We seem to have hit the age now where there is a steady stream of weddings to attend each year. It's always lovely to see our friends tie the knot to their wonderful other halves, and it also gives me an excuse to sew up a little dress to wear (not that I need any excuses!). Remember the 2 wedding guest dresses I made last year? 1 and 2.
We attended a fantastic wedding yesterday in Bristol, in glorious weather. The sun was shining, with not a trace of cloud in the sky. We celebrated the love of a couple who are clearly perfect for each other, caught up with friends and met new ones, ate delicious food and drank a little too much bubbly, and finished the day off with super fun Ceilidh dancing in the barn :D
I wanted to make something special for the occasion, especially as the hubby was an usher for the wedding and did a reading, too, during the ceremony. Elisalex came to mind, but this time I wanted a less extravagant skirt - as lovely as the last version was, I think one tulip dress is quite enough for my wardrobe. What better pattern to team the Elisalex bodice with than McCalls 3830?
The fabric I used was a beautiful floral stretch cotton purchased from C&H in Guildford, which reminded me of a dress Betty wore for an advert for Mad Men (picture below), and this was indeed what inspired me to mix and match two of my TNT patterns. I'm celebrating the return of the second half of the final season of Mad Men in my own way. Plus, what year would it be without me making a Betty-inspired garment?
You are probably aware of my obsession with stretch cotton fabrics by now - for me, these fabrics combine the most awesome qualities of being well-behaved/super easy to sew with, having vibrant prints and the ability to stretch, accommodating a filling wedding breakfast as well as a lot of ceilidh dancing!
One of the main reasons I love the Elisalex pattern is the low neckline at the back.
In addition to the changes I made and construction notes from the last two versions, I made a couple more small changes:
1) This is the first time I made a short sleeves version - I chopped off quite a bit of length from the sleeve pattern, and hemmed the sleeves by hand with uneven running stitches.
2) I didn't line the bodice this time, since the fabric is not see-through at all, which is hard to come by when it comes to medium weight white fabric. This was a relief, since I didn't have any stretch lining in my stash. What can I say, this fabric just keeps on giving! Instead, I finished the neckline with a pretty bias tape using my favourite method.
Here are some sneaky peek photos for you:
Bias binding facing. I had this bias tape in my stash, but it was much too wide to be a facing, so I had to trim it down in half for this purpose. What a perfect match to the dress fabric, though?
Neckline on the outside:
Back neckline with a sage green invisible zipper. I'm very proud of how well the waist seams are lining up!
The dress hem, by hand with a blind catch stitch.
So there you have it, yet another wedding guest dress! I absolutely adore this dress, and am so pleased with how it's turned out - I love the fabric, the shape, the comfort, and how well it's held up all day! I can't wait to wear it again! I enjoyed the process of sewing this little number, too. Mixing two of my TNT patterns is effortless - I'm happy with the fit of both in their own right, and adding them together is straight forward and very rewarding.
How about you? Are you making any garments for special occasions this year? I have one more wedding to go to this year (unless any of our other friends feel spontaneous and have a last minute wedding before the year is out), which means one more special occasion dress to make. I think I'm going to attempt sewing with lace for that one!