The Stasia Dress
Posted on 11 August 2017
When Meg from Sew Liberated asked if I wanted to be a part of the Stasia Dress tour, I didn't even hesitate before saying yes. I have been a long time fan of Sew Liberated and (she might not even know this...) Meg was a huge inspiration for me in starting La Mercerie.
Ages ago, I sewed up the Bohemian Carpet Bag, which is sadly no longer available through Sew Liberated's site. It was my first "real" bag project and with it I gained a new found sense of "I can do anything!" As someone that was somewhat new to the sewing scene, it was empowering. I knew that if I could teach myself to get to this point, other people could too. And I wanted to help them get there. And so the initial plans of La Mercerie were put in place.
Fast forward three years and La Mercerie has transformed into something bigger than I ever thought possible. In 2014, I started selling kits with the yarn, fabric, notions, etc. so that everyone had access to start making. Now, I have found community, purpose, and joy in what I do. So, thank you Meg, for helping me realize this dream.
All that to say that I am so honored to be the final stop on the Stasia Dress tour!
I must admit, I was a little weary of how much I would like this pattern before I started it. In all the versions I had seen so far, it felt a little more feminine than my style has become. And as a lover of a good empire waist line, I knew that while flattering, the v-front at the waistline would make it feel a little too drop-waisted for me. I'm picky, I know.
At first, I thought that I would have the V go in the opposite direction - pointing up to my chest instead of down. But would that highlight my chest too much? I loved all the versions that were popping up on Instagram, but I didn't love them for ME. You guys, I literally agonized over this for days. #seamstressproblems
I knew that I absolutely wanted to keep the waist and center front details instead of going with one of the tee versions. After going way far down into the Pinterest rabbit hole, I decided on a peplum top, washed my fabric, and got to work. This is essentially a shortened version of the dress into tunic length, but I can totally see adding some more volume to the skirt for extra peplum-y drama!
Let me just tell you - this pattern whips up so quickly! It was such a satisfying make. I finished my muslin in no time and then proceeded to wear it around while I made the finished version.
I felt like a million bucks in it (serger threads hanging out and all)! For someone who almost exclusively wears pieces with little to no shape, this peplum is WAY outside my comfort zone. But there's something sexy about showing off your curves and the Stasia Dress is perfect for that. It's flattering in all the right places and Meg did an amazing job really thinking about a woman's body during the design process.
As for the details on my version of the top...
I made it out of our Bamboo Cotton Stripe Jersey, that's a personal favorite. It's heavy enough to be opaque and feel substantial, but has enough stretch that I could cut my normal size.
Instead of keeping the v-front at the waistline, I simply cut from the highest point on the side seam, straight across to the center front to create a 90 degree angle at the center front seam. This ended up being just over an inch. I then added that same amount (just over an inch) to the top of the skirt waist to just slightly straighten that out as well. There will still be a bit of a curve to the waistline, as you can see in the second picture below.
I didn't change the shape of the back waist, but I did shorten the bodice (both front and back) by about an inch and a half. My natural waist is higher than most and this is a normal alteration for me. That, and like I said before, I'm a fan of the empire waistline.
I opted for a slight high-low hem. On the front skirt piece, I measured down 13" from center front and then copied the original hemline over to the side seam. I did the same for the back skirt piece, only measuring down 15" from center front. I also made sure that the side seams for front and back were the same length so that they would be even for the hem.
I can't say enough how much I love this top. It's comfortable and so, so flattering! I will absolutely be making more. If you're looking for inspiration on how to make the Stasia Dress work for you, take a look around Instagram. It is such a good staple pattern and has so many variations included, I'm sure you'll find one you like.
Plus, you should definitely check out the Sew Liberated blog to read a little more about the inspiration behind the Stasia Dress. Meg shares such a beautiful and personal story. While I can't imagine going through what she and her family endured, I think a lot of people can relate to the feeling of wanting to disappear when the going gets tough. Meg is such an inspiration to keep going, no matter what life throws your way.