To complete the 2012 Summer Wedding Hat-trick, my friend Stephen married his lovely fiancée Charlotte. I first met Stephen in 2003 A.D. when I began working for dearly departed Glasgow Vintage-Americana/Skater-Alternative Clothes shop Flip and we have remained good friends over the last almost ten years. Man that feels like a lifetime ago! Flip was renowned for its vintage Levis, Cowboy shirts and U.S. Air Force Jumpsuits. It had lost its way somewhat before I got there and was mostly baggy jeans and studded belts but there was still a fantastic selection of vintage. I wish I could have another look!
Anyway, Stephen and Charlotte are a fantastic couple. Not long after they became an item, Charlotte invited us over for dinner and she dazzled with her cooking and showed me a little cat she had made from lovely floral fabric remnants. If I wasn’t already, I was thoroughly in love with her by the end of the evening.
I wanted something fun and not too formal to wear to this wedding and when THIS amazing Prada inspired fabric arrived in Mandors I knew it was perfect!
Anyway, there I go with the digressing again! I wanted a pattern that would be relatively simple (I only had a couple of days to make) and would make the most of the print. The lovely Kim at work just happened to be buying McCalls M6503, I liked the shape, it said easy on it and it seemed perfect so I totally copied her.
I don’t really like showing the tops of my arms so I opted for sleeves. I chose View B as I liked the crossover top and I liked the idea of a contrasting collar.
Just as a little aside, I didn’t think the photograph on this pattern does it (or the poor model) any justice really. The print is too big and fussy for the frills making what should be quite a cool dress look a bit frumpy. I had to hope that I was right to look past this and I think I was.
So the contrast was obviously going to be red (I’m so predictable, yawn!). I just love red, it’s my power colour (or something) and I feel a bit incomplete without it. I had some red poplin left over from Macaron and a red zip ( they grow somewhere in my flat), I had a spare afternoon, this was going to be easy right?
Wrong. At least, not as easy as something which says ‘easy’ on the packet should be!
I made the size 16 and bearing in mind this was before my lessons in sizing were learned, it fit pretty well.
First of all, I cut all of the facings in the contrast fabric (pieces 4, 5, 11 and 12), then I used the wrong interfacing again. D’oh! This was sheer stupidity since I made exactly the same mistake with Macaron. I got some lightweight fusible cotton ingterfacing and cut the facings again which took every inch I had left of that red poplin. Then I realised that I had cut two of the same side for the bodice front. Not winning any Nobel Prizes here.
Idiocy aside, I found attaching the neck and front bodice facing somewhat fiddly. Maybe it wasn’t idiocy aside actually because I struggled to even work out how it went on. Sigh.
The part where you ‘lap right bodice over left’ was all very well but I later discovered that the markings make for a rather roomy bust area and that’s even for me who needs quite a bit of room!
An overlocker would have been useful but alas I don’t have one and not until after this dress did I possess the wherewithal to employ a zigzag stitch around edges.
The skirt was straight forward however when it came to attaching the midriff facing my brain actually did implode and I stopped trying to follow instructions and just left it out. I’m not saying the instructions are wrong, I’m just saying that on this day I couldn’t follow them and I was running out of time as I had already given it a couple of days to come back with ‘fresh eyes.’ Interestingly Kim and another couple of people I found online had similar issues. I suspect it boils down to not reading the instructions properly but at least I’m not alone!
The dress is fine without the midriff facing although obviously it would be more robust and professional looking inside with it.
The front overlap required adjusting at this point as it was quite ‘gapey’ as mentioned above. I had to gather it quite a lot more and then pull the overlap at least an inch tighter.
I put the zip in and it looked awful. I have no idea why this pattern would not call for an invisble zip? A visible one is all very well for the back but on the side it just looks stupid or certainly this one did. I took it back out and replaced with an invisible one which was much better.
However much it looked like I was on to plums, I was very pleased with the end result of this dress. The contrast worked well and the fit was very good, particularly around the waist.
I wish I had better photos from the wedding but sadly I ran out of battery almost as soon as it began which was heartbreaking but at least I was able to focus more on my wine without the distraction of amateur photography.