One year ago today, marks the day my good (and very talented - check out her blog Hotels, Heels and Halibut) friend informed me about her engagement. One year ago today, marks the day I started to think about what to wear to the wedding. One year ago today, marks the day I decided to sew my own dress for this event - a first as I have never trusted in my sewing skills for any special occasion. One year ago today, marks the day I started to frantically google dresses and collect inspiration*. Not an easy process mainly for two reasons:
- First of all, I'm not one to dress up often. I like jeans, I like shirts, I love oversized sweaters and cardigans, sneakers and my backpack. My fashion style is anything but "fancy" involving dresses, clutches and high-heels. Then again, I was looking forward to dress-up for this wedding - who wouldn't?!
- Second, I already had a pretty clear idea in my head of what the dress should look like. As I'm not able (yet-hopefully one day) to draw own sewing patterns, I had to find examples of my imaginary dress and most of all a sewing pattern for it.
After several frustrating evenings with my friend Google, I found a picture of a Vogue Vintage Sewing Pattern which looked perfect but was already sold out on Etsy. After another few searches, I found it on eBay in the wrong size, but I figured that I'll be able to adapt it accordingly.
A few facts about the dress and my experiences: I finished it successfully and most importantly in time. Lucky me - for the worst case scenario I tried to shop an alternative dress but couldn't find any! The amount of fabric needed according to the pattern is very confusing. I ended up buying 5.2 meters of Crêpe de chine silk, much more than suggested in the instructions (imagine a "money-flying-away" emoticon here). Vogue patterns come including seam allowance and for once I was happy about that as the size was a bit too small for me. To get the correct size I counted the Vogue seem allowance to the dress size and added my own seam allowance to it. I left out the pockets as well as the cut down cleavage and accordingly also the bow holding that together. For the length I chose the long version of the dress, but it was still too short and I had to lengthen it about 10cm. The top is made out of two layers of fabric, but the bottom part of the dress isn't. As Crêpe de chine silk is very thin and potentially transparent, I added lining to the bottom part of dress**.
All in all I'm very happy with the result. The dress was perfect for the wedding and I felt very comfortable throughout the whole evening. Would I need to sew it again, there are a few things I would change, however. I would definitely add the pockets, adapt the front of the top and use thin cords for the straps.
*Side Note 1: what would I do without my smart phone which remembers these dates for me?!
**Side Note 2: I sewed the dress in the sewing class I attend once a week, hence I had quite some help from my teacher for which I'm very thankful