Sunday, 6 July 2014

I Made My Own Dress!

A bit over a year ago I attended dressmaking classes, my mum makes and sells clothes and costumes and I just wanted to learn how to do it myself, I also fount it difficult to find dresses that I loved so it was a nice idea.

Last year I made my first rockabilly dress in a cherry pattern, which I loved. I haven't really done much since but this month, well, a week ago actually I decided to make another. I had a hen party this weekend and the theme was purple...I did not have a purple dress so the obvious answer was to just make a week! We have a new haberdashery up the road which is the cause of most of it, they have amazing fabric and I've been looking at some purple lace for a few weeks so took the plunge. It's called Bobb-in & Sew, and I will do a post about it on it's own soon as it's a gem as there are no good fabric shops around here that sell good quality materials. The best I have found elsewhere shred as soon as you need to unpick something and my machine would just chew it up.

I bought my pattern from there, along with the purple lace and some heavier black fabric for the lining. I wanted it to have some weight to it which I did and the fabrics worked really well together. I love rockabilly dresses and find if I get them to fit my bust they genereally don't fit everywhere else so making one seemed the obvious choice. 

I know you can alter patterns to fit before you make them but as I've only done a couple I prefer the make the dress as a whole and then adapt it to fit afterwards. What I loved was that I could pick the biggest size for the bust so I wasn't bursting out of it and it say high enough, but that I could still nip it in at the waist and have it flare out at the skirt. 

The hardest part was the pleats, they're really flattering but joining them up and making them even, to be honest, was a bit of a bitch. It took me several attempts. The back ones were relatively easy, but the front...oh, the front. They were double pleats on each section, four in total. One half was perfect but I just couldn't match up the other side according to the pattern so I just did it by looking, mirroring the other side. That was a big learning curve - that sometimes you have to be brave enough to freehand some parts. The only other bit I didn't really follow was to stitch a few inches down from the pleats - which if you have a slim figure it will fall beautifully. If you don't it will look like you're smuggling a beach ball under there. Ladies, don't stitch up the pleats if it doesn't just drop, it was quite funny though to be fair and it was only hand stitched so it was easy enough to fix. 

The top of the bodice had a full back and wide straps, I have a short top so the measurements were kinda out so I decided to gather the straps Grecian style which also flattened out the bust line as it was a bit baggy.

My favourite part has to be the skirt, it's so full and I really do love the pleats now that they're done and the fabric is beautiful. I will warn you that if you have to unpick lace - it's a nightmare, especially at midnight when you've sewn the zip wrong twice!

 I tried out some heavier pinup make-up, it's getting there! 
Happy with the victory rolls though.

I did have some help from the mothership, I'm not confident enough on zips yet so I need to practice that more. But generally it all went OK, apart from not checking that I have bought enough fabric and putting myself a day behind with a short deadline anyway. But for my second dress I'm insanely happy, I'm thinking of attempting a plain full skirt next that I can then wear with anything :) 

Here are a couple of other little shots from the weekend, everything else from it is secret of course! We sprayed some doughtnuts with gold shimmer spray and made some card diamonds to stick in them. It was also a spa weekend so we indulged in some massages and treatments. We did some cute hen party games and quizzes, had some amazing food and amazing cheesy dancing with the girls, the hen had a great time which is all that matters and they threw a great weekend!

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