Monday, 10 December 2012

Party Frock

Party Frock
Work christmas parties. Enough said. This year I was determined to fulfil my resolution to make a frock and make a proper job of it. It has been a(nother) curve on the mysterious and sometimes incredibly frustrating but mostly fun journey of learning needlecraft.

This was the starting point:
It was a sorry moment when after a recent severe cold spell necessitating extra portions of pie, I had to 'upsize' Hedley in the bust department. Then the really fun bit of ordering fabric which I mostly like to do in a real shop but I ran out of time so used Calico Laine which has the widest selection of dress lining fabrics I have ever come across and is really reasonably priced. I chose the Airforce/Navy iridescent satin back Dupion because it looked a bit special...and also some polka dot green cotton...well just because.

Unlike the lovely lady in black on the packet, my figure crossed over several size bands which was a bit confusing, being a novice. I decided to be extra careful and EVEN made a muslin FIRST:
Hedley in muslin
The idea being that this is made using the pattern, sewn up, tried on and then the muslin pieces adjusted and unpicked to become the new pattern pieces. I am jolly glad I didn't miss out this step because I had to add 2 inches to the length and alter the curve of the side panels. Well to cut a long story short I got into a bit of a pickle sewing the lining to the front mainly because I didn't read the instructions. I also found out that Satin back Dupion frays really easily and is not the best choice for a beginner. There were a few sweaty moments when I had to unpick the zip and it might have ended up in the bin at the attaching the skirt stage, had I not remembered that my best qualities are perseverance in the face of adversity and optimism.

Well, I did it. I had my Pretty in Pink moment (anyone else remember feeling a little crestfallen at the unveiling of the dress in that film after the tremendous build-up? I'd do it again though.
Pretty in Pink
Pretty in Airforce/Navy iridescent satin back Dupion


Catherine McArdle said...

Wow, you look amazing (albeit headless in the photo ;-). What a beautiful dress! I'm impressed!

I know what you mean about crossing sizes, exceot I'm the opposite: small boobs, big hips. I only discovered this recently when I ordered clothes from La Redoute and had a dilemma with sizing decisions. Between us we could have had two perfect figures!

Thimble said...

Thanks you are very kind.

I was looking at the family tree and I think making things must be in the genes - on mum's side we have a great gran milliner, great great gran dressmaker, great great grandad tailor, great great great grandad tailor (along with many generations of plasterers and coopers and the odd wheelwright), on dad's side we have another great great grandad tailor and great great grandma dressmaker, great great great grandad tailor, great great great great grandad shoemaker and great great great great great grandad pattern designer (not sure what that is) and a great great grandad ropemaker. No 'gentlemen' or ladies of leisure or poets or lawyers or hidden wealth though.