Saturday, July 27, 2013

weddin' goin' dress

As a dressmaker (is that an up-to-date word for someone who doesn't do this professionally?), I am a firm believer that sewing a new dress is required any time I attend someone's wedding. No question. Mostly because a wedding is usually a reunion of sorts where I see all my friends and/or family at once, so I have to be ready to appease all the "Did you make that?" inquiries. And because it's one of the few formal occasions I get to attend all year, so I enjoy the excuse of working with shinier, silkier fabrics. And of course there's just that modern mentality that most women have regarding special occasions, which is that they don't want to be "seen" wearing something they have worn before.

My boyfriend's cousin got married in Baltimore last weekend (congrats Jordan!) so I had to make a new dress to wear. It was an obligation to myself. What you see here is actually my third attempt. As I mentioned in my previous post, I almost finished a Colette Chantilly dress and realized in the home stretch that it added 8 million pounds to my frame (tooooo many gathers at the chest and waist). Then I tried to recreate the silhouette I used for my pleated sundress for Project Sewn. Who knows what happened but the chest was too tight and my fabric too heavy. SO I cut into dress #3 and hoped it'd be wearable at the very least. 

This is a frankenpattern. It was a relatively informal garden wedding so I didn't want to get too fancy. I knew I wanted a wrap bodice but a non-wrap skirt, so I used the bodice front and back of Butterick See & Sew 5546 (my other version seen here) and the circley skirt of McCalls 6599 (version seen here). I used the sash from the Butterick pattern but instead of sewing it to the dress and weaving it through one of the sides, it's just a free belt that is tied in a bow and held up with thread loops. I used Suzanne's video tutorial for making the thread loops (found at the end of her post here). Speaking of Suzanne, where's she been lately anyways?! Not like I'm one to talk about bloggy silence.

I drafted some tulip sleeves using this tutorial. They look cute and hang flat on the dress as is, but the bottom layer tends to scrunch up on my arms while I'm wearing it. Not sure if I should have laid the sleeve parts differently, or just made them larger. Womp.

The fabric is a soft silky polyester something from JoAnn. That was a rare awesome shopping trip, because I stumbled across like four different cute geometric prints in apparel fabrics that I actually liked. I'm glad I wasn't wearing nice fabric (or nice shoes -- but I don't own nice shoes) the night of the wedding, because it started pouring rain in the middle of the outdoor dance party and we all got happily soaked and muddied up to the sweet tunes of J. Timberlake.

The thing I forgot about the stupid McCall's skirt was that it's supposed to sit on your lower waist, not your natural waist. So, thinking it was going to be knee-length otherwise, I immediately chopped off two generous inches from the hem before attaching the skirt to the waist of my bodice. ...Which meant that it hiked the skirt up an additional two or more inches. Ooof. If I could do this dress over, I'd definitely make it a bit longer, especially for a grandma-friendly festivity, but I decided to brave it because I had no other options. I did wear a camisole at the wedding, however. This low neckline is for the internet's eyes only. ;) ;) Here we be IRL, hot and frizzy and me without jewelry because I forgot to pack it:

Corey's wearing the floral shirt I made him. I lazily didn't make his collar buttons functional, thinking he wouldn't ever need them, so when he went to put on his tie he couldn't undo the buttons. Ha, sorry. But dudes aren't supposed to wear a short sleeved shirt and a tie anyways, right? Would you call him a Dwight Schrute or a fashion daredevil?

Do you tend to make a new dress to wear to every new wedding? I'm sure if there were enough weddings in one summer, I wouldn't. Well, who knows. I DO love making dresses...