Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Great Drescapde

I am not Irish but I swear Murphy and his stupid law must like to have a bit to much fun with me.  I now remember Murphy's law is the reason I didn't go into fashion design.

If you saw this post you know that I designed a dress to wear to my son's wedding. What should have taken a few days turned into a month long project with a lot of setbacks. It all started out great with this sketch.

I decided that I would make it a little easier on myself and purchased this pattern that has a similar silhouette.

Then I altered the pattern. Using an old king size white flat sheet I cut out the pattern pieces and hand basted all the seems to begin altering the pattern. Then I drew the alteration lines and cut the new pieces. I used the cut pieces to draw new pattern pieces adding on for seam allowance.

Of course to make sure that the new pattern was correct I decided to first sew a short version of the dress with different material. Assuming I got it right and cutting the intended material has in the past been a major mistake. So I took the safe route and using some left over light weight denim that I just happened to have, I made this dress.

The alterations were perfect and I wasn't too worried about my horrible tan line because the taffeta dress would have a strap on the open shoulder when I made the dress. But the rest was fine. It fit just the way I had planned. So being the smart ass that I can be, I sent the above poor cellphone photo to my son and told him that I was finished with my dress for his wedding, and asked how he liked it. To my surprise he said the dress was fine but I really had to do something about my uneven tan and that 'silly hat'. So much for playing a joke on him. I guess he knows me well enough to know I would not wear something that causal to his formal wedding. Here is a close up of the dress so you can see the wild print.

It was time to get down to work. It was also time for Murphy to make his first appearance. I pulled out the beautiful emerald green taffeta that I purchased 12 years ago and have saved for a special occasion. I had forgotten how hard it is to get wrinkles and creases out of taffeta and of course after being stored for so long the gorgeous material had more than its fair share of stubborn creases. 
color is a bit off in this photo

 I pressed it as best I could and laid out the pattern. 

The top of the dress would be fine but the skirt pieces had some really bad creases. So I decide to see how it would look making the top with the emerald green taffeta instead of a long skirt make a short one using a light green silk that contrasted very nicely with the taffeta. 

The color on this photo is right on the money.

I went ahead and finished the dress with the contrasting skirt. I wasn't completely happy and when I tried it on I was even less happy. The contrast looked okay in the front but it looked really tacky on the back of the dress and horrible from the side view. So I figured I could live with a crease or two and took the dress apart, returning to the original plan. 

After two days of sewing all that was left was to hem the dress. It turned out exactly how I wanted. I loved it and it fit like a glove. (a little too much like a glove.) When I showed my daughter how the dress looked on she said it was beautiful then said 'But can you sit down?' 
I gave it a try and let's just say I realized I wouldn't be wearing the dress to the wedding unless I dropped at least two inches from my waist and hips. Or unless the kids didn't mind that I stood the entire time. So it was back to square one.

I still had a good deal of the green taffeta left but it had so many creases I wasn't sure I would be able to use the material. So I went shopping and bought this dress so I would have something to wear just in case my second attempt didn't turn out. I really did have my heart set on wearing a dress made with the emerald green taffeta. 

I still had to make my youngest daughters dress so decided to get that done before I started work on the second green dress. The pattern my youngest had chosen wasn't a very difficult pattern and she had tried on the same style dress at the clothing store so we were confident it would look nice on her.  She is plus size and the pattern did not come in her size so I had to increase the pattern. After a week and a half of pattern fittings and alterations the dress was done. But due to the fact that this genius calculated wrong and didn't get the proper amount of yardage for the over-skirt the dress doesn't look as nice on her as the one in the store looked. So we went out and bought her a different dress.
Fail 2
I would say I went back to the drawing board to make my green dress, but I didn't even sketch out a design. Instead I had what is referred to on Project Runway as a Make It Work Moment. I draped the material this way and that way and finally decided on a simple style. Then I drew up the pattern pieces and cut out the material. Here is the second green dress all finished.

It is not fancy. I do like it, even though the style makes me feel old. The blue dress is much more my style but I think the green is probably more appropriate for the mother of the groom at a formal wedding. What do you think?

1 comment:

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