DIY Sequin Shoulder Mesa Dress

Happy New Year sewists! Today, I have my Christmas dress to share with you. I know it’s not officially the holiday season but I hope I’ll be able to wear it throughout the year. This dress has the two things one must have in a Christmas dress – a little bit bling/shine and enough stretch to accommodate all the eats (bonus if you can take an after dinner nap in it!).

Early in December, I decided to make myself some fancy holiday things. I was working towards a chalet themed party and inspired by all the sequins I had been seeing. So, I headed downtown and after a bit of searching found the perfect faux fur and the perfect sequins at a little shop on Maple. I bought 2 yards of stretch sequin fabric. I think it was about $10 a yard but I can’t remember for sure. (In case you missed it, you can read about what I did with the fur here and here.) With the sequins, I planned to make a Mesa dress from Seamwork Magazine.

Next I went to the Michael Levine bulk store across the street just to see what I could find. I was hoping for a buff colored stretch lining that would work with the sequins and I actually found it! Then I spotted a beige knit with flecks of gold and decided I should buy some of that too, as a back up plan to the sequin dress. The sequin dress is in fact almost done but I decided to put it on hold for a couple of reasons. First, I want to remove the sequins from the inside part of the hem and that is taking forever to do. Second, I decided that sequins plus fur was just too much for the party.

Ok, so how did we get to this dress? Well, I think it was one of those late night inspiration impulses or something. I just had to have something with sequins and little epaulets seemed the way to get there quickly. I had made a muslin of the Mesa dress and perfected the fit for the sequin dress so I knew it would be a quick sew.

I made a few changes to the fit of the Mesa. I cut a medium size but tapered to a small on the side seams of the back. My muslin was too wide at the neck opening so I extended the neckline 1.75 inches at the shoulder, making the neck opening smaller. I also raised the front neckline .5 inch and the back neckline 3/8 inch. Because I’m tall (5’11”), I added 1.5 inches to the length. Finally, I skipped the side vents and made a straight hem. For reference, my measurements are roughly 38-29-39, which fits the Medium size from the pattern size guide.

To make the shoulder details, I overlapped the front and back of the pattern at the shoulders and then traced a shape. I added seam allowance and cut out two from the sequin fabric. I sewed up the dress and then hand stitched the shoulder pieces to the dress, removing sequins in the corners of the seam allowance to reduce bulk. I found that removing the sequins along the entire seam allowance just took too much time.

I’m really happy with how this dress turned out. I love the fit and it’s a style I’d wear everyday. Hopefully the sequins won’t scare me off of that. In fact, I’ve already made another everyday version that I’m sure will be getting a lot of wear. This is a great basic pattern and in my mind the knit equivalent of the Inari Tee dress. Do you have a go-to knit dress pattern? Please share in the comments.