Thursday, 13 March 2014

Seeing Spots

Soooo, hello there.  Ahead of tomorrow night's episode of The Great British Sewing Bee, I thought I would share with you the reason I have been so quiet recently.  Ta dah!

This is the dress I have been working on since Christmas, although it was actually pretty easy to make - I have just been queen of the procrastinators lately.

This is a dress I made using a pattern from last GBSB's accompanying book - it is the prom dress, with, of course, a 'Holly' alteration.  it wasn't a huge alteration though - I just didn't add the finishing ribbon around the waist that is in the instructions in the book, as I knew that I would be wearing it with the belt shown.

I was very nervous about making this dress, which might be why I procrastinated so much, because the bodice has boning, which I had never used before, so I put off doing that bit for a few weeks.  However, once I plucked up the courage, I learned that this was in actual fact really easy.  Possibly easier because I bought pre-covered boning and used a zipper foot.  I did wonder whether my invisible zip foot might be better, but it worked fine with the standard zipper foot on my machine.

This was also my first attempt at inserting a truly invisible zip as I bought myself the right foot with some of my Christmas/Birthday money.  I am tres tres impressed with the result and am now wondering why it took me so long to invest in said foot.  Please excuse the look of the pulling on the fabric on the photo.  I took the dress off Doris the dress form to try her on and couldn't then get her back on straight.  Please also excuse Doris' gaps.  It just proves what an awkward shape I am.

This dress is also the first time I have added a halter neck and a sweetheart neckline (very flattering for the larger busted lady).  I think, though, that both have worked out pretty well.

The pattern is a good fit.  I did have to add some bust darts to make it fit around my rather large nunga nungas, but that was the only fitting adjustment I had to make.  As the bodice is effectively princess seamed, there may have been a better way, but for a relative novice, I thought that was the best way.

I'm pleased to say that for this project, Doris did the job perfectly - I didn't try the dress on until it was finished, nearly giving me a heart attack in the process thinking it was going to be too small and a waste of time and fabric.  Luckily, she pulled through and even told me that since I set her up at Christmas, I have lost an inch on my way.  As a treat for being so good, I am going to buy her a cover to hide her gaps, but at the moment I just can't decide which colour/pattern to go for.

Anyway, this is the dress when it was finished.  

I decided that, for me, the skirt was not puffy enough and needed a petticoat to puff it out a bit.  I may have taken it a bit too far though.  I had intended to make a two or three layer petticoat, but when I had cut out the tulle, it worked out perfectly that I had four layers with no waste at all, and I can't really bear waste, so I just kept sewing and made a four-layer tulle.  

Not sure how well the dress is going to be to sit down in, but it does look a lot better, not that I think it looked bad in the first place, the petticoat just adds that extra bit of oomph.

I have two occasions already to wear this dress to - a wedding evening do at the beginning of April (you can wear black to an evening do can't you?) and then my future cousin-in-law's hen do in May.  As her theme is Alice in Wonderland, I think this dress will fit in perfectly - Queen of Hearts maybe?  Courtier at the very least.  I have a black faux fur wrap that will look gorgeous with it.  Very Marilyn Monroe, with some super high glittery red shoes (my Dorothy shoes).  Maybe this should be the Hollywood dress I can just managed to link it to so many films/stars?  I will come back to the Hollywood theme in a later post I think.

I already have  two orders from both my sisters for a dress of this pattern each, just in different fabrics, so I am tempted to see if I can make this dress sell amongst my friends and family.

Right I have a few little jobs to finish before I can start on my next projects - a couple of tops in the pipeline, one from the left over fabric from this dress and one from some gorgeous silk charmeuse I have just bought.  Best go get started.

Happy Crafting!


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