This year has been massive for weddings. We’ve had three within the space of just over a month, one in Glasgow and two in England.
One of the weddings was my brother-in-law Andy’s to the lovely Katie. This was a wedding I wanted a really special dress for and I decided in October I would like to try making one. It was a big risk I knew because it wouldn’t be cheap to make and if it went wrong I’d potentially be left without anything to wear having spent my wedding outfit allowance which was not big!
I chose the pattern (Vogue 2903) and made a toile with the help of Jenny. More about that in another post.
But I hit a stale-mate when I couldn’t find and commit to the perfect final fabric….
…months went by and I started to doubt whether I could actually pull it off until all of a sudden it occured to me that I didn’t have anything to wear to my cousin Bob’s Wedding which was on 12th May, a couple of weeks before Andy and Katie. Initially we were evening guests for this wedding which was in Glasgow but when a space became available at the ceremony and reception we were thrilled and honoured to take it.
You need a better outfit as a day guest though don’t you! Eek!
Luckily I had the Colette Macaron pattern in my stash which had been a gift from my friend Vonnie and I’d been dying to try it.
I also had some gorgeous blue and white floral cotton print poplin which had been a gift from Lindsey (she got it in Mandors). I have the most amazing friends!
I matched the floral print up with a bright red poplin, also from Mandors. Red is my colour and I wanted to make this dress as bombshell as possible.
Paying heed to the lessons I’d learned already with regard to cutting patterns, I traced this one and cut the size 16.
I really love the way Colette patterns are laid out, especially the way that the instructions are in book form.
Does anyone else end up fighting with the big sheets the like of Simplicity and Vogue provide in the style of a broadsheet newspaper you just can’t fold back up?!
Initially I was a bit daunted because the pattern says ‘intermediate’ and I wondered if I might be too beginnery but I had a look at some reviews on Sewing Pattern Review which boosted my confidence and made it seem a lot more possible.
I have found that what works for me is not to look at the dress as a whole. I just take each stage at a time and if I get stressed or confused I just walk away and do something else and come back when my head’s on straight.
Alas I can’t really do a step by step for this one as I don’t have the pattern for reference having loaned it to Linds but there were probably two main hurdles:
1. The neckline facing.
I was too cheap to buy interfacing as I had some at home but when I applied it (Medium Fusible Vilene) I found that it was too stiff/heavy for the poplin.
I didn’t have time to get some more so just left it out and it shows when on the hanger although thankfully not when it’s on. With hindsight I would have used the lightweight cotton interfacing we stock at Mandors.
2. The invisible Zipper.
This was my first ever encounter with one of these although I had heard them discussed at work. Google told me that I would be better off with an invisible zipper foot and I struggled to get one for my Singer 507 due to its age and my always dire money situation. Eventually I bought one of the universal hemline ones from work.
It doesn’t really fit but does with some persuasion, it tends to move around a bit and my machine chews up a lot of bobbin thread while using it but it does the job if I max out my patience for making things work skills which are pretty good really.
After much swearing and a few “you’re going out the window” threats I finally got the zip in only to discover that the waistband was slightly out of whack because the zip was higher up on one side than the other. I could have left it but felt it was too noticable so unpicked and did it again, this time placing a pin through both sides while I matched up the waistband so that it couldn’t move.
I was much happier with the result the next time even if one side of the waistband is slightly narrower which means that it’s impossible to have them both match perfectly.
I think my favourite part of this dress is the pockets which I did in the red too. I really love a dress with pockets!
I matched the dress with my faithful Vivienne Westwood / Melissa Lady Dragon heels which I never need an excuse to wear.