31 December 2013

New Year, New Dresses!

This year I will be ringing in the New Year in my new hand sewn Velvet Prom Dress:

The dress is the prom dress pattern from the great British sewing bee book. This is the first time I ever bothered to make a toile before just hacking straight into my nice expensive fabric. I have to admit it was a good idea given that I have never inserted an invisible zip, or used my new invisible zipper sewing machine foot. The toile came out pretty well for a first attempt and I actually think the fit on this version came out better then the finished one. The material is some thick cotton I was given a whole roll of for free and has a black strip in it. Its pretty think and heavy with just a slight stretch to it held the shape of the dress really well. I actually think I need to hem this (and hide the white zipper!) as its not a horrible dress. I might even be more inclined to wear this one that the velvet one in the future :/

For the actual dress thought I purchased some gorgeous 4 way stretch velvet from the internet specifically to make a dress for New Years. Its the perfect time for velvet, its warm and luxurious, with just a hint of extravagance.I have read some horror stories about working with velvet fabric, but actually this wasn't too distressing at all. I have a walking foot for my machine and I think this helped a lot as i really didn't struggle. The only difficulty I came across was not being able to press the seams easily, but as the fabric is so soft it didn't matter too much. Also, as the hem is a circle, and i can't press it I decided to omit a hem seam. I know this isn't the most professional finish, but the fabric doesn't frey and acts a lot like jersey so I am going to get away with it. It is slightly on the large side, which I am going to blame on the stretch and the weight of the fabric. The fabric acts a lot differently to the stuff in the toile but I can chalk that down to experience for next time. Sorry about the pictures, its a really dull day, and the fabric is not the best for showing off the seams.

The pattern was really simple to follow. It is down as something for the more experienced sewer but I think as long as you have some common sense about it this one is really easy. The pieces fit together well and there are not too many of them. I have to admit that I omitted the interfacing (you can't iron it on to velvet, that and I didn't have any!). I also didn't include the boning because after cutting it up and tacking it on to the bodice i realised the fabric was not firm enough (too stretchy) to hold it and it just made the bodice an odd shape. I would definitely make this again, I even have some leopard cotton I might use. However I have to admit I would prefer straps rather than a halterneck (a bra is an important thing to me) and I would prefer a centre back zip to a side one. But I would recommend giving this pattern a go if you have the boo, its very versatile. I have visions of leopard bodices with black skirts, or sequined bodices with a black skirt. There are endless possibilities here to use different fabrics and colour combinations.

Thank you for checking out this post, and if you got this far, I want to wish you a very happy New Year xx


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