(Yes, this little old blog continues to crawl along...just!)
My 40th Birthday Dress
This dress has had two lovely outings since it's creation. It's maiden voyage was a fabulous banquet at Mr Wong's in Sydney with my parents, my husband, my three sisters and their wonderful husbands. My father turned 70 and same weekend I turned 40, so we all flew into Sydney for the weekend to celebrate.
It's second outing was last Sunday. My husband and two close friends, threw me a surprise birthday party - a wonderful birthday brunch with my Cairns friends at Nu Nu in Palm Cove. It was a perfect morning.
Last month I wrote a post detailing all my inspiration for this dress - a mash-up of Vogue 8241, Vogue 1247 and a witchery RTW playsuit. So did it all go to plan? Well, to be honest, the toiling took a lot more work than I originally anticipated. Here is my story...
The Bodice Front
Taking a pattern off a RTW garment that has asymmetrical draping and gathering proved to be a serious pain in the butt. I had to play around with this a lot and spent far more time on it than I would have liked too. I was still fiddling with this, post-toile, once sewn up in the fashion fabric. I'm still not sure I've got it quite right. I think it would have been far easier to start with a commercial pattern for this style. I would much preferred to have the expertise of a professional pattern maker and drafter to provide me with notches and to determine drape, gathering etc.
The Bodice Back
After toiling up the bodice back from Vogue 8241, I was disappointed that it did not have the 'cut-away' look as suggested on the pattern envelope. I had to cut quite a bit away and have still ended up with something that does not look 'cut-away'. I could achieved this easily enough, but the practical side of my personality voted for bra-friendly in the end.
In the end, I ditched the skirt from Vogue 8241 and Vogue 1247 and went with the skirt from Vogue 1190, a dress that I sewed up for my husband's 40th back in 2011. I removed the seams at the side front and cut the front as one piece so I did not have to chop any flowers or butterflies in half.The skirt hangs and moves beautifully.
Adding a Waist-Stay
One thing I had to add was a waist stay...just above my hips. The skirt did not sit on my hips without falling. It needed a stay to keep it in place. Why a stay? I wanted to avoid placing the delicate fabric under stress at the side seams and so wanted to keep it semi-fitted. The stay is made using a wide piece of grosgrain ribbon that clips at the CB. I hand-stitched it at a few points along the bodice/skirt seam.
And just because these photos are sooooo dark, a little close up of the beautiful satin-backed CDC silk from Tessuti. My goodness, this stuff is gorgeous!
Overall, the garment was a success, not perfect but wearable and comfortable. I'm still not 100% sure it is quite right and may still fiddle with it if I'm ever inclined. The drape of the top and where it meets the skirt throws me a bit. I'm not sure if this is because it is wrong or just because it is unfamiliar...time will tell.