Friday, 12 October 2012

I finished the dress!

Yay! And just in time too, my mother is visiting tomorrow (we live in different cities) and I want to show off!

As I've said before, I decided to use a pattern from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, the pattern with the delightful name "The Sultry Sheath". Now, I didn't feel that my fabric would work as a sheath dress, and I wasn't sure I'd wear one if I had one, so I decided to make a dirndl-type skirt for it instead.

I was really nervous about not having enough fabric, but it turned out I had just the right amount! I even have a scrap left that I'm considering making a matching belt with, maybe. Or I might make a bow to put on the dress, like the first pattern I considered suggested.

The bodice is lined with a powder pink rayon, I bought the fabric online and expected it to look pinker than it does, but I still like it. It's wonderfully soft against the skin too. The skirt is unlined as you can see, and as I didn't want to zigzag the seam allowances on the inside I decided to overcast them by hand. Eventually I'll get a pair of pinking shears, I'm fond of the pinked look, but I want to make sure I get a really good pair. These pinking shears from Merchant & Mills look like a pair my grandmother owns, very promising!

As I didn't have a lot of fabric I decided to go with a fairly narrow hem, it's stitched by hand so as to be invisible from the outside. I hand picked the zipper as well, on Gertie's recommendation, after a careful look at this lovely tutorial by Sewaholic. Unfortunately I forgot to get a close up of that, and now it's too dark to get any good pictures...

Because the skirt is unlined I wanted to sew a slip to wear with the dress. I'd planned for this and bought some picot edge elastic and lace (though the lace turned out to be more off white than the elastic, so I had to get myself down to the shops to buy another kind).

What would I do without Gertie? I used her lovely tutorial for how to make a vintage inspired half-slip, and it was so much fun to make! Working with the elastic is pretty tricky as you've got to keep it stretched all the time, but I think I got the hang of it eventually.

I just love this look, now I want to make panties!

Now, I'm a pretty confused person, so obviously something had to go wrong, right? Yeah. I used the measurement I remembered from the skirt, but forgot that it was the length of the skirt before I hemmed it. Darn. I could have unpicked the stitching on the lace and just shortened the slip, but I didn't really feel like it, and I was afraid of breaking the lace. So I decided to make another one! Fortunately I have quite a lot of that pink fabric, and the elastic came in bundles of five metres.

That's better! I used the off white lace I'd originally bought for this project, it doesn't really matter that it isn't the same colour as the elastic.

Made a bow that I stitched on the front.

French seam on the inside. I love how neat French seams are, if I could get away with it I'd use them for everything!

I wanted to get some pictures of me actually wearing the dress, but my boyfriend/official photographer (yeah right) has been away all day, and the place is a mess so mirror pictures didn't really work. I put my camera on a table and snapped a few pictures, this one is a bit odd, but it shows off the dress in a nice way!


  1. Vilken fantastiskt söt klänning!

  2. Jättefin klänning! så fint att du har handsytt fållar och blixtlås. Det finns verkligen ett värde i det som handen skapat.

    1. Tack så mycket! Jag håller med, älskar att sy för hand också! :)