Wednesday 29 August 2012

Mccall's 2401 - blurry version

Mccall's... here I come! 

Yep, it's my first Mccall's pattern. First impression - fantastic! Once the fitting issue is resolved, I loved how the dress turned out and just how simple it is. I'm already making a second, and less blurry, version of this.  
And yes, I AM wearing my wedding shoes (and again yes, I did wear pink shoes to my wedding!)- they go with the dress rather well, no?

I love this fabric. It's bright, yet blurry and almost make you feel out of focus. It's a cotton with Spandex from my local favourite, Fabricland, at £5 a metre. It's really easy to sew - this was actually my first time sewing with fabric with a bit of stretch, so I used my stretch needle (not sure if it's necessary though?) It was really comfortable to wear too. I enjoyed the whole experience so much that I have already purchased another couple of metres of stretch cotton! It is supposed to be in a beautiful turquoise (I bought it online) and I can't wait to have it. 

Now the pattern - Mccall's claimed that it was easy, and it really was. 2 main pattern pieces for the dress (front and back), the facings and sleeves, and you are done! The whole thing took me half a day from day to finish, which was a record for me, especially for a dress that involves more than just lots of shirring. 

I adore the simple yet classic design - it really helps show off fabrics like this, doesn't it? I would say that you could wear it to all sorts of occasions... but perhaps not with my choice of fabric. For example, the dress code for our dress down Friday is " nothing too disco", so I think this safely rules my blurry dress out. It's definitely too "disco".  

As I mentioned before, there were some fitting issues. This pattern runs from a size 6, which based on its measurements, would fit me fine. However, the envelope suggests that the finished garment has a chest measurement of 34 inches. It may not sound so huge but why would anyone who has a 30.5 measurement want to have that much ease? What does Mccall's think that we are going to do when wearing a shift dress like this? 
So anyway, I made a few adjustments to the size 6 pattern to make it fit me:
  • I made a small bust adjustment and managed to remove the side dart (it's a bit depressing really!) and taken the bodice part of the dress in in width by 1cm or so; 
  • I made a petite adjustment; 
  • I widened all darts by 1cm on each side so taken the dress in at the waist by 8cm in total;
  • I widened the seam allowances by 0.5cm on both sides thereby reducing the overall width by 2cm;
  • I made a wide seam for the zipper; and
  • I shortened the dress by another 5cm (and still made a extra wide hem). 

They may sound rather drastic, but bearing in mind that I was working with a stretch cotton, I really didn't want that much ease at all. So for the second version of the dress that I'm working on, I'm using a not-stretchy-at-all polyester crepe so I'm going to not shrink the dress by as much. but enough about that - you'll soon find out! 

Saturday 18 August 2012

Our perfect day

The time has finally come... drum roll please... to reveal the "official" photos from our wedding 3 weeks ago!

It was such a perfect day - the sun came out for us (this may not sound like such a big thing for my non-UK readers but believe us, we were so lucky) and every single detail went to plan. We were able to just really enjoy ourselves throughout the whole day. 

Now the dresses. For those who have been following my blog in the past year, I made both my wedding dress and my bridesmaid's dress. 

My wedding dress

Yep, it was a huge project, especially as I wasn't that experienced at sewing when I started it. Two full toiles and countless adjustments later, we got there! 

The dress has 7 layers:
1) silk dupion pleats and drape, 
2) silk organza underlining for the pleats, 
3) silk dupion for dress layer, 
4) silk organza underlining, 
5) silk habotai lining, 
6) cotton corselette with spiral steel boning, and
7) silk dupion corselette lining. 


I used Simplicity 2959 as a starting point, not because of pictures on the pattern envelope, but the clean princess lines and the pleats. I made lots and lots of adjustments - to name a few:
  • I added lots of layers including a corselette which extends to below my hips (see the corselette here);
  • I changed the bodice to a sweetheart neckline - I didn't like how pointy the neckline was from 2959 and preferred a softer shape. I used Simplicity 4070 for the neckline instead - 4070 is also what I used for my BM dress as we thought it would be cute to have the same neckline;
  • I changed the overall shape of the design - I found the skirt to be too full, and preferred a fitted dropped waist bodice and a more A-line skirt. I reduced the width significantly for the whole length, but more so around the hip area;
  • I added a lace-up back and omitted the bow (see here for the lace-up back and here for a tutorial);
  • I lengthened the train to a chapel length; 
  • I ignored the pattern pieces for the pleats and made them to include a diagonal drape by trial and error with tissue paper (see here);
  • I added a waist stay; 
  • I added a one-tier French bustle (see here); and
  • I dissected a bra and added them to the corselette (see here). 

The process
Would you believe me when I say that I think of the whole process fondly?? OK, there were a couple of times when all that hand sewing got too much and/or I doubted myself, and not to mention that horrific spider incident (read about it here - ewww) but overall it went smoothly! Who'd have known that I had this much patience? 

No doubt it was a steep learning curve, and I feel so much more experienced at sewing after the process. And almost a year's labour was absolutely worth it! 

More photos
Quick word of warning - there are a lot of photos (but haven't I done well narrowing down from 900+ photos??) 

The dress with the bustle done up in the evening:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...