Going to the Wedding Dress 2

Sewing Alert –click away now if you´d rather read a recipe!  Why not try this one for a change of scenery.

The second dress, a Butterick Pattern (B5556) was finished in time for the wedding last night. Ooh it was a typical late night, so am feeling rather jaded today.

As I stood in the garden asking Big Man to take some snaps for the blog, the wind whipped up and you can´t really see  the general soft meringueness of the skirt with the petticoat underneath (with a layer removed).

I did a few twirls to show off the five, yes five, metres each of skirt and lining which I finished the same way at the Going to the Wedding Dress 1.

Give us a twirl!

I hand stitched the zip, which turned out well and was very happy with the dress apart from having needed to be a little braver in taking the waist in a little more. I loved the stand up/fold down collar.

Elvis Collar

Hey ho, at least it meant I could eat in comfort.

And there was plenty of room in the dress for hugging and kissing the bride and groom, most of the 500 guests (gulp…that´s not a wedding, it´s a Corporate Event) and eating cake.

Going to the Wedding Dress 1

Sewing Alert –click away now if you´d rather read a recipe. Why not try this one for a cold, rainy Saturday?!

So, the Vintage style dress is finished and I have to say I am really very pleased with the way it has turned out.

The pattern is Vogue V8789, view A.

Wish I had a waist like that!

I have also made a silk shawl with a hand rolled hem to go with it, to cover up my shoulders.

I tried out a few new techniques (well, new to me). A horsehair hem, hand stitched to finish it off. This adds a little body to the hem. I had bought a net petticoat to wear underneath but when it arrived I looked like a giant meringue so back it went into the wardrobe.

I sewed a satin bias binding in a contrast colour to the lining.

I hand stitched the bodice lining to the bodice. I really enjoy sewing by hand.

A grosgrain waist stay (I think that is what it is called) was hand stitched around the inside and this really adds shape to the waist when it is worn.

But…the weather has turned cold and damp. The wedding is next Saturday so I have started work on the other Vintage style dress I had planned to make as it has sleeves. It´s the Butterick 5556…hopefully I´ll have it finished this week and then depending on the weather I can decide which one I´ll wear.

Meanwhile, the dogs snooze in the not so sunny sun room while the rain comes down, and I´ll get on with my sewing.

Yes, that is a jamon bone on the sofa which they had clearly dragged in out of the rain and which I only noticed when I downloaded the photo! Naughty pups...

And now, if you enjoyed seeing my Going to the Wedding Dress, why not check out my blogging pal Evie´s Actual Wedding Dress.  What a very talented and beautiful bride!

Sewing Sunday – Vogue V8789 Dress

So, look away now if you don´t want to read about sewing!

Still with me? Good! On my last trip to London I treated myself to two very nice dress patterns and some fabric with the idea of making myself dresses to wear to weddings. There are an awful lot of large weddings to attend each summer as it´s typical to invite the whole village. Factor in the fact that Big Man is one of 10 children and you can imagine how many nieces and nephews there are to be married off over the years!

Wish I had a waist like that!

Last year I was in the UK and stumbled across a find of vintage fabrics which the shop owner told me had been found packed neatly away in a suitcase. The lady who had bought the fabrics had died and her son had been going through her things, a sad thing to have to do, but I am glad that her fabrics have seen the light of day again.

New and Vintage Fabrics

The son believed they dated from the mid 1950s, a time when rationing in the UK was being eased off and the rules which applied to dressmaking during the war we done away with. This is true, because of the chronic shortages of pretty much everything, there were even rules about how wide skirts and trousers could be, restrictions on pleats and darts..because it all used up so much fabric. Think about the tailored looks during the 1940s and then (especially for women) the full skirts of the 1950s. I can imagine a young woman going out and choosing some lengths of brightly coloured fabrics anticipating what she would make with them. I wonder why they were never made up?

There was not enough fabric for me to make up the Vogue pattern I chose with a full skirt, so I adapted. The photo doesn´t really do the fabric of the dress justice. It´s a grey Sunday here in Spain so the photos look a little dull.

Should have ironed it before snapping it!

The dress is a trial run for the Going to the Wedding Dress. The second one will be made out of a gorgeous orange and brown fabric and will be fully lined, and I will be using some techniques which are new to me. French seams, a grosgrain waistband and a horsehair braid hem.

I should finish it this week, so as soon as it´s done, I´ll post more photos.

Afternoon Tea Dress

More tea Vicar?!

Can you believe that the dress above started from a pattern that looked like this?

I wonder what on earth she was thinking about...

What a sultry look eh?

I found the material at a bargain price in a furnishing fabric store but thought it was pretty enough to make something wearable with.  It was more an experiment to learn a few new techniques for me as now that I´ve finished the dress, I realise that I don´t really have anywhere I could wear it!  I don´t think the chickens would appreciate it and I´m not sure it would go so well with my wellies.  The dogs probably wouldn´t take much notice of it either on our walks.  Hey ho, I´ll put it back in the wardrobe for now and wait for an invitation to a Vintage Style Garden tea party.

I had a good play around with the pattern.  I realised that the pleating in the bodice would do me no favours, so took the original one in.

Adjust, adjust...

Then I cut it out according to the adjustments I had made in my muslin.

..and...cut!

I took time to finish the edges properly.

Zigging and zagging

Unbelievably a little local shop had some pretty satin bias binding which I used to cover the inner seams and finish the hems and edges with…I got a bit carried away as I liked it so much.

Pretty Pink Satin Binding

These were then hand finished. Love sewing by hand!

Tiny, invisible, hand stitching

Finally I decided to add some cap sleeves.

Pin the sleeves

I´m happy with how it turned out and may well use the muslin to make up another dress in a more “useable” fabric.

Big lesson learned for me – I have severely wonky shoulders! I had to adjust the bodice shoulders so many times to get the right fit.  I blame it on carrying heavy school bags loaded down with books in my youth…