Thanks for all your encouraging comments about N2’s silk party dress. I’m happy to report that she wore the dress and it fit very well considering I was sewing it only from measurements without the luxury of proper fittings and muslins. The sparkle tulle was a big hit.
And I took all of your lovely advice and made myself a party dress for the wedding this past weekend, too! BTW, do any of you have DH’s that really take poopy pictures? I had to pinch the life out of DH’s backside to get him to grimace for the picture above. And it’s the best of about 17 shots. *sigh* But anyways…. back to my party dress. It’s based on Vogue 8182, and you last saw it on me waaay back here. I fell in love with the design back then. I was thrilled beyond words because I had managed to fit the bodice so well – the first time ever. For this version I used Anna Sui silk chiffon from my stash purchased from Fabric Mart eons ago. The outer layer of the skirt has a very fine dashed pinstripe in rust all over it and gives the chiffon a blush colour. I used a plain ivory chiffon as the second layer in the skirt and lined it all with silk habotai in a slightly darker shade. Both the chiffons have little ovals in satin marching orderly throughout in perfect rows. It’s really pretty fabric.
Remember this Vogue pattern from a few years ago? When I saw the silk for sale at Fabric Mart I recognized it as the silk used in this dress. And it was the right price, so I bought yards of it. The most difficult part of Vogue 8182 is the midriff. It’s got an overlay cut on the bias and the fabric droops all over the place. Pulling it taut does NOT work. I had forgotten that annoying part from my previous version. On this dress I stitched rows of gathering stitches every 3 inches or so across the midriff pieces and pulled them up to fit the lining/underlining. Then I pressed them into place.And hand tacked every single pleat so that they stay in place during wear, washing and hang drying. I chose to interface the midriff with muslin. Here’s my tacking stitches:I was in such a flurry to get this dress finished in time to wear that I forgot two things I meant to include: bra strap keepers and a waist stay. You can see from the photo below that the shoulders are slipping off slightly, and would have been kept in place properly with the keepers. I’ll be adding them tomorrow before I put it away in my closet for the who-knows-when next airing.
I substituted the skirt pattern from Burda 06-2011-118, which is basically a full length six-gored skirt. Hemming it was a bit of a chore: each layer is about 4 m in diameter and doing baby hems on chiffon is paramount to a profound exercise in torture endurance. The side zipper is hand picked. I remember the mess I made of the invisible zip from the first version and decided I’d save my sanity and just do this one by hand. And now for the bad news. Every garment has a mistake or flaw in it, and despite the prettiness of this dress, I’m annoyed about several things. Although you can’t see it, the hem is completely AWOL, but there is no length to even it out so it’s perfect. This is bugging my inner perfectionist no end. All I see is an uneven hem every time I put this on. Ugh. And I’m very sorry I was rushed with the bodice. After I had basted it all together I tried it on and was horrified at the fit. The midriff was a full size too big and the bodice gaped a good 2 inches in the front AND the back. What the heck? The previous time I’d made this dress I had actually taken the time to make a proper muslin and kept it as a pattern in the envelope. I assumed it would still fit, so I blithely went ahead and cut it out before fitting it. Wrong. I had no idea I’d change size/shape so much in such a short time? Unless there was a lot of tweaking I did in the first dress that I don’t recall, because my notes don’t reflect any other changes. Here’s a shot of the inside. I shortened the bodice by about 1.5″ at the shoulders, and I took out about 3/4″ too much which is really what is causing the shoulders to pull downwards. *sigh* I should have re-fit the midriff prior to deciding what to do with the bodice, because the alterations would have been very different. I had so wanted a perfectly perfect dress that I would be pleased to wear with sewers pride, but the truth is I just didn’t feel my best in this dress or that I’d done my best in this dress. It was a lot of fun to go swishing around in yards of chiffon, but I’m disappointed in the overall effect. I’d love to take the bodice apart and do it over, but I doubt that will ever happen. Never mind. It was a fun fairytale wedding at a castle, complete with men in uniform, cannons and swords. (They even used one to cut the cake!!) An event like this happens once every couple of years, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single second of getting dolled up and dancing the night away!