Sunday, 6 August 2017

This year's wedding attending dress

I hate finding fancy clothes to wear to weddings. It always seems more stressful than other types of shopping or sewing. Fancy fabrics and not quite fitting bodices.. Therefore once I make a more dressy dress, I tend to wear it to everything!

I have two weddings this year, one of which is my brother's so people might actually photograph me. Unfortunately, my previous wedding outfit, along with much of my usual wardrobe, is now a little snug. Also, I am wearing it in the pictures from my other brother's wedding a few years ago so that might look a little odd!

Clearly, some new fanciness is needed. As a warm up , for the other wedding this year (some lovely friends) I decided to make a new dress. As ever, I spent a long time planning it, and insufficient time making it (though better timed than the last wedding dress, where I sewed the facing down in a toilet when I got there).

I used some lovely viscose, which I probably got off ebay (I went through a significant ebay viscose buying frenzy at one point). It is a fantastic bright tomato red with white flowers and is very drapey.
The basic bodice shape is essentially a simple button up with spaghetti straps. There are then two drapey sleeve bits that go off the shoulder round from centre front to centre back. As I didn't have a remotely similar pattern I drafted it myself on Agnetha. This was reasonably successful though I ended up with some rather odd dart ends.. luckily once i extended them a bit and ironed it they looked ok. I was very pleased with the straps. I normally leave those kind of things until the last minute, when I am then too bored and rush it. This time I did them first, turning them through properly and everything! The sleeves are just long hemmed rectangles that are pleated at the centre front and back.

Viscose is a bit of a beast to work with. It hangs beautifully, and you can press it any way you want to fix the sloppiest dart installation. It also however shifts continually, misshapes itself at any moment,  stretches unexpectedly and twists randomly when you (inevitably) lose the grainline. 

I love almost everything about the dress, but let's not overlook the elephant in the room. The front button band is horrible. It's crooked, uneven, a bit too tight and the fabric ripped around the poppers so half of them don't do up and the other half are barely attached to the dress. Luckily, many safety pins corrected the structural problems, but I am going to have to make a whole new band and sew it on straighter!

Other slight issues - the straps stretched a bit and the the back neckline is therefore a bit too low. I just wore a slip under it.

The skirt is just a longer version of Colette patterns Ginger. I found the cutting of it more stressful than it should have been as to make straps I ripped off a bit of fabric at the top, only to realise it was actually the side. This made it all a bit narrow, but I worked it out. I was worried about hemming it, but that part went beautifully.

Overall I love the dress, but I will have to do some serious work at the front. I may wear it to the next wedding, or maybe something else new- I feel like I'm getting my sewjo back a bit!

In other news, I am super thrilled that Mena and the Sew Weekly is back on instagram. I have been missing that regular entertainment and inspiration basically since it went away! To find it look for #sewweekly and add your own posts! Mena has set monthly and weekly challenges to get involved with.