Since setting up my sewing table and having a warm up with a cushion cover and some pattern weights, I’ve been sew, sew, sewing two dresses for a wedding. I started with the easiest of the two dresses (still warming up), the Date Night Dress by April Rhodes, which was for me and um, I don’t really like it. The dress itself came together fairly well and was quite easy to make, although I had an issue with running out of fabric before I could cut both sleeves (even though I had the amount recommended) and so had to quickly order a bolt end (the only fabric left for that pattern, which, I know you can’t tell from that photo, is grey dotted scallops). The sleeves were meant to be cut against the grain but the bolt end wasn’t big enough for that, plus it’s a very directional print with the scallops, so having the scallops run the other direction on the sleeves (compared to the dress) would have possibly looked a bit odd but then again, I think they would have frilled a bit better if I had cut them the right away. But, anyway, I had the horrible sinking feeling, when I first put this dress on, you know, when you’ve spent time, money and effort on something and you don’t actually like the result. I really don’t know what possessed me, well I know in part what possessed me, I really wanted to wear black, dark colours suit me far better than pale colours but I wasn’t sure of the whole etiquette of whether you can or can not wear black to a wedding, I even Googled it, with some sites saying yes and some saying no and I thought I’d better play it safe, as my family can be quite traditional, As it happened quite a few women wore black to the wedding and no one batted an eyelid. Anyway, as I had ruled out black, I thought I’d go for grey instead but somehow, on me, the grey looks a lot lot paler than it did on the uncut fabric! And also, omg, those frilled sleeves, what possessed me? I look like someone’s forced Brienne of Tarth out of her armour and into a ‘nice’ dress. Also, the dress has very big arm holes, billed as giving the opportunity of giving a nice flash of a lacy bra or the slip (which also comes with the pattern but I didn’t have time to make). The arm holes are way more revealing than that and I think if you’re even bigger in the chest department than I am, probably even more so. And finally, I didn’t realise when planning what to wear for the wedding, that I’d have had more surgery a week before and well, put it this way, some of my bandages are showing through that dress most awkwardly.
The second dress was for Girl Lacer. I said I would make her a dress, directed her to my favourite online dress pattern shop and let her pick one. Showing such faith in my ability, she made sure to just look at the beginner patterns lol and this one, the Clara dress from Sew Liberated, was billed on the pattern shop site as advanced beginner, *cough, cough, splutter*. I would bill myself as intermediate but this dress was hard. The Date Night Dress used one technique I hadn’t used before, french seams and I lurve french seams now. The Clara dress, well, I suppose it didn’t really feature anything I hadn’t done before but there were so many bits to the dress (and that binding on the sleeves was fiddly), that I found it quite hard going. And I say there were no new techniques for me in this dress, it has button holes and I have made buttonholes before but manually, on a previous sewing machine, with my current machine, I’ve never been able to work out how to do automatic buttonholes, well I had to work out quickly (and late the night before) for this dress. I did manage to figure it out and have quite a few practices on scrap fabric but I still managed to cock the buttonholes up a bit on the dress and it was the last step too, *sob*. Still, it was wearable, I thought Girl Lacer looked lovely in it and that fabric (which I also let her choose), is absolutely gorgeous, so soft, I want to make something for me with it now.