Lustrous wool Hope Dress for winter

I’m pretty pleased with this Style Arc Hope Dress in a 99% wool 1% spandex from Sew Irish – Wild Ireland Haberdashery.
This fabric has the sheen, drape and comfort of silk but the warmth of wool. It’s a very dark inky navy, almost black.
I don’t usually wear belts, but I think I might need to break up all that solid on this dress.

I bought these boots from a few years ago to wear to a wedding instead of heels, as I can’t wear heels. I then put them away thinking they were a bit much but I stumbled across them today and now I love them. It’s like getting free boots!

I usually cut the back of this dress on the fold, but this time I needed to cut two pieces to save on fabric.
I reduced the neck facing on this to 1.75” and then hand stitched it down – I don’t like loose facing. Before I attached the facing I bound the outer edge with silk bias binding. I sewed in silk organza for the facing interfacing. I only had white fusible and I was afraid it would show through.

I did the hem of the skirt using the blind hem foot and stitch on my machine. I used to find this really tricky, but now I find it easy. It’s kind of miraculous how that happens!
I gathered the skirt on lingerie elastic, sewed it to the bodice with a 5/8” seam allowance and then serged the elastic off.

I lengthened the sleeves a few inches and carried the line on down straight from about the elbow instead of tapering in. I wanted a more puffy sleeve. I then sewed a channel, added 1/2” elastic and top-stitched it with an ‘elastic’ stitch, which makes it look a bit like smocking.
I’ve only made summer versions of this dress before, and I really should have raised the neck a bit for winter. Especially the back neck. Ah well it’s not the end of the world.

The Hope Dress goes up to size 30: B58.25; W50.5; H61


  1. Sheila, this dress is fab!

    I’m not a belt wearer either (share your body type), but you are right – it is the perfect accent (and fullness control) for this garment.

    I’m not a boot wearer either, but if Duo boots still carried that red model, I could be persuaded. And if they had purple, it would be all over for me and my credit card. (AND, they ship for free to the US!!!)

    Absent red/purple boots, though, my online shopping is thwarted. I might have to purchase some fabric instead. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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