Hot! The “Studly” Dress

The Facts

Fabric: Stretch corduroy for the body, puff paint denim for the contrast, and cotton flannel for the pockets
Pattern: Chloe by Victory Patterns
Year: 2011
Notions: None
Time to complete: 5-6 hours (including the muslin and fitting)
First worn: January 5, 2012
Wear again? Make again? Yes. Wear again? We’ll see.
Total price: not including pattern – about $6

For this week’s theme, I wanted to pay tribute to the humble stud earring. My mother pierced my ears when I was 6 months old. I had a diaper rash, the story goes, and she figured that I wouldn’t know which end the pain was coming from. Like her, I have a sensitivity to most of the earrings on the market and growing up I was forced to pick from the hypoallergenic display. Living in a rural area, there wasn’t much to choose from and we were stuck with the gold and silver ball studs. Although the selection has gotten A LOT better, my mom still wears her silver studs everyday.

To reflect the inspiration, I used a denim contrast fabric which has little silver studs that are the just the size of an earring. I love that it looks like polka dots from a distance but up close it has a nice texture to it. To make it possible to sew, the silver studs are actually embossed paint. Unfortunately, the paint also makes it difficult to press. I had to steam from a distance and let it cool before touching or the paint would smear.

The self fabric also proved difficult to press. This green corduroy has been hiding in my craft room before I even started sewing. Sometimes, there’s a reason why that fabric is still in your stash. It was almost impossible to get a good press on BUT it doesn’t shy away from wrinkling! I love the way it looks but it’s just so uncomfortable to wear. You see, to the touch it felt mid-weight but the fabric is just too heavy and bulky and I feel like I’m wearing a carpet. The only good part of this is that I can wear my granny panties and not have to worry about a seamline! I have to wonder if it will get pulled out of the closet again.

As part of my sewing plans this year, I want to get a better handle on fit so I made a muslin for this garment. There were only a few tweaks that I could spot – the biggest being 3/4″ off the waist length. The garment was snug but it still managed to pass the Mena test and since the corduroy had a bit of horizontal stretch, I decided to leave out the zipper and the back seam. Now that this version is finished, I recall a discussion during the Clover sew-a-long on the Coletterie. Sarai mentioned that the muslin should be made from stretch fabric because even if the non-stretch fabric is fit really snug the final stretch version will be baggy. Unfortunately, this is the case and I could take off several more inches from the side seams to get a better fit. We live and we learn!

The saving grace in all this was the pattern! Kristiann, of Victory Patterns, released her line in November and the love for these patterns is spreading fast. I was so excited that I decided to purchase three of the patterns straight off: Chloe (this one), Hazel, and Anouk. Chloe went together so quickly and even the muslin was flattering. The cap sleeves, the pockets, the princess seams – it’s all just so right! I can’t wait to make up a more wearable version!






Lizz Hale is a perpetual beginner who's always finding a new field and hobby to explore. She's currently taking patternmaking classes and is on the quest to create a working wardrobe that fits her personality, body, and lifestyle.


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  1. Super cute! Love the color and texture choices, well done! :)

    • Thank you, Kim! I started to consciously include texture in my garments and style last fall and it’s been really fun to discover. I think texture can take an outfit to another level and I look forward to exploring it more.

  2. I just discovered Victory Patterns and can’t wait to try one. I especially love your pocket fabric choices!

    • Oh, Annelise – don’t wait any longer! These patterns are wonderful and I think there’s something for everyone in Kristiann’s line!

  3. It’s really cute, even if you’re not too into it. Thanks for the new pattern company tip!

  4. I love it! It’s too bad it feels like a carpet, but it really is cute and it looks great. I just found out about Victory patterns early last week and want to buy several myself already. Can’t wait what you make next. :)

    • Your skirt yesterday was so well made and I bet you’d make something incredible from Victory Patterns! I look forward to seeing which patterns you purchase.

  5. Wow Lizz, This look great! I’m so glad to hear that the pattern worked out for you and this style suits you so well! Have fun making your dream version of Chloe. I can’t wait to see more dresses that you create!

  6. This is too cute. I love it!

  7. I love seeing your dress completed, it’s really lovely and looks so easy to wear despite being a carpet. I have looked at this pattern a few times, I am convinced, must give it a whirl too.

    Sorry about your fabric but it looks great and such a fun color combination and your inspirational earrings!

    • Thank you, Cathe! I think you’re right… the dress itself will be very easy to wear. I think it could also be made in a cozy knit for those lazier days if you cut at zero or negative ease.
      As for the rug – Ce la vie! It’s all an experimentation but I’m looking forward to making a really incredible (wearable) version next.

      • Lizz, what type of fabric would you suggest for this pattern…knit or something with at least a little give? I’m off to download it now…another pattern to love!

  8. What a clever idea for a pairing! Victory patterns seem to be everywhere right now…

  9. The pain of sleeping on those stud earrings! Hated that! This is so cute. Also, do we have the same puff paint denim fabric?!

    • I think as a kid I had a semi-permanent indentation in my skull from sleeping on the backs of my stud earrings! Ow!
      Wow – if it’s not the same fabric, it’s definitely close! Did you ever end up using the rest of your yardage? When I started in, I was absolutely sure that it would be the trouble fabric but amazingly the corduroy beat it!

  10. I remember having my ears pierced (at 16 though!) and thinking, ‘what have I done’, when it came to sleeping at night! Love your ‘bobbly’ dress and I think I’ll have to get this pattern myself.

    • Thanks you! I’d love to see what you make if you get the pattern.
      I know there’s a lot of controversy over piercing at such a young age but I’m really happy that my mom chose to have mine done so young. I had a second piercing done when I was a teenager (an irresponsible one, at that) which never healed well. After a few years I let those holes close but the originals wouldn’t close if I wanted them to. It’s nice – I love having them pierced but I don’t have to wear earrings for months if I don’t want to.

  11. That dress is so cute and I love the textured studs! I’ve added this pattern to my to sew list. :) I remember getting my ears pierced at 14 and then fainting afterwards as I held my breath for way too long!

  12. What a great story, Lizz. And I love how much personality your Chloe dress displays. The studs? Such a great touch.

  13. I haven’t heard of the Victory patterns, so will totally investigate them!

    Great dress Lizz, and so pleased it passed the Mena test! YAY!

  14. I’ve been eyeballing this pattern line since it came out, waiting to see how use “normal” folk feel about the patterns. Seems like they’re winners! I love the way you interpreted the challenge with fabric!

  15. Yaaayyyyy you made the Chloe! I know you say you feel like it’s a carpet, but these photos don’t even give a hint of that! It’s gorgeous (like all of your creations) and green really suits you! x

  16. WOW! I can’t say how much I love this! That “studded” fabric is simply genius. Great job Lizz, really, and congrats on being featured!
    I really want to get started on this pattern now!

  17. Just adorable! Though I understand about the corduroy problem. Sometimes it is just a bit too much!

  18. Such a great look and the contrasts are ideal, it’s a real shame it isn’t comfortable to wear. Still, it’s nice to know now that you have a good pattern and will be able to go again.

  19. This is really a cute pattern and your color and fabric choices look great! I’m presently working on some thrifted corduroy, for the next project. I hope it doesn’t feel heavy–it looks a little heavy. However if it turns out as nice as yours, I will be pleased.

  20. I think it turned out looking great. I am eager to see all these Victory Patterns sewn up around the web.