The pattern packet States 'easy' on the front, but this was not entirely my experience while making this dress. The whole thing is fully lined, has princess seams, and a good mile and a half of hem. Was it nuts easy to make... Was it satisfying and did it produce good results? Hell yeah!
Ok so I don't look very smug, but trust me I am. Oh and just because I know you're wondering, the light from the hall window was shining on my legs making them (and the wall behind) a shade lighter, and photoshop I cannot, so lighter they stay.
Anyway back to the dress. There are four sections to the front and the back with a high waistband but the shaping disguises this, making it a wonderfully flattering shape. The lined skirt is really full and swishy.
The back of the dress has a deep v neckline too, but just high enough, and just wide enough to still cover bra straps. I really loved this detail!
I may have mentioned the mile and a half of hem, well this thing is practically, if not actually, a circle skirt. The hemming (done with my favourite method of bias tape) took an entire afternoon! But it has twirl appeal, which is best seen on the dance floor obviously!
I cut a straight size 10 from the pattern and the only adjustments I made was to shorten the bodice at the shoulders.
This was necessary as if not my dignity was in question from the rather low neckline. I lined the bodice with the same materiel as the rest of the dress, but used navy lining fabric for the skirt. Hand stitching the lining to the bodice was a pain, but worth it so it doesn't show on the outside.
To go with the dress, and because the wedding was in October... In Ireland... I needed a warm and very smart jacket. I decided on New Look 6799, ignoring the example picture which is awful, I thought would be great for the wedding outfit.
I found a lovely navy boucle online and came out with...
Which I am very proud of, even though it was a bit of a headache to make. I had researched using boucle online and had decided on a Channel type of construction, the main feature of this being the lining quilted to the outer. This means the boucle holds its shape really well and looks more tailored. I made a sample by quilting the two fabrics using my sewing machine, which left the fabric feeling really flimsy and thin. To create a warmer jacket I used a layer of thinsulate, this unfortunately looked really awful machine quilted so I was forced to hand quilt each pattern piece
This meant pinning it to follow the natural lines on the fabric, then hand stitching each line from the reverse... It took aaaaaaaaaages!! I went stir crazy before I even got to the sleeve part. But because of this long process the stitching (while still a bit visible) blends in very nicely on the right side.
It was also important to bear in mind the loose weave on the boucle fabric and its tendency to unravel I cut the pattern with an extra half inch border, and every seam and every edge was bound with bias tape (in a lovely soft and pliable satin), which also took some time, but was really worth it.
Each edge, cuff, and hem was closed with bias tape and hand stitched on the inside (more hand stitching... Yay!!) so the whole effect is just really neat and sharp. Because I didn't want to risk making button holes and cutting into (unravelling) the fabric I used press studs, which I finished off on the outside with some lovely vintage buttons.