Four of my very good friends were married yesterday at two separate locations hours apart. What is a gal to do in this situation?
Make a dress, of course.
Unlike most of my sewing, this one’s been a bit of a slow burn. The fabric has been sitting out on a chair next to my sewing desk for months while I thought up something worthy of its specialness.
The internet is a most magnificent place and one of my favourite innovations is the proliferation of people who will track down the exact clothes characters on TV shows wear. Thanks to these mystery people, I have learnt nearly every one of my favourite dresses worn by the Gossip Girls was a Marc Jacobs creation. I spent far too long once upon a time fruitlessly trying to track down the Night Birds dress Blair wore, only to discover it was a season old by the time I saw the show and out of my budget anyway. So I was pretty excited to discover Mood has Marc Jacobs fabrics on its designer roster. This here is an MJ viscose crepe which seems to have come from his Resort 2013 collection (whenever that may have been created). It has a lovely drape and was not as slippery to sew as I initially feared.
I wanted a fairly simple pattern with a big skirt to show off the slinky drape and not break up the print too much. Naturally, I turned yet again to By Hand London for inspiration. I really do love those bust pleats on the Anna bodice but the skirt had too many panels for what I wanted, so I switched it out for the Flora skirt. Pretty sure I’m not the first to do this! The fabric was not quite wide enough to fit the front skirt panel on so I had to take a wedge out and make the pleats shallower but it’s still lovely and full.
So, there are clearly several pattern modifications here. Firstly, pockets. Aren’t they the best? I used the pattern pieces from the Cambie I had just made (unblogged because she’s awaiting a bodice modification) and actually worked out the placement properly after the debacle with my second Gabriola skirt. These pockets are going to get a work out, I can tell.
Second (and I guess most obvious) was the neckline. I like the original boatneck on Anna but it’s not my preferred everyday option, so I scooped the front out a whole lot. Let’s be honest, probably too much given how often I had to check my bra was still hidden. But I’m pleased with it anyway. She just needs some bra-strap holders sewn in to the shoulder seams to be absolutely perfect.
I think I’ve *finally* got the back bodice pattern adjusted enough so it fits down the centre properly, but the waistline is still a lot lower at the back than the front. I’ve noticed a couple of my RTW dresses do this as well – any suggestions on fixes? Is it simply a matter of making the back bodice shorter?
Inside I drafted my own sleeve-and-neck-in-one facings and separate linings which was exciting (I get excited by the guts of garments a lot more these days than I ever dreamed possible…). Invisible zipper, machine rolled hem, overlocked seams and she was done. Oh, and I was worried about the neckline and waist seam in particular stretching so I reinforced them with bits of salvaged selvedge of the same fabric.
All up, I think this is a dress worthy of the specialness of the fabric and the weddings it was made for! And the best part? The way it twirls!