Nova Fabric's Artist Guild Luncheon Dress

I have been collaborating with Nova Fabrics for a few years now and I am eternally grateful for all the lovely fabrics I have a chance to work with! I love this latest batch of fabrics for the extra sparkly and fun styles! The first one that I made was out of the gorgeous black with silver stars on it and I got clever and used some sparkly tinsel for the accent that I desired for the hem of my dress! It was a great photo shoot out in the snow nearby!

Between the sparkly fabric and the sparkly snow and the tinsel I was overjoyed with how everything  looked!  For my most recent make from Nova Fabric's fabric is an another dress. I recently have joined a local artist guild and at this point it is the end of their busy season. They were going to have their final luncheon of this season yesterday on April 13 and I was invited to go.  So after clearing things at the university with my boss who was wonderfully supportive of me going, I RSVP'd and budgeted the cost of the luncheon for the coming week(this week). This dress that I envisioned was created in a few hours combining my Abigail blouse and a basic skirt to the bottom.  

The fabric I chose is 100% polyester and is listed as a satin chiffon! It feels soooooo silky I can barely stand it! I had chosen this fabric the end of 2021 on my last visit to Nova Fabrics.  It is different from the ones that I usually chose! I  love working with fabrics that normally have some kind of stretch base...and this one had none! But it moves like a gentle breeze and embraces my curves and shape with ease! It fits like a dream, if I may say so myself? 

I remember watching an old movie and the actress had a suit dress on and it had an asymmetrical hem on one side! I love asymmetry in my designs! Whether it is knit or crocheted or sewn! I knew that for this dress I must include that detail too! 

So once I decided what I wanted then all that was left was to make the dress a reality!  The luncheon was at a very nice country club in Borrego Springs. I had never been to a luncheon of this sort and of course as a brand new member and a black woman I wanted to make extra sure that I made the right kind of first impression! 

I had a feeling that I may be the only one of my kind at this function and I was correct. But for me that's a normal experience. But more about that later! Back to the sewing.....I made the blouse on Tuesday and then the cut out the fabric for the skirt. Wednesday morning the day of the luncheon I awoke early(as usual) and with nervousness and excitement of the upcoming day! 

I was going to make a separate piece that would be a ruffle on the dress but as my mom has told me and my sisters, " It is a woman's prerogative to change her mind." I changed my mind and decided to not add a piece but to fold the fabric in such a way that it would look like an attached ruffle if I sewed it correctly! Since it was wayyyy before dawn I had plenty of time to figure out the style and curves and how to sew the bottom accordingly. I pinned the top and bottom together and then recreated the drape that I wanted the bottom to have!  I had made the top and the sash/belt Tuesday but wasn't sure if I wanted to keep the sash as I had done in the past! But in the end the sash was a great option added to my dress and gave me more things to flow and move on this dress.  

Once everything was all pinned correctly I sewed the top and bottom together. I hemmed up the bottom as I was attaching the two. It was a neat and easy way to have less ends to trim and to create a continuous thread.  Then I hemmed the sleeves and those were crazy! The fabric as gorgeous as it is, moves like silk which means it slips and slides all over creation and I was like seriously!! But well worth it to have this killer dress! 

And of course every time I work with silky fabric I say the same thing and still go back and make something silky another time! Just because it is a bit of challenge when it is moving doesn't mean that I won't use it again! I love silky things and love how they feel and working with the fabric is part of that process if I want pretty things that are silky!

It's like I love walking but have allergies but I'm not going to let a little hay fever stop me from my walks! It's just that the fabric likes to move and I know that but the pros outweigh the cons! 

So anyways...I finished my slippery like an eel sleeves and loved them! I sewed the front bodice's edging twice because it needed a bit more structure...I'm contemplating possibly using a facing next time if I have enough fabric...but if not and I don't have a decently coordinating lining then it will just be reinforced with a second set of stitching down the front! Which for me worked out very nicely!

I wanted to take some home pictures of the dress before wearing it to the luncheon yesterday.  Mike helped photograph me in my new dress before the event and then I changed out of my heels and into flat sandals and with a pashmina from my sister and my purple purse that was a gift from one of my former student's mothers I was ready to go to the luncheon!

I arrived about 11:40, paid for my meal and got my label with my name on it! I hadn't even gotten into the dining room and a woman behind me complimented me on my "beautiful dress"! I thanked her beaming!! YAY! My inspired classic style dress with a lot of Monica combined with lovely fabric was a hit! That was only ONE of several compliments on my dress and I was blushing with pride alllllll over the place! 

Most of the women there had on capris and button up cotton tops!  I was one of only a few that had more semi formal style clothing on! It felt perfect!  And when the president of the artist's guild introduced me and gave me an incredible biography and all eyes were on me I felt like royalty! 

The woman that is an acquaintance of my husband was sitting beside me at the luncheon and told my husband that she felt like she was with celebrity! Lots of people came up before the speaker started her lecture (after lunch) and then after even more came up and introduced themselves and told me about all that they had heard about me. They wanted to have more things with me and one even said I should be a speaker in the future when the season comes back full swing in the fall!  I kinda felt like a celebrity on a very small scale!  

Everyone was super nice and even one woman said that the area needed more culture! LOL! She said that it is very white, her words not mine...though I agree! But I'm not afraid of I said it is pretty much how I grew up and how it has been in 98% of my jobs! I'm normally the only person and  woman of color in many locations and jobs. I can roll with this as long as I am treated kindly and with respect and so far, so good! 

I look forward to seeing what happens with this and my dress is one of many new ensembles I plan on making for future events with the artist's guild as long as I am part of it! 

I still have 4 more fabrics from Nova Fabrics to make pretty things with and one is cut out and the other 3 are being decided on. But I'm thinking at least one more dress or skirt if I have enough fabric. But we shall see when the fabric choses what it will become in my wardrobe...whatever it becomes will be 100% Monica! 


Thank you sooo much for reading and sharing in my adventures! 

Happy creating!






Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published