Wowza! A very red dress.
So many great ideas, though, that it was hard to combine them all. Some of you said strapless might be good since it is different than the others and it is very bridesmaid-ey. That encouragement helped me look around some more. While sitting with my friend, the bride, we found this J.Crew dress that she thought was really cute, the Leah dress:
So I pulled out my ol' fave McCall's pattern and cut out a modified front piece to allow for the pleats.
You can kinda see here what I did. This is the inside view. I pressed all the pleats in place so the size of the outside matched the lining (it's all the same cotton sateen, lining and outside), sewed the pleats down, and treated it like a regular outside.
Then I assembled it as usual! I didn't use a pattern for the skirt; I debated a full or slimmer skirt and ended up doing the tulip-ey style I like--wider at the top, pleated, and a little narrower at the knees. I just used the width of the fabric and tapered to the bottom.
The skirt was maybe a little too full at the top, but hey--it makes me look like I have hips!
I also gave it the narrow waistband of the J.Crew original. I never would have thought to use such a narrow piece, but it looks cute!
Here is is up close. It looks like a heart! This dress will definitely be good some Valentine's Day.
After my friend's wedding, I'm thinking of adding straps or halter straps or something. I have more fabric. It might make it a little less racy. Wowee, it is a bright color!
Thoughts for modifications after the wedding to make it more wearable?
Update: Here it is in action!