Monday, 21 May 2012

Dressy Designs (Not Quite Finished Yet)

Sooooo, I had been hoping that I would finally get my dress finished yesterday, being the first day both me and my Grandma had been free since I started the dress.  However, the day did not go to plan . . . .

First of all, I got up late!  I was awake at my usual crack of dawn time, but then went back to sleep.  I’d not intended to do this.  My plan had been to get up and do a bit of housework and maybe make a few things, before going down to my Grandma’s at about 10.  It was nearly 11o’clock when I finally woke up again and got myself sorted, leaving my fiancĂ© in bed (lazy get) while I raced down to my Grandma’s.

Finally got to my Grandma’s about half past 11, where she was noseying out to the window at an unknown car parking on her street.  Neighbourhood watch is not required on my Grandma’s street – she knows EVERYTHING that is going on.  Anyway, once she’d established which house the occupants of the unknown car were going to, we made a start on completing my dress.  I never realised how much work there was to it!

We sewed on the interfacings using the machine, managing to put one on the wrong way round from lack of concentration – too busy gossiping.  We also made the darts that we already knew were needed.  Then my Grandma made me sew a small hem around every available edge.  She says this is to stop the edges fraying later on.  But then she also admitted that you don’t actually need to do this.  I think she was just enjoying the peace and quiet of being in the spare room with me and my Gramps disappearing outside to sit in the garden.

Once all this was done, we tacked the dress together and it was ready for me to try on.  I still think I look like Annie in it because it still looks like a few rags sewn together.  But once we had it all arranged to look like the shape it is actually going to be, its looks quite nice.  On a skinny model it would probably look amazing, but on me, I will settle for quite nice.  There are soooo many alterations that need to be made to it though, because I don’t have a conventional body shape. 

For those of you that don’t know me personally, I am 5’4” with 26” legs, which means the rest of my height (or lack thereof) is made up in my body, which means I have to wear three inch heels minimum just to look in proportion on the height front.  I don’t know which of my parent’s fault this is, because my dad is really tall, and my mum, although shorter than me has quite long legs for her height – in fact they are longer than mine.  Then, once you get past the height thing, we have to deal with my actual body shape, which has previously been described as an upside down butternut squash.  Flattering description, I know.  I’m far from skinny – being a size 14/16, depending which shop I’m in and whether I am buying tops or bottoms.  I am most certainly top heavy, but all my shape is in my bazoomas!  This, I know, is the fault of my Grandma.  After that, I am as straight as a ruler – no hips, no bottom, no waist!  Also, the fault of my Grandma!  Then, I have the chunkiest legs on earth.  This would be ok if they were fat – at least I could exercise to get rid of said fat, but they are all muscle from dancing, so the more exercise I do, the chunkier they get.  Even when I was a relatively skinny size 10,  I still had to shop at Evans for my knee-high boots.  My sisters both have lovely proportionate body shapes – It’s just me that got the dodgy genes.

Anyway, back to the dress . . .

It actually fits lovely on my top.  My Grandma had been worried that we had cut it too small on the back and that it wouldn’t fit, but once I stood up straight, it was fine.  Note to self – must work on my posture.

But, as always, anything I buy to fit the top, is huge on the bottom!  So, a fair few alterations are needed there.  We are putting some darts in along the waist line to make it sit nicer (and make me look skinnier (yay!), and the actual skirt needs to be cut slimmer, as it seems huge at the moment.  In all probability, with  a net skirt a la the fifties underneath, it would be a lovely shape, but that is not my intention with this dress, so we are going to make it a bit slimmer on the skirt.

I was unsure in the neckline when we were cutting out the fabric, but when I tried it on, I actually really liked the neckline.  It is very flattering to my shape, and similar to some other dresses that I have.  It just goes to show, what I always say, that you never can tell until you try something on.  I do this to everyone and annoy them – I always make them try on something they would not normally consider, and usually it looks great on them, and at least 50% of the time, it is what they end up buying.  My Grandma and sister did this to me with my wedding dress.  I deliberately took them shopping with me and just let them pick dresses for me to try on (very few of which I would have picked out myself).  I knew that I would end up with one that they chose, and I have.  And very pretty it is too.  You can see pictures after the wedding.

Anyway, by the time we had got to this stage with my dress, it was nearly 4 o’clock, so we decided that we would finish it another day.  So, I think the plan is to do this over the Bank Holiday weekend, which is the next time our otherwise hectic diaries tally to have a free day together.  Alterations need to be made, zip put in, and the dress properly sewn together instead of just tacked.  I’m so excited . . .

I already have the material I want for my next dress – I just need to find a pattern, although if I like this dress enough, I may just use the same pattern with a few shape alterations or additions to the dress. 

As always, I will keep you updated.

In the meantime . . .

Happy Crafting.


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