Sew Your Own Wardrobe Nicola Dress Hack

Better late than never I guess! I’m finally here to share my August Sew Your Own Wardrobe make – the Victory Patterns Nicola Dress Hack! I had less sewing time than expected last month so I didn’t actually start sewing it all together until the 2nd of September! Thankfully it all came together really quickly and I was able to wear it to a surprise 21st on Friday night 🙂 I know you’re all dying to see it so here we go…

*NB: Note the pale face and wild hair – this photo was taken the morning after the party as I was in such a rush trying to get ready that we didn’t have time for an impromptu photo shoot on the actual day. You can probably tell from this picture that A LOT of gin was consumed. #ginforthewin

victory nicola wrap dress hack

Yes, so it’s horribly over-exposed and I look like death warmed up standing on my back step but you get the idea! So lets move on to how it all came together! Firstly, I had to do some clever thinking about the sleeves. The original Nicola dress has these cute floaty tulip sleeves but I knew that they wouldn’t work with my fabric so I drafted my own long sleeves my using the curve of the armhole on the bodice, and then tapering it in to my arm measurements. I’m pretty pleased to say that there were only a few alterations needed! In the end I decided that the long sleeves were a bit much so I sliced a section off and rouched them at my elbows to make a more flattering (I think) 3/4 length option.

The bodice itself was so easy to put together – 6 darts on the front and 2 on the back gave it a lovely shape and I added an extra 2 inches to each side of the front to accommodate my ample bosom. My only issue with it was the facing on the neckline which I cut out in the same velvet which was a mistake. I really should have used a cotton or something to stabilise the stretch and stop the facing from turning the wrong way. Thankfully I don’t think it looks too bad in the velvet and kind of creates a softer, draped neckline.

nicola dress pattern hack neckline
This is how the neckline should look on my mannequin but IRL this just doesn’t work! C’est la vie!

The original pattern said to use buttons to close the frock but I thought I would be a big ole’ smarty-pants and use snaps instead… Oh how wrong I was! The fabric was WAY too heavy for the snaps but unfortunately I didn’t realise this until the 11th hour and I needed to sleep! Cue me desperately trying to keep things together with safety pins on party night! Thankfully there were no flashing incidents and all snaps and pins stayed in place with careful manoeuvring. Lesson: Use the fastenings that the pattern recommends!

The other addition to my Nicola dress was a cute brooch which I found on eBay. I love the colour of this dress but it definitely needed something to break it up from the sheet of green which it was threatening to become.

full nicola dress hack The only other thing I have to say is that I felt like a god-damned goddess in this frock. I paired it with a pair of  black t-bar shoes from New Look – Very Mae West/Old Hollywood and I loved it! Can’t wait to wear it again but with the addition of secure buttons 🙂 So with that I will leave you in the very capable hands of Ms West…

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