Bodycon scuba dress

Hey gang, please allow me to introduce the first garment I’ve ever made which was copied after an RTW item I already own. Plus, it’s my first ever scuba project (yes, quite late to join the bandwagon, I know).

Scuba bodycon

A few weeks ago, my fiance and I celebrated our 5 years anniversary and I really wanted to make a special outfit for our dinner. We have this tradition to always go to the same restaurant we went to on our first date. It’s cheesy, but I do love it and we even go for the half year anniversaries. The menu has not changed that much over the years, but I always like to make an effort and wear a new dress every time.

So on Saturday morning, while he was doing some errands, I set off to produce something new, quick, sexy and comfortable to wear. Easy peasy, right? I have had the idea of trying to recreate a dress I’ve had for a while, but which, although very flattering, is not the most comfortable. It’s some sort of stretch pleather and it gets awfully hot. On the other hand, I had this very nice scuba I got at the Knit and Stitch Show at Olympia back in March (the first scuba fabric I ever got), from Simply Fabrics stall. I was very excited to sew with it, as everyone is raving about how easy it is to sew and I’ve seen a lot of very flattering clothes on various blogs.

Scuba bodycon

So here I went, laid out the original dress on the fold with the back towards the outside and traced the outline, grading a bit in the hip area, just to make sure. I also added 0.5 cm as seam allowance, as I would use my overlock to put it together. The original dress had very short sleeves, but I wanted to do something a bit more dramatic, so I didn’t copy them. I repeated with the right side towards the outside, same principles, and we were good to go. This only took 15-20 minutes, and only because I was faffing with trying to use the fabric in the most efficient way. I had 2m, but through clever folding, I ended up using only 1 m.


Scuba bodycon

So on to sewing… Not much to report, other than that I had to make some adjustments on my overlocker tension, so the trial and error method took me longer than it should have. I made up the time by zipping through the shoulder seam construction and the side seams. I think scuba was incredibly forgiving, as I didn’t have to make any alterations to the shoulder slope, which I always have to do on wovens.Scuba bodycon

The hard part was deciding what I’d like to do about the sleeves. The original dress had very short sleeves, but I had the idea of making the sleeves a bit of a statement, inspired by this post. Unfortunately, my ponte was too floppy and I was in too much of a hurry to think of ways of sorting that out. So I ended up copying the sleeves from the Nettie bodysuit and adding some extra ease to the sleeve cap, to make them a bit puffier. Then inserted them the usual way, with three rows of gathering, which allowed to control the puffiness in the crown.

Scuba bodycon

I also used the Nettie method to finish the neckline, with a binding attached with the overlocker then topstitched with a very shallow zig-zag seam (1 out of 5 on the zig-zag dial).

I used the same for the hem, overlocked then topstitched.

Scuba bodycon

And here we are, with a few pics from our balcony. I really wanted to take some outside pics, but the weather was rubbish and so cold, so I only dared venture outside for a few feet to take them.

Oh, and BTW, the anniversary dinner was great and the dress turned out all I hoped it would be! I think it turned out one of the most RTW-like garment I made (of course the scuba and the right tools helped), but I’d love to make another one soon!

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In the meantime, have a great week and happy sewing!






    • Alex
      27 April 2015 / 9:33 PM

      Thank so much! I have a new love, scu-ba, scu-ba 😍😍😍!

  1. 27 April 2015 / 2:52 AM

    Ooh, this is gorgeous!!! It makes for a very sassy dress! I’ve only just tried scuba for the first time and it really is fun and easy to sew with! PS- happy anniversary!

    • Alex
      27 April 2015 / 9:32 PM

      Thanks!! I love that word ‘sassy’! So NY! 🙂

    • Alex
      27 April 2015 / 9:30 PM

      Thank you! I actually bought to use the other side, I loved that gold/beige background, but then I realised the print had come through in some places, so had to use the right side after all.

  2. 27 April 2015 / 7:53 PM

    Wow! It looks so great! I love it so much!

    • Alex
      27 April 2015 / 9:29 PM

      Thank you! I’m not a print kind of girl at all, but I don’t find this one so bad. Scuba is the way forward, ha ha!

      • 27 April 2015 / 10:23 PM

        I’ve heard great things about scuba fabric and it looks great on you! The print isn’t too crazy so I think that’s why you like it lol it has a nice effect to it!

  3. 28 April 2015 / 11:37 PM

    Love the dress Alex and of course the fabric as it’s the same as the one i used on my sleeveless Angelica Houston dress! Are you going soft? You’re wearing floral…. Haha!

    • Alex
      29 April 2015 / 2:45 PM

      I know, florals!! I had actually intended to use it on the wrong side to begin with, but the print was coming through… Oh well, it will get worn, Carl likes it too 😬!

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