|Pretending to study the sewing pattern|
I've mentioned that my daughter is going to be a bridesmaid for my niece. The only stipulation for the dress was that it be purple, but after a few fruitless shopping trips, we decided that the easiest thing would be to make a dress.
We picked the pattern McCall's 6829, pictured above, and having decided that the shoulder section should be organza, I then got very cold feet. I have done quite a lot of sewing, but not much recently making garments. The pattern seemed so complicated (underlining, lining, understitching etc). Thankfully the Great British Sewing Bee had covered understitching, and this was a big help.
I also had never sewn organza, so my initial idea was to make a practice version of just the top section of the dress. I was also a bit inspired by Gertie Makes and Bakes, and her practice toiles. We could also then check the fit was right, as my daughter is very small for her age.
|"I'm so excited about my new dress! Mummy still needs to put zip in though."|
Sewing the organza was not as hard as I imagined. I just had to be really careful to tack everything. No slapdash a pin here and there will do. With a new fine needle for my machine, and the advice to keep the stitch long. This rather goes against intuition, but it did work.
The fit of the dress was perfect, which was a great relief. The wedding is fairly soon, and I really just want it to fit well on the day.
Having made the practice top, it then seemed a bit silly not to add a skirt. The cream top colour I rather regretted. I had just grabbed the first bit of fabric in my stock of the right weight. So it took as a while to find something that matched nicely. We found this interesting fabric, which unfortunately wasn't wide enough. I had to put a seam down the centre front which isn't in the pattern. The pattern matching is not perfect but fairly good I think. Would it pass on the Sewing Bee? As my mum would say "A blindman would be glad to see it". I won't have to do this seam on the actual dress, though am going to line the skirt section, which I didn't do on the practice.
|Handsewn button loop|
The other mistake I made on this version was not buying an invisible zip. I put in the one I had bought, but am going to try and get this right on the actual bridesmaid dress. Though I think from this photo you can see how nicely it fits, and my neighbour's lilac tree sets it off nicely.
I love the dress at this length, but my daughter has got to an age where she has quite strong views on fashion. She likes thing to be really short, but we compromised on knee length. I hated cutting off the extra fabric, but as I know she won't wear it long, it seemed the only thing to do. Although she thinks the length of the actual dress is open to debate, it is definitely going to be ankle length.
So here is the finished practice dress, and now I just have to make the real dress. She has a cold, and asked me to cut off her red nose. Fabric has been purchased, and I do feel more confident having done this trial run. It has also made me remember how much I enjoy sewing. It is just not very economic, except for something like this for a very special occasion.