Monday, August 29, 2011

Something Blue

I have a serious wardrobe addiction.  If I know of a special event, I feel like I need a new frock.  This is rather silly, as I have two closets full of clothing, but I still feel compelled to add to the already expansive collection.  And I felt that an office party that I was partly responsible for qualified as a special event. 

A few ladies pooled resources to throw a bridal shower for my boss this past Friday.  I was responsible for the decorations. 

I spent a couple of weeks making a ton of tulle pom-poms and cupcake toppers.  My entire living room was covered in tulle, netting, tissue paper, and punched paper flowers. 

Of course, the toppers did not go exactly as planned, but the final result came off very well!

One week before the event, I decided that my new dress should match the décor.  With blues, purples, and whites as the party colors, I pulled a lovely silk/cotton floral jacquard from my stash.  The fabric is named Deluxe Marie and comes from Bella Notte Linens (the fabric for my 1948 Vogue gown also came from this fabulous source) - I am lucky enough to live near their warehouse, and have been going to their holiday sale for the past few years, not for their bedding, but for their remnant yardage.  I kept pulling it out for different projects, but was always worried that I would want the fabric for some project in the future.  I also kept pulling out Vogue 1209 (a Rachel Comey design), so I figured the two were made for each other.

The instructions are very clear.  There are a couple of tricky steps, and top-stitching that will show any mistakes that are made, but actually, this was a surprisingly quick dress to sew. 

I love that the dress is lined, but uses french seams in quite a few places.  Do keep in mind, however, that if you use a thick fabric, this will not work.

The biggest alteration I made was to add 5" to the length of this dress, and boy, am I glad that I did.  This thing is SHORT as it is drafted! 

I also trimmed the sleeve lining by about 1/2" and invisibly sewed the lining to the self-fabric at 3/8" from the edge instead of the suggested 1/8".  If I was to make this up again, I would push it back even further.  Because the sleeve is cut with the bodice and does not utilize a gusset, the fabric tends to bunch up under the arm and by the end of the day, the lining had almost rolled its way to the outside.

I also changed the back of the dress so I could wear a standard bra.  To do this, I measured three inches up from the top of the center back bodice and created a new line with pretty much the same curve as the original piece.  I also had to extend the back tab piece as well as the back facing by three inches.  In retrospect, I probably should have raised the back bodice by more than the tab to keep more of the gathering for the back pieces, but I am happy with how it came out.

Lingerie guards were added to the shoulder seams because the neck wanted to fall off my shoulders.

And in deference to my love of hand-sewing, I hand-rolled both the peplum and bottom edge hem, as well as prick-stitched my zipper by hand. 

Although the dress did not come out exactly as I imagined (the center front and back tabs are heavy and have a tendency to droop, and the bias front bodice extensions went a bit wonky), I am pleased with the final result, and it was well received at the very successful shower!

Shoes:  Nine West “Jojus”


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