Sunday, 19 April 2015

TNT mash-up wedding guest dress

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?     
Elisalex McCalls 3830 Floral Dress Mad Men

Elisalex McCalls 3830 Floral Dress Mad Men

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
Elisalex McCalls 3830 Floral Dress Mad Men

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.  
Elisalex McCalls 3830 Floral Dress Mad Men
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: 

Sleeve:
Elisalex McCalls 3830 Floral Dress Mad Men


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?
Elisalex McCalls 3830 Floral Dress Mad Men neckline binding

Neckline on the outside:
Elisalex McCalls 3830 Floral Dress Mad Men Neckline
Back neckline with a sage green invisible zipper. I'm very proud of how well the waist seams are lining up! 
Elisalex McCalls 3830 Floral Dress Mad Men

 The dress hem, by hand with a blind catch stitch. 
Elisalex McCalls 3830 Floral Dress Mad Men Hem

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! 

20 comments:

  1. Gorgeous dress!!! Great fit and the fabric is so pretty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Linda! I know, I absolutely adore the fabric - I feel so lucky to have got my sticky fingers on it :D

      Delete
  2. This is such a lovely dress! I love the combination of patterns, I've only made 1 elisalex but I too love that low back neckline. I really like the look of your handsewn hem, I tried that once but couldn't get the hang of it, I'll need to try again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kathryn! I love sewing hems by hand these days, as it makes my home made items feel a lot more special - you wouldn't get that sort of attention with the normal RTW garments.

      I would've referred you to the great tutorial that I used to learn this, but that blog (Pattern Scissors Cloth) is no longer available (I think it had been dormant for a couple of years now). I found another helpful tutorial by Megan, in case it would be helpful: http://blog.megannielsen.com/2013/03/tutorial-hand-sewn-hems/

      What I've learned from the first tutorial was that if you pick up 2 threads rather than one from the fabric, it makes the hem a lot stronger.

      Hope this helps :)

      Delete
  3. I love it so much!!! And I love your blog name!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by and your kind words :) I think it's one of my favourite makes!

      Delete
  4. Va Va Voom!! What an amazing dress! I love your description for loving stretch cottons - I can always use extra room to eat wonderful goodies!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Annie! Hehe, yes, you can't beat a bit of stretch :p

      Delete
  5. WOW what a beautiful dress and it looks stunning on you. That bias binding, perfect! I love the length of the sleeve, just appropriate for the overall look of the dress. PERFECT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sandra! I know, I couldn't believe how well the bias binding matched the fabric, even though it needed trimming. I do like the longer sleeves that I have seen on many other versions of the dress, but wanted to stay cool enough to do lots of crazy dancing :)

      Delete
  6. love the print! I've never combined my patterns before, I'll have to be brave & give that a try lol!

    Helen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Helen! I found it a lot easier than anticipated - I flat measured the waistline on both patterns, and then added 1cm to the skirt front pattern piece (so 2cm in total since it's cut on the fold) so that the side seams all match up nicely. What I didn't do, and wish I had, was to move the skirt darts so that they line up with the princess seams on the bodice. I don't notice it when wearing it though, so not too much of an issue :)

      Delete
  7. What a lovely dress! It's perfect for a spring wedding! I have a summer wedding to go to with an outdoor ceremony (at a campsite!). Not quite sure what the appropriate outfit is for that! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sonja! Oh campsite wedding... hmm.. that is a tricky one!! How about a playsuit?

      Delete
  8. Lovely dress!
    I also love stretch cotton, specifically stretch sateen. I worked out a simple straight skirt pattern that, given my modest bust measurement and pear shape, can be construted without a zipper (I pull it over my head).... a fitted elastic waist skirt !! I so feel like it's a major cheat, a tiny piece of fabric and super fast construction, only possible because of the stretch in the fabric ....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's nice to see modest bust measurement helping us out eh? ;) That sounds amazing - I might have to try that! Whoever decided to put elastine and cotton together is an absolute genius!

      Delete
  9. Lovely dress!
    I also love stretch cotton, specifically stretch sateen. I worked out a simple straight skirt pattern that, given my modest bust measurement and pear shape, can be construted without a zipper (I pull it over my head).... a fitted elastic waist skirt !! I so feel like it's a major cheat, a tiny piece of fabric and super fast construction, only possible because of the stretch in the fabric ....

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love this so much. Fabulous dress and I love the photoshoot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I was actually posing at the back of the barn, by the car park! I felt a bit self-conscious of posing where the happy couple was getting lots of snaps, so decided to find a plain background elsewhere. I think the free-flowing prosecco may have helped me relax, though :p

      Delete
  11. Lovely dress and a great fit. Plus it would look good for some many occasions. I need to get my hands on some stretch cotton!

    ReplyDelete

I would love to hear from you - have your say here :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...