Well I couldn't very well inflict home made-ness on my daughters for the wedding and then go and buy myself some lovely off the peg dress could I? (although it was tempting)
So burdastyle was perused, the Pencil Dress pattern downloaded and the fun began.
I didn't want the dress to be tight (in the mutton sense) so cut a size 38 and then proceeded to take it in everywhere. For the girls dresses I had made a muslin as I used the bodice section from one pattern and then adapted it to add a full skirt and the lesson of the Pencil Dress pattern is that muslins are good. Although at the time of making them I always think that it is wasting a lot of time I think in the long run you save much more time on the final project (and the stress of wondering whether you will ever get it to fit right - particularly on a dress as simple as the pencil dress where the fit is all important).
Second lesson of this making this dress is that I absolutely need a dress form. Trying on, pinning, attempting to get dress off whilst still pinned, basting, trying again etc etc is tiring and after a while, quite annoying. In addition it is almost impossible to properly look at your back view whilst wearing the dress.
Anyway, despite all this I was very (and still am) pleased with the outcome. The fabric matched the polka dot theme of the girl's dresses but the style is altogether more grown up (I had originally thought of making a 1950's - esque dress with a full skirt but am glad that I didn't - I think it would have been overkill with the girl's dresses).
The photo below doesn't show the dress very well but proves that I wore it!
Further views (without wearer)
Details that I am particularly pleased with:
- the Hong Kong finished seams inside which although not seen from the outside do, I can assure you, make the wearer feel as though they are wearing a 'proper' creation;
- the invisible zipper, which is truely invisible!;
- I also Hong Kong finished the raw edge at the bottom and to hem the dress attached the bottom to the finished seam allowances on all of the seams leading up from the hem - given that there were two seams running down the font and one in the middle of the back in addition to the side seams this worked perfectly; and
- finally, I moved the zipper to the side rather than it being in the centre back seam. This prevented any issue with the zipper finishing around bottom level and causing unsightly bumps.
I toyed with lining the dress but the fabric was quite thick and the weather was hot so I am glad I didn't (also if I had I wouldn't be able to show off the great seam finishing!).