Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Finished party dress, and MY dress

Here is J's finished dress on my dummy. She forgot to bring her undergarment when she picked it up, so I didn't see it on her. She did bring the belt and shoes she's going to wear with it. I love that red! It sits better on her than the dummy (as most things do), but you get the idea. I made red thread belt loops to hold the belt in place, so she can never wear it belt less now!

Gail asked why I didn't pin the neckline stay tape directly to the inside. Basically, because I am incredibly anal. (There's a reason I call my blog Everything Just Sew!) Bodies can be asymmetrical, and to ensure the neckline fits her properly I had to pin it from the right side. If I'd done it inside out there's a chance it would have sat differently if one shoulder was higher than the other, for example.

So after that was done, it was time for MY dress! I had no problem picking fabric and pattern from my collection. I got to it yesterday while the twins were asleep. I was planning to get as much done as possible, so needed fuel. I like this fuel. I chuck them all in a bowl so I never know what flavour I get till I eat it. (Entertainment as well as a snack!) Better not do it too often or I'll undo all the effort I've put in losing 10kg and my dress won't fit.

For my pattern I chose Vogue 2786, a vintage pattern I've had for a couple of years. I'm not keen on long dresses, so shortened it to about knee length. That also saved a LOT of fabric, since it's cut on the bias. I've had these two printed stretch satins for a couple of years as well. I love that one is a negative image of the other. I figured that would highlight the gathered section without being too big a contrast.
I'd traced it a couple of years ago to make in a cotton, but the fabric turned out to be elasticated and pulled into a wide seersucker effect when I prewashed it. Totally inappropriate for this dress, so the pattern sat forlornly waiting for the right fabric. A quick measure showed that while most of me is back at pre-baby size, my bust is still at production volume and I needed a bit more room there! The easiest way to get it was simply to add a bit extra at CF and CB and figure it out with fitting.
Here's one of the gathered insets sewn to it's stay. It's a bit hard to see, but the corners curl up because the stay is a very tight fit. This should make the inset sit nice and snug against my body, which will make the gathers sit in tightish folds - there's nothing worse than floppy gathers sitting around your middle!

And here's one completed half pinned to the dummy. I've done both halves, and hope during today's nap to get them joined together. The pattern has you do a hand rolled hem at the edges, but I don't fancy that - too wimpy for armholes and neckline for my taste. I'm going to use narrow strips of self fabric as facings instead. They also use a conventional zip, which I've ditched in favour of an invisible one, and I raised the back. Several months at the gym mean I could wear a low back with confidence, but no amount of work at the gym is going to render my front capable of going without a bra and I don't fit my low backed one at the moment! I'm really not looking forward to hemming this. Bias cut stretch charmeuse. Oh yay.


  1. This is going to be beautiful! I love the two fabrics you chose.

  2. Well done on making the dress for your friend. I think your dress is exquisite and can't wait to see it finished. Thanks also for your kind of dawned on me after I posted the comment. My daughter is interested in assymetrical for her formal dress that we finalising designs for, so it is well worth noting.

  3. Hi Judy,

    What's your verdict on the blue dress pattern (or is it purple? - the one-shoulder one)? I'm currently deciding between this and another Burda WOF pattern (Dec 2008) which is similar but different and it would be great to know if you think this is a good one or not.