sure I could pull it off myself.

I think the dress works and the silk crepe feels so delicious.  But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I kinda prefer the blouse version a bit more on my figure.

I had a shoe conundrum while getting dressed.  I really couldn’t figure out what shoes to wear with this dress – seems I have a red and/or silver fancy shoe gap in my wardrobe.

Even with all of these ‘issues’, I still love the dramatic kimono sleeves and swagger this dress lends.  Queue the arm posing.  :D

I love that I have a bold, red dress in my wardrobe for the first time.

It now functions as my LBD.  I can wear this during the holiday season, Valentine’s day, and really any other fancy dinner occasions.  No matter any weight shifts it will always fit due to the wrap bodice style also.

Well, that’s all I have to say about my Trina Dress.  I’m curious… have any of you made the Trina Dress or Blouse yet?

In: Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (11)

  1. Lynsey March 17, 2017 — 3:28 AM

    Your dress looks gorgeous, stunning in that bright red. Such a lovely pattern!

  2. Sarah March 17, 2017 — 4:16 AM

    This is really gorgeous on you, a show stopper. How triumphant is it to make something work out of less fabric than recommended!

  3. M. March 17, 2017 — 5:21 AM

    You did it again! What a beautiful, elegant dress!
    The shoes fit nicely, I think. And I could also imagine a classic, simple pair of black pumps, maybe? Or some Mary Janes, like these: https://www.modcloth.com/shop/1920s-shoes/to-shoe-it-may-concern-mary-jane-heel/145248.html?cgid=1920s_shoes_1321&dwvar_145248_color=BLK#start=4
    I haven’t made the Trina dress, because I’m not sure, the style would work on me. I don’t have any wrap dresses, but I love seeing the style on others.
    Awesome, that you managed to optimize the pattern placement to use the yardage you had of that lovely silk. From taurus to taurus: the stubbornness is definitely a feature! It makes things happen. :-)

    1. Liz March 17, 2017 — 11:28 AM

      I got excited about those darling black mary jane shoes… but sadly they don’t come in my size. I’m a women’s size 4. :(

      Thank you for thinking of me though.

      1. M. March 18, 2017 — 4:50 AM

        A pity they don’t have your size. :-/ I’ll keep your size in mind for next time.
        Hm, would be convenient if making shoes would be easier …

        1. Liz April 11, 2017 — 9:54 AM

          Tell me about it M!

  4. La Vonda C March 17, 2017 — 10:31 PM

    You are an absolute VISION! The style suits you, the color suits you & I think it is an excellent use of the fabric. You should practice your royal wave & have everyone asking, “Who is that pretty lady??” :-)

    1. Liz April 11, 2017 — 9:54 AM

      Lol So sweet La Vonda. :D

  5. Laura March 18, 2017 — 1:06 PM

    I’m curious about pattern layouts other than what the pattern says to do. My problem has been a lack of space (I cut on my late 19th century kitchen table with extensions put in) to test out pattern piece positioning before cutting everything, and so far I haven’t found any resources on how best/tips and tricks to go about re-arranging pattern pieces if you don’t have the right yardage.

    1. Liz April 11, 2017 — 9:53 AM

      Hi Laura! Honestly I never really reference the pattern layouts anymore. But to answer your question… I have a dining room table that is now my sewing table. It’s nice and wide but I don’t have the full length to use at the moment.
      So what I do is I put a few pattern pieces down on the fabric and use pins to outline around the pattern pieces. I don’t pin the pattern down until I’m sure of my layout. I take a quick photo on my phone for reference. Then I shift the fabric so I can lay out the next few pattern pieces using the pins as my barrier. I repeat the same steps until I’ve laid out all of my pieces.
      If they fit – my job is done. If they don’t fit – I go back and reference those images I took using my phone to assess where I can change things around and do it all over again.
      It’s time consuming – but for my Trina dress I was very determined to get it to fit. :) You can piece in facings and belts and smaller pattern pieces around the larger ones. And I cut the Trina Dress flat to get maximum usage of my limited yardage.

  6. Toocutedobs April 4, 2017 — 8:42 AM

    WOW! You look amazing and that is an impressive job laying out your pattern.

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