"" The girl who makes things: Sewing for wedding season

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Sewing for wedding season

Will it ever be sunny again? *she says mournfully* Grey skies, constant rain, chilly fingers... no wonder I want to hot foot it outta here and move to Spain. But despite the terrible weather here in the UK, I've been looking forward to the summer and thinking about sewing projects for the new season. Well, it keeps the spirits up. First on the agenda was a dress for a wedding I'm going to in Macedonia. And weddings mean one thing for me: dressmaking opportunity. So here's my latest make, a red tulip dress:



What can I tell you about this dress? Well, I've had the fabric in my stash for a looooong time. It's a lovely crisp cotton, a really good weight for this style and I absolutely adore the tulip design. I know Macedonia will be scorching (we're going in August) so natural fibres was the only way to go. No sweaty nylons in this town.


The pattern is taken from Simplicity 1419 and redrafted to fit me perfectly (thanks to my Craftsy Perfect Fit course!). I changed the neckline to give me a bit more breathing room and I gathered the skirt instead of box pleating it. I was going to leave it at that until I went mother of the bride shopping with my Mum and found quite a few dresses in Hobbs with a wrap waist.


The wrap waist is amazing! It cinches you in and accentuates the bust line - all the things I need in a dress. While she was trying on I geeked out over the wrap waist and tried to work out how I could adapt it into my own design. I ended up cutting four strips, about 17cm wide, from my fabric and tapered them to the end. I stitched the pieces together and turned them inside out to make two long ribbons.


There're two ways you can wear the wrap. Either draw it round the waist and tie at the back:
 

Or tie it at the back to make the dress more fitted:


I lined the bodice with white muslin (again natural fibres!) and used some of the techniques I learnt at the Yorkshire School of Sewing workshop. Things like under-stitching the lining (makes a massive difference to pressing necklines) and properly inserting the invisible zip. So I'm safe to say this is probably my most high quality piece yet.


 
I said this dress was for a wedding but I have feeling it'll have many outings before then. In fact I'm finding it difficult not to wear this dress, I'm so in love with it!


 

20 comments:

  1. GORGEOUS! I love the fabric and the fit and finishes are superb - great job! Wear it every chance you get :)

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    1. Thanks Carrie, I most certainly will!

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  2. Lovely dress! There's something so satisfying about making something look as nice on the inside as the outside.

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    1. Haha, yes I think I've found the shaker within me!

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  3. So pretty. Perfect for a wedding!

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  4. what gorgeous fabric! the wrap waist is brilliant and the whole dress is quite beautiful.

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  5. Lovely dress! I recognise the fabric - did Roisin of Dolly Clackett make a dress with that fabric?

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I think she made a Collette dress from the same fabric.

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  6. This is gorgeous! I absolutely love the fabric, and the wrap is a great idea.

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  7. Gorgeous dress! I looove it (& the fabric)!

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    1. Thanks, I love the fabric too :)

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  8. Excellent dresses! Adding the ties is brilliant. I'm totally going to steal that :-)

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  9. Hi, Rachel!
    Such a great dress! I was wondering if you could share the exact Craftsy class you took. I would love to purchase. Thanks

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