Over the weekend I was up on Long Island for a very dear friend's wedding. I *rarely* have an occasion to do special occasion sewing for myself, so I was super excited!! The wedding was on a Sunday at noon near the waterfront-- so I felt like I needed something not too fancy schmnacy, something a little fun but not super wild and detailed. I originally had very different plans with a different pattern and different fabric, but once that fabric arrived after ordering, it was on the verge of being too curtain-like (not to say I won't use it for another dress, I like it still!) I whipped out this 2 yard bit of floral cotton pique I had in my stash. I had to dig for a pattern with simple lines that wouldn't compete with the print AND take under 2 yards of material. In walks this "vintage" Vogue pattern I dug up in a bag of patterns another friend gave me. With a fuller bottom half, I feel a-line sheaths are more flattering for me. And it's not quite vintage at 19 years old, right?!
I made up a muslin with a 16 bust, 14 neckline/shoulder and 20 hip, adding 1" (2.5 cm) to the length of the bodice-- a normal alteration for me at 5'8" (1.73 m). I reduced the size later. Thank goodness I muslined this thing, it was a hot mess that needed work to fit my figure. I forgot to take pics of the awful initial muslin prior to my alterations. But the muslin was kinda cute with the yellow polka dot cotton/poly quilting fabric I used for it!
|I circled my main alterations, but those were made prior to taking these muslin pics, I forgot to take the ugly pics!|
My main alterations are circled in red. The muslin was initially huge on me. The most obvious deviation from the pattern is the scooped out neckline. I did a swayback adjustment on the back waist removing about 1.5" (3.8 cm), added the length tho the bodice like I already mentioned plus took in the side seams reducing the dress down by almost one size. And the HUGE alteration that made all the difference in the world-- removing a boatload of material in the upper back shoulder area. There was so much extra fabric up there it felt like I was supposed to store a few hams in there or something. I also moved the zipper from the back center seam to the side seam... seriously, I could not reach a back zipper. But I kept that back center seam, those things are perfect for people like me who need to always make back adjustments.
I am so freakin please with the back's fit. It actually lays perfectly unwrinkled and just right, but I am not a professional photographer slash model, so you see slight wrinkles. I am slightly annoyed with how the print isn't exactly lined up on back... I had two yards, I did a splendid job with what I had!
I lined the bodice with this odd bit of red bemberg rayon I had. I intended to line the skirt, but I didn't have enough and nothing else in the stash was similar. Coincidentally the pattern didn't even line the skirt. I added a facing by altering the pattern on the upper part of lining, I was afraid the red would peak out.
I added these cute little bands on the front shoulder for a nice detail. I pinked all of my seams, I didn't want to add bulk with the Hong Kong finish I first planned... or let alone a bulky serged seam. Plus I was was running out of time, pinking takes what, 2 minutes and is an ideal finish for many garments.
I sewed in a good ole, regular zipper using my zipper foot on the main fabric there in the side seam. There was a decent amount of hand sewing on this dress between the bodice lining, the inside of the zipper and the invisible hem. I love me a successful invisible hem. It's so easy and I feel like a classy lady with them.
|Ye Olde Invisible Hem|
Overall, a classic design. I'd use this pattern again, it's such a blank palette. Plus those pockets are a nice touch. I was careful of the print placement there, I didn't want to draw loads of attention to that area being I have a wider lower half.
I tried to take photos after the wedding in my dress since I had my hair and makeup done.. but I was a wrinkled mess, my hair looked flat as usual and the makeup wasn't perfect anymore. The ceremony was outside... in the rain. I ran an iron over the dress today to get rid of most of those wrinkles. I hate ironing. It's a rare day I whip out an iron to use on a normal day if I'm not using it to sew. I bet most of us seamstress types don't iron unless is in the name of the sewing process!
|In my fancy hotel room after the wedding, rained on and wrinkly!|
I actually got a bunch of compliments before the wedding while we were waiting for the bride to come down the aisle. She is such an amazing, thoughtful and kind person that she told everyone afterwards that I made the dress, then I got so many more compliments! I had such a great time driving up to Long Island for the weekend. What's funny, driving home I took the wrong turn in after getting out of the Manhattan/Queens tunnel, got lost (I was fine, I had my GPS) and found myself in the middle of the Garment District. I may have screamed a little when I realized where I was and that I could not pull over and run screaming with joy through the streets and buying a carload of fabric and sewing related paraphernalia. Next time.