Well. I know I haven’t posted a thing about the making of this dress, and now I’m too exhausted to write much about it, but it’s DONE. Thank goodness.
I needed to make a fancy dress for a holiday gathering that a group of us weirdo sewing bloggers put together. Because everyone knows that the best way to make the holiday season more exciting is to stress about making a party dress. Hah. Anyway, to make a veeeeeerrrrry long and painful story short, I chose sequins. Not knowing that sewing sequins is a unique form of torture reserved for sadomasochists and the innocently ignorant. I fall into the latter category. It’s actually not the sewing that’s bad, but the clipping, trimming, tweezing, and cursing that happens beforehand. You have to remove each and every sequin that will be in every seam allowance to eliminate bulk, and HOLY MOSES. My hand was stuck in a claw shape for a week.
Before I even got to that point, I made 4 muslins, trying to make a Burdastyle pattern fit my petite frame, and in the eleventh hour decided to just scrap it and make my own pattern using my dress form. Miraculously, I managed to pull it off. Including figuring out how to fully line a dress (in a lovely ivory silk crepe de chine), and how to insert an invisible zip into a fully lined dress. Don’t ask me how I did that… I’m still not entirely sure.
A detail I love is the bottom hem. It’s actually not a hem…the selvage edge of the fabric had this zig-zag of sequins and I loved it. So I just trimmed away the mesh as closely as I could to the sequins and called it a day. It’s a bit Peter Pan-ish, but I like it.
In the end, I’m SO happy with the dress, with the exception of one thing. I accidentally trimmed the sequins along the arm holes too much, so I had to sew a slightly larger seam allowance there, making the arm holes a tad too large. So my bra shows. Badly. Yes, I tried several, and they all showed. On the evening of our event, I ended up hand sewing myself into the dress, attaching my bra to the dress at strategic points to keep it from showing. I can definitely see this being a deterrent for wearing the dress in the future, because it will never be a “throw it on and go” sort of dress, but I feel like I need to wear it to every party I ever attend for the rest of my life to make it worth all the hours I put into it!!
Oh and also, this kind of sequin fabric really hurts. My underarms were practically raw by the time I took it off. Maybe full sized sequins that lie flat aren’t as scratchy, but this mesh has clusters of tiny sequins that form little clumps everywhere. And oh man. Ouch. I think I probably looked a little nuts walking around with one hand holding a champagne glass a little ways in front of my body, and the other hand strategically on my hip to avoid my arms coming into contact with my sides. Hah.
But. All in all, I’m immensely proud of this dress. I worked so hard, and had no idea what I was doing…That seems to be a theme with my sewing, but something about jumping in over my head and panicking tends to suck me in.
(All photos by Mercer Street Photography)
Here’s the nutty gang of us ringing in the holidays! All in self-mades that I have cropped out of this shot because I know several of them are gonna want to blog their own fancy outfits and I don’t wanna ruin the surprise. Oona’s dress in particular made me grin, and I officially dubbed it “fancy-bo-peep”. I mean that in the best possible way.
Happy holidays everyone!