Thursday, 26 February 2015

A bit more about bridesmaids dresses...

HI everyone,

Oh I’m so sorry for the delay – and it’s been a long one hasn’t it?

One of the main reasons for that is the struggle I’m having with the Collette Negroni. Why on earth did I start trying to make a man’s shirt? Honestly – I’ve been so busy recently that the few hours I can snatch for sewing are very precious, and I would much rather be making pretty dresses than complicated shirts! All in the name of appeasing the HusBeast for years of leaving fabric everywhere, and trying to advance my sewing skills. Humph. Being a good wife isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…
I’m just starting on my third toile – and we all know how much fun they are!

So I thought I’d finish up the posts about the bridesmaids dresses, although to be honest there isn’t that much more to say. Once the patterns and fabrics were chosen – the dresses all came together quite comfortably. Apart from me being pretty anxious when I made the first cut into the fabric – deary me I was nervous! Have you all got ‘the first cut is the deepest’ singing away in your heads now? No? Just me then…

I know you've seen this one - but it's a goody ;) 

There were 7 dresses in total:

Two sleeveless Elisalix (one with pockets), one with sleeves, all in the patterned fabric.

Two wrap top Flora in the satin, one in the patterned fabric, one with a mullet hem and one with a straight hem

One Elisalex top with Flora high/low skirt in the silk.

Each of the girls chose the bits that they would like, which hopefully made them feel comfortable.

I’d previously made the Elisalex dress for myself, but like a tool I cut out the pattern. So I had to buy another one so I could have the range of sizes. I don’t know if any of you out there were also struck by the ByHand London mis-print of this pattern? If not, have a look at this post. I didn’t find this post for ages. I cut out the first top, and couldn’t make it fit. It was tiny, and nothing lined up, and it was a disaster. I re-measured the pieces, re-checked my pattern copying, re-measured the pieces again, but it was all correct. So I stopped, panicked, self-medicated with whiskey, put everything away and procrastinated for about a month (with more whiskey). In the end, I googled it – for a girl who lives on the internet, I’m not sure why it took me so long to do this – and found the post about the wrong pattern. I was very relieved and emailed the lovely ByHand London team who sent me the new pattern pieces, phew! Right – less procrastinating…

We did have to make several alterations across all the dresses, which was such a learning curve. One of the bridesmaids is under 5 foot, we shortened the bodice and the skirt a little but the main alteration was bringing up the dress at the shoulders. This meant that both the arm holes and the neck line needed to be dropped, she originally wanted to have sleeves on her dress but this seemed a bit complicated, so she just had to have cold arms for the day ;). This bridesmaid also had pockets sewn into the seams – although I managed to make them so small she could barely get her hands in… whoops. Aftet that disaster I just didn’t mention pockets to the others, and by the time they all saw she had pockets, well, no one huffs at a bride on her wedding day!!

The other two straight Elisalex’s was simple – such a lovely pattern to make! I have never really inserted sleeves so this was a new challenge, but the online tutorials made it pretty easy.

I don’t know how the rest of you have found the Flora pattern – but the wrap top isn’t the easiest to obtain a good fit with. I think they were going for a relaxed style wrap, but obviously this wasn’t quite the look we were aiming for, and they did take a good few attempts to get right – and one of them was a bit of a failure.  Two of the girls who chose this style are quite busty which really didn’t help matters! I read ALL the blogs on this and I’m so sorry I can’t remember which one recommended this, but one of the tips that I found really helpful was to cross over the wrap pattern pieces at the bottom into more of an an ‘X’ shape, instead of lining them up.

One of the Flora’s needed a small bust adjustment, which is something that sounded terrifying, but actually, again through copying the online sew-a-long, was pretty much easy. I was so surprised by how easy it all came together. Maybe it was just beginners luck…

I think the main issue that I had was with the bridesmaid who was breast feeding. This lady is also pretty petite, but she normally has fair size bazingas with such a small frame, that the area where the wrap meets was going to have to be so high up her neck if it wasn’t going to be indecent. So we had to add a modesty panel. I say we, I actually left the job of sewing the modesty panel in (with poppers so she could undo it to feed), to one of the other bridesmaids the morning of the wedding! Oh, I so owe her…

Getting sewn in

Seeing as I said there wasn’t that much left to write, I’ve ended up with too much for one post haven’t I?!? I just wanted to talk a bit about some of the things that I found useful during the whole shenanigans, and less than helpful, such as the dress form.

I know this is a bit of a strange photo - but it's me being very relieved the dress actually fits! 

I hope I’m not boring you all to death – please let me know if you don’t want to hear any more!


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