So, Halloween has come and gone (is it just me, or is 2021 moving reeeally fast?!) and this year we didn’t do anything in the way of celebrating. No Harvest Festival, Trunk-or-Treat, no costume wearing, nor door-to-door collecting/binge eating candy. I know. Pretty boring, right?
Instead, my family and I pretty much spent a quiet night at home watching horror movies together. Well, I guess not as quiet if you count all our screams during the scary parts. Ohhh, I forgot that we also had a whole box of Krispy Kreme donuts that we shared, so you can technically say we had some treats.
Anywhoo, the point of my post today is that I just finished making the Mindy dress by Fibre Mood. The reason why it makes me think of Halloween is because I made it in black and it gives off some very cool, spooky (but also romantic) Victorian Gothic vibes.
From the start of my sewing journey, I’ve made a vow to venture out of my comfort zone and use more color when sewing garments. Well, if you’ve been following my makes, I think I can say that I’ve done that. I think out of all the clothing I’ve sewn thus far, I’ve only made one other black dress, which is my Vogue 9253:
Well, no matter how much color I’ve managed to throw into my me-made wardrobe so far, you can always count on me to eventually find myself back in black!
As stated on the Fibre Mood website:
There’s statement sleeves and there’s the statement sleeves. Mindy definitely falls in the latter category. This Balkan inspired dress with a gorgeous square neckline (another super trend!) is destined to be a hit! Love the big sleeves, but not wild about the puffy effect? Leave out the elastic in the sleeve hem and you’ve got yourself a pair of fluttery butterfly sleeves. Mindy is neatly fitted at the bust, with an A-line skirt that slightly flares.—Fibre Mood on the Mindy Dress
With regards to the square neckline, I found the Mindy style to be similar to my past makes with the Butterick 5956/Simplicity 8926. However, the Mindy neckline is a little thinner and sits lower on the front and back. This one also happens to be fitted at the bust with an empire waist and a skirt that flares out and stops at the knee. I really wanted this dress to be a maxi version, so I added a long ruffle at the bottom. That is the only change I made.
I was surprised that I was so drawn to the big poofy sleeves. That kind of detail is not really my style, but for whatever reason, I still ooh-ed and ahh-ed about it. I think it’s the way they lay that I like. They’re demure from the front and back, and then a party from the side view!
The dress was, for the most part, pretty easy to execute. I made sure to read the sewing directions through to see if I could understand the steps well, and they were quite clear and concise. The only issue I came across was the part that has you attach the sleeves to the bodice, which then form the square neckline.
I dunno. Upon reading the directions and seeing the illustrations, I thought the process seemed easy enough to follow. My actual attempts at doing it proved a different story. I honestly don’t even know how I managed to sew the sleeves on, but I did. Was it a little messy? Sure. But thankfully the shape of the sleeves and all the black hid my little sewing imperfections.
I knew straightaway that I wanted a black dress. I was willing to go with a print, but when I saw this broderie anglaise online, I thought it would be perfect for the Mindy.
I love the flowery vine pattern. It’s subtle, and gives the dress just enough interest to bypass being called “basic” (Rude!) It’s very sheer under direct light, but wasn’t as bad when I wrapped it around myself and stood in front of my window. To be safe though, I went ahead and interlined the bodice and skirt pieces with some black Kaufman batiste before sewing.
Behold, the Mindy! (Good grief! I just realized that in all my photos, a bit of the left front facing of my neckline is sticking out like a sore thumb. Arrrrgh! I can’t believe I didn’t catch that while I was looking at all the photos earlier! Kindly turn a blind eye to that little wardrobe malfunction…Thanks!)
And how are those sleeves, tho?! I had every intention of gathering and cuffing the ends, but when I tried on my dress for final fittings, I ended up really liking the billowy butterfly sleeves instead. In fact, I just realized how they are reminiscent of how the sleeves look on traditional Filipino Terno Gowns.
Since I am Filipino and proud of it, I’m gonna go ahead and give a nod to my heritage with my big, poofy butterfly sleeves. Mabuhay! (:
I actually liked the shorter length when I finished the skirt, but I still preferred the ruffle in the end. The one you see here is actually from the 2nd run-through. I made the painful but necessary decision to re-do it after the first one looked too ruffle-y. There was just too much gathering going on that it made the bottom start to flare out like a mermaid, so I had to thin it out a bit. It was the right decision in the end. To make the maxi length, I tried to use as much fabric as I had to make the ruffle long enough and I just barely made it. I wish it could have been a tiny bit longer, as a I like my maxis to skim the floor, but I simply just ran out of fabric.
At least I can show off these cute velvet boots that I only really whip out on “special” occasions since I don’t want to wear out the velvet, and the heels are too high for standing long periods at a time for me. However, any time I accomplish sewing a new garment is a special occasion to me, so here they are to help celebrate the moment.
Sewing the Mindy dress was an overall pleasant experience. The sewing on this one was pretty quick, actually. I like that the pattern doesn’t consist of very many pieces. I wasn’t familiar with the pattern when it first debuted in Fibre Mood’s magazine, but from what I heard, it was more difficult to make then than it is now. I think it was because before, there were no seam allowances mentioned, and the directions weren’t as clear. I bought my pattern through their website and received it as a PDF. The directions included seam allowance and the steps were very direct and included images. I was able to isolate my size for printing also, which was a plus.
If I were to make any changes with this pattern, I think I would have sewed my regular size. After reading a few reviews, I decided to go down one size from my usual, and it’s a tiny bit snug around my chest area, but not restricting in an uncomfortable way. I think I just prefer some more room. Lots of reviewers mentioned forgoing the zipper, and I suppose I could have done without one, but I ended up adding it anyway, just for the added assurance that I wouldn’t be struggling too much putting the dress on and risk ripping it at the seams. With regards to that really weird sewing part with the sleeves, I would give Fibre Mood’s Mindy dress:
- Steps & Construction: 🧵🧵🧵🧵
- Fit and Style: 🧵🧵🧵🧵🧵
I took a spool off for the sleeve part, but the rest of the steps were really easy to follow and execute. I gave full spools for fit and style. I really like the empire waist and how the skirt flares out. You guys already know by now that square necklines are my jam, and this one doesn’t disappoint! And those sleeves are just something else. They way they come out at the end is flattering and very on-trend at the moment. I feel like I could step into a romantic (or creepy depending on your mood) Victorian novel and fit right in as the dramatic, melancholy, woeful protagonist. What do you think?
Still going, still sewing,